LearningSigns (Free) by LearningSigns Ltd. is a language app for the iPhone that helps users identify words and letters from Arabic, Russian, English and German. Play a game of memory and learn a new language at the same time.
Users start by picking a language, either Arabic, English, German or Russian. Once you decide the language you want to work with, you can choose which level of education you’d like to start learning from. The beginner course of each language is free. Intermediate and advanced level courses cost $3.99 each.
The beginner courses come with five packs of lessons. Each lesson contains 10 memory games. The cards in the game have pictures, letters and words. Whenever you turn over a card, the word or letter is pronounced so you can hear it, too.
Players start by identifying words and pictures and move on to letters that are featured in a word. For example, in the English pack, one letter that players will learn is “Y.” It’s related word in the memory game is “Money.”
Players earn gold, silver or bronze rewards for completing each lesson with as few errors as possible. If you flip over the wrong card too many times, you’ll have to replay the level until you get it right.
As a language-learning device, I don’t think LearningSigns works very well. I tried Arabic and by the time I got to the section where I was trying to identify letters in certain words, I was lost. There is no English explanation for the letter you are looking at and no background information for how the letter is used in a word. I was never able to really memorize anything, even though I was successful at the memory games. That was mainly because I was able to remember the pronunciation of words during the game, not because I was actually learning them.
This app really doesn’t seem like it would benefit people looking to learn a new language. It seems better suited for students looking to supplement their educational tools. Everyone learns differently, though. This may be right up your alley. Download it and give it a try. You’ll either be learning a new language by the end of the day, or deleting the app because it didn’t really do much for you.