App

Flashwords gives Duolingo a run for its money with its speedy language-learning techniques

Developer: muhammed kılınç
Price: Free
Size: 41.5 MB
Version: 1.5.5
Platform: iPhone & iPad

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Didn’t pay much attention during high school French but have a trip to the south of France penciled in for this summer? Don’t fret, because Flashwords promises to make language-learning as quick and painless as possible. After a few weeks with the app, you should have enough words in your repertoire to muddle through a handful of exchanges en français.

Flashwords takes on the likes of Duolingo by offering a differentiated, vocab-focused language-learning experience. The app usefully begins with a starter exercise in which your level of ability is determined. From here, targeted vocabulary tasks are provided which budding linguists can work their way through: foreign words are presented on-screen, with four possible answers initially given. Flashwords can even read words out to you, which is a useful feature.

At its simplest, the app presents you with multiple choice options

Your progress is recorded in a Statistics interface and past tasks (called “courses”) can be revisited for extra practice. Flashwords also usefully offers two modes of learning: one which is focused on revision, and another which focuses on improving your knowledge through exposure to more adventurous and unfamiliar words.

You’re given the chance to learn words before being tested on them.

Later, you’ll also be asked to type translations to words presented into the app, which poses even more of a challenge through removing any possible guesswork. Usefully, the app works offline (meaning no Internet connection is required), and there’s support for a decent number of languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, or Turkish.

Your progress is monitored through levels, which begin with the basics and work all the way up.

The app is free to use, but an in-app subscription offers a premium version of Flashwords (starting at $2/£2 for one month). So far, all the premium price-tag brings is an ad-free experience, though even the free version seems to be refreshingly lacking in ads.

The app can also send out notifications to remind you to practice, but these can of course be disabled.

Unfortunately, Flashwords doesn’t group vocabulary around themes — in Duolingo, for instance, you can revise Food or Animals and thereby target your learning. But in Flashwords, this kind of functionality doesn’t seem to be available. It should also be noted that Duolingo offers a far wider selection of languages, and so this may be another reason for choosing the bigger name.

However, if you’re looking for a simple but elegant vocab-learning experience, Flashwords may be right up your street. It’s well-designed and offers some nice features, and of course, it’s free to try.

Review: Flashwords — Learn a language on-the-go
For
  • It works offline
  • It has an elegant design
  • It can speak words to you
Against
  • Courses aren't grouped by theme
  • There's a limited number of supported languages
4.0Overall Score