Language learning flashcard apps seem to be a big hit this Spring and Summer. With the release of several new mobile and web apps it’s only fair that we include the latest release from Vocab Ninja on May 28th.
This cool new app is an effective way to expand and drill any language vocabulary that puts you in control of the words that are important to your life and interests. An awesome feature for those of us who are sick and tired of re-learning the word for ‘beer’ every time we find a new language learning tool.
Vocab Ninja allows you to start off by injecting packs of pre-made Spanish language flash cards into your study repertoire. Up to 1,000 cards representing the most commonly utilized Spanish words come with the download, but even better than this is Vocab Ninja’s ability to incorporate new cards of your own creation.
What this means is that while the app only comes with a Spanish starter stack, you can create your own cards in any language you want! Mobile phones and tablets come with a wide array of language support making this task fairly simple.
Not only this; you can also download any of millions of premade Quizlet flashcard stacks in nearly any language you can think of.
Using your phone you can take a photo of the item in question (or not, if that’s too much work), enter in the translation (you do have to find it yourself, unfortunately, but that’s not that hard) and enter in the answer. It only takes a few seconds and you have total control over what you want to learn.
If you know a word on sight you can flick it off the top of the screen where it will go into a “known words” storage vault. It can be retrieved later or conveniently stored out of the way.
More difficult words – either vocabulary you don’t know or that you think you might forget – are tossed to the bottom where they will be brought back to you later through Vocab Ninja’s impressive spaced repetition system.
The app automatically takes note of how long you spent mulling over each word before tossing it one way or another, allowing it a fair and unique insight into your personally optimized spaced repetition. Vocab Ninja can then remind you of these words just before you’re about to forget. It’s pretty cool.
Furthermore the app shows the built-in words in context. Placed within a sentence this gives you an opportunity to see how the word is used. Accompanied by high quality audio translation available in 26 languages that also includes an additional 10 accents of
or those who are learning a variation of a language, such as Mexican or European Spanish, which added to your own personalized cards, this app makes for a quick, simple and effective study session.
The supported languages are Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.
A pretty impressive list for such a lightweight app.
The interface is well constructed and visually appealing – factors that may seem trivial to some learners but that I feel add something to the overall experience – which can influence performance – of the program.
At $3.99 (€2.95) the app is actually more expensive than many mobile apps – especially the the recent focus on free platforms with paid downloadable content. Regardless, I don’t find this price tag to be especially limiting – Anki’s app is around $25 making it one of the most expensive mobile apps I’ve ever seen and making Vocab Ninja seem totally affordable by comparison.
Flashcard apps are an effective method of vocab reinforcement and their rising popularity has made apps such as Vocab Ninja perform extremely well on the iTunes and Google Play markets. According to its creator it shot straight to the top of the list of most popular paid apps in Belgium and managed to rank within the top 200 Education apps in the United States after just a few days.
Unfortunately for those of you who aren’t Apple fans; the app’s creator has indicated that it doesn’t look like the app is going to be released for Android platforms any time soon. So don’t hold your breath.
Check out the Vocab Ninja demo video.
You can find and download the app by running a search on your device or on your computer here.
Check out some in-app screenshots:
Have you used Vocab Ninja? Tell us what you think in the comments!
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