Improve Your Vocabulary With These 5 Fun Language Flashcard Apps

Improve Your Vocabulary With These 5 Fun Language Flashcard Apps

Do you remember using flashcards in school? They were a fun and easy way to quiz yourself on facts that you needed to learn for a test.

Would it surprise you to know that flashcards are actually a good study aide when you are trying to learn a second language? They are! And – to make your learning experience even better, you should look into using language flashcard apps.

Flashcards are useful to improve your vocabulary. In order to efficiently communicate in a language, you need to have a mental database of words that you understand and that you know how to use. The more words you know, the easier it will be for you to follow along and participate in conversations with native speakers.

How to Use Flashcards And Flashcard Apps to Learn Languages

Old-fashioned, physical flashcards come in the form of a piece of cardboard or paper with information found on both sides. 

When it comes to language flashcards, they are usually designed so that one side has a word, while the other has the definition of the word. To study using a flashcard, you first look at one side and then the other.

If you look at the side with the word first, then the correct answer is what the word means. If you look at the side with the definition, then the answer you should give is the word. Once you have correctly answered a flashcard, you put it away to study at a later date.

Flashcard apps operate on the same principle; some might actually present you with a digital version of a flashcard deck. For example, a word will be displayed and you will need to give the correct meaning before another word will appear. 

Why You Should Use Language Flashcard Apps

1. They allow you to study anywhere

While flashcard apps are for PC, to really take advantage of how handy they are, you should download a flashcard app on your mobile phone, tablet, or other portable device. With a flashcard app on a mobile device you can take your lessons with you wherever you go. 

2. They allow you to study anytime

With a language flashcard app on your phone, anytime you have a spare minute you can use the app to learn more new words and improve your vocabulary. 

Depending on your app, you might not even need to have a strong internet connection to fit in a quick lesson on the go. Some apps might allow you to download a lesson or two that you can study at another time.

3. They are “sturdier” than traditional flashcards

Another advantage to a flashcard app is also a little harder to “lose” than physical flashcards. They are definitely easier to carry around!

Physical flashcard decks made of paper or cardboards might also get damaged or dirty with frequent use. Individual flashcards are also prone to falling out of the deck or getting left behind and you might not notice that your deck is incomplete until it is too late for you to go back. 

How to Use Flashcards to Improve Your Vocabulary

Compared to vocabulary lists, flashcards are a more dynamic way to learn new words and commit them to memory. 

Instead of just going down a list of words and reciting them, you can challenge your memory and improve your recall by drawing random flash cards and quizzing yourself on the words. Flashcards keep you on your toes and require you to think, so you really challenge yourself and can commit the knowledge to memory.

For flashcards to be effective, you need to go through them several times. You can’t go through your language flashcards once and declare you’ve memorized them. Chances are, you’ve just committed it to your short term memory not your long term memory.

If something is just in your short term memory, you will only really remember them for a day or so. Constant practice and repetition is key to ensure that a fact that you memorize gets committed to your long term memory. 

Even more effective than plain repetition is something known as “spaced repetition.” With this learning technique, you repeatedly study a set of facts but you space it out over a certain period of time. 

For example, you have a deck of 10 language flashcards; you study these cards for an hour. Then you take a break and study it again in four hours. Then you schedule your next study session for the next day. Then after that, study it again in two days, and so on. 

Spaced repetition is actually a feature of many of the language learning flashcard apps that we will share with you below. So, without further ado, here are five great language flashcard apps that you can use to improve your language skills.

5 Language Flashcard Apps To Boost Your Vocabulary

1. Anki

Compatible with: Android and iOS

Cost: Free with Android, $25 for a one-time download on iOS

Anki is a language learning app that gets its name from the Japanese word that means “memorization.” The app basically provides you with a stack of flashcards in digital form.

Anki flashcards aren’t only for language learning. This app basically generates flashcards that can be used to study a variety of subjects. It is a handy tool to learn language, however.

You can create or add language learning flashcards to your deck on Anki by inputting the word and its meaning of a “blank” flashcard. This allows you to customize your deck and your learning experience.  You will also have access to a database of decks that are created by other Anki users.

Anaki uses Space Repetition, so it reminds you to go back and study “old” flashcards on a schedule that ensures the words are fixed in your long-term memory.

