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Want to learn Spanish without spending a lot of money?

Updated on October 24, 2013

Map of Countries with high Spanish use


Different Options

Computer Software

The consensus that I have found is that the software called Rosetta Stone is the gold standard for learning foreign languages. I agree that this awesome software is worthwhile if you have the means to take advantage of it. The biggest downside is the cost of the software. I couldn't justify the cost for my own purposes so I kept looking for an alternative.

Audio CD's

I have attempted to learn Spanish several time using Audio CD's. Sometimes I would get them from the library. Once I shelled out over $75.00 to purchase a set. I never had very good luck with this method. There was no interaction, just repeating what the CD told you to say and trying to memorize. It is definitely a useful tool but not optimal.


This is another method I had tried several times over the years. Whether you use the various lesson books available or a English - Spanish dictionary they all have their own failings. Again, there was no interaction and no one to correct your errors. This method works well for some people but not for me. Also with no audio component, you have no real way to know if you are pronouncing the word correctly.

Interactive Apps

This method has by far been the most successful for me. There are tons of apps available on the app stores attached to the various devices we all carry. Some are free and some are not. After trying out many, I found one called Duolingo. This app is great. It requires you to translate, pronounce, and write. It is very comprehensive and also fun. The way you have to gain points to progress to the next level almost turns it into a game. The best part is that it is FREE!!! I have been using Duolingo for a couple of weeks now and am starting to be able to interact with non English speakers at work and my job has become easier thanks to that. Another perk of Duolingo is that it is available for many different languages.


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    • stayingalivemoma profile image

      Valerie Washington 4 years ago from Tempe, Arizona

      ttravis - I am sooooooo signing up for this!!! I have a strong desire to learn other languages. I took French for 4 years and Spanish for 1, but see the increased need to be bilingual. I, like you, think Rosetta Stone is a phenomenal system, but it is way to expensive for most people's pocketbooks. This app is a fun and interactive way to learn another language and I am jumping all over it! Voted up - useful, awesome and interesting!! Great job!

    • profile image

      ElleBee 4 years ago

      Interesting Hub. I have been trying to improve my Spanish, and have found duolingo helpful. IMO the only downside is its strong focus on translation from English as opposed to natural language learning, but for someone like me who already has decent language skills and is trying to improve writing/grammar that's not necessarily a bad thing. I am just going to make one suggestion in regards to your Hub and that would be to rename this "Want to learn a foreign language w/o spending a lot of money?" none of the sites/methods you mentioned are exclusive to studying Spanish and it might raise you in the search rankings if you were to focus on how people can use these resources to learn any foreign language. I have heard good things about the website mango as well. (Also free I believe).

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      As the Hispanic population in the US increases, it becomes more and more useful to be able to speak some Spanish. Thanks for the review of different methods of learning the language. I've found that the free app on my Kindle is an easy way to learn some of the basic language, too.