App

Going from novice to linguist is a blast in this app thanks to fun but comprehensive music-based learning

Price: Free
Subscription: $8 / £8 per month
Version: 3.4
Size: 114.8 MB
Seller: Taplyrica Ltd
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Lirica

We all remember the heady days of high school Spanish – exercise books, verb drills, and those ancient cassette players for aural exercises. If you still have a desire to develop your language skills and are looking for a fun, more engaging alternative, we have some good news: Lirica could be the app you’ve been waiting for.

While there are plenty of language-learning apps on the App Store, with Duolingo dominating the market, Lirica is a little different. This’s because the app utilizes the power of music to teach its students the basics of the Spanish language using a wide range of popular music videos.

Your first lesson.

Actually, you can learn Spanish or English in Lirica, but that’s all (for now). When you launch the app and choose your language, you also need to select your level of difficulty. The app can pitch the right type of content to you depending on whether you’re an absolute beginner or have a little more experience.

Re-ordering phrases.

From here, the format is straightforward. Lirica presents a slew of lessons addressing different aspects of conversational Spanish using different music videos. You see, the developer has intelligently matched up core language components with the lyrics in different pieces of popular music, which puts a nice spin on the learning process.

So in order to learn how to introduce yourself, you’re served up Nicky Jam’s Hasta el Amanecer – a song where Nicky encounters his would-be soulmate at a laundrette and tries desperately to woo her. Of course, the first part of any courtship involves introductions – cue the learning. You’ll be saying “¡Hola!” before you know it!

Learning English.

True, this all might sound a bit gimmicky, but Lirica handles the learning process really well. Each lesson starts out with a song comprehension, so you have an idea of what’s happening in the piece of music. Then you identify key words and phrases, learn their meaning, and practice their spellings. The app borrows from its competitors by including different ways of interacting with the learning: you can re-order words, match words and meanings, and type to spell new words, too. These are then added to an ever-growing “vocab bank” which other songs and lessons continue to add to.

Practising phrases.

Of course, as you progress through the app, the lessons become more challenging. Intermediate lessons focus on everyday colloquialisms, negative imperatives, and – of course – romantic language. It’s worth noting, however, that this is the peak of Lirica’s difficulty – those who’ve studied Spanish at a high level may find that the app doesn’t challenge them, as there’s no Advanced category of lessons.

Different ability levels.

The Spanish course is designed for English speakers, while the English course is available for French, German, or Spanish speakers. It would be great to see additional language reach Lirica – especially as the app requires an $8/£8 monthly fee for full access.

However, if Spanish is your target language of choice, look no further. Lirica is a fun, smart app – especially for beginners. It’s hard to think of a more engaging way to learn a new language. ¡