2. Brainscape

Compatible with: Android and iOS

Cost: Free, but you can subscribe to a Go Pro plan for the following rates: monthly $9.99, per semester (six month) $41.94, yearly $59.88, Lifetime (one time payment) $129.99

How many languages: 74, including Sign Language

Brainscape is a flashcard app, but it isn’t only used for language learning. Brainscape allows you to create language flashcard apps and share them with other people. It also has a database of flashcard decks that they’ve created with the help of linguistic professors and experts or that other users have also used.

3.  Memrise

Compatible with: Android and iOS

Cost: Free, though you can upgrade to Memrise Pro for $59 a year

How many languages: 16 languages

The Memrise app is a language learning app that uses flashcards and spaced repetition to help build up users' vocabulary. 

To use Memrise, you need to choose from one of their available languages and your learning level. You will then be given access to a number of courses that use flashcards to help you develop your language skills. You can also create your own “course” by using your own list of vocabulary words to create online flashcards with the app.

4. Reji

Compatible with: iOS

Cost: There is a seven day free trial, but afterwards you will need to pay a one-time fee of $7.99 

How many languages: 48

This flashcard app for Apple users creates personalized language learning flashcards to allow you improve your vocabulary. All you need to do is set the language you want then input the words that you want to learn. 

The app will then generate a “flash card” complete with the definition and translation as well as some lovely accompanying visuals. It can also help you calculate an optimal review schedule using spaced repetition, so you know how often you need to study the card to help you commit it to memory.

Aside from the normal knowledge that you will find on language flash cards, Reji also offers a phonetic transcription with a playback feature to help you learn how to properly pronounce the word. 

5. Quizlet

Compatible with: Android and iOS

Cost: Free, though you can upgrade to Quizlet Plus for $20 a year

How many languages: 18 

This flashcard app allows you to study a variety of topics, including 18 different languages. You can make your own deck of language flashcards or download user-made decks from their collection, so you really have a large and varied catalogue of words to learn. There are also other interactive games and quizzes that you can use to test your knowledge.

Quizlet Plus uses spaced repetition, so you will be reminded about the proper times to retest your knowledge and study the cards again to ensure that you commit them to memory.

Conclusion

Compared to say studying vocabulary lists, which can be dull or boring, flashcard apps are a more interesting and dynamic way to test your knowledge of words and their meanings.

While flashcards can help you build up your vocabulary, they can only help you “understand” a word. To truly say you “know” a word, you need to be able to use it in a conversation with a native language speaker. That is why, it is still important to have lessons with a native speaker tutor – no matter what language you are trying to learn.

If you’re interested in becoming fluent in a new language, check out these top online learning resources: Kick off your learning with Babbel, where interactive, enjoyable lessons are designed to blend smoothly into your routine, fostering fast and effective language learning. For those aiming for an in-depth understanding, Udemy provides a broad spectrum of courses from basic to advanced levels. To enhance your speaking skills, Preply connects you with native speakers for personalized coaching, ensuring significant improvement. Take advantage of a 50% discount on your first lesson at Preply with this link.

You can even use flashcards as a learning tool with your native language speaking tutor! You can ask your tutor to provide you with a list of interesting words and phrases that you can use to create your own flashcard deck on your flashcard app. 

After you’ve studied your flashcards, your tutor can challenge you to use those words in conversation during your next session. Your tutor can confirm that you understand the word and how to use it and also correct your pronunciation if needed.

What is the best flashcard app?

The best flashcard apps are Anki, Brainscape, Memrise, Reji, Quizlet.

How are flashcards used in language learning?

Old-fashioned, physical flashcards come in the form of a piece of cardboard or paper with information found on both sides. When it comes to language flashcards, they are usually designed so that one side has a word, while the other has the definition of the word. To study using a flashcard, you first look at one side and then the other. If you look at the side with the word first, then the correct answer is what the word means. If you look at the side with the definition, then the answer you should give is the word. Once you have correctly answered a flashcard, you put it away to study at a later date. Flashcard apps operate on the same principle; some might actually present you with a digital version of a flashcard deck. For example, a word will be displayed and you will need to give the correct meaning before another word will appear.

Which is the best app for vocabulary?

The best apps for learning vocabulary are Magoosh, Anki or Quizlet, Reverse Dictionary and Vocabulary.com.

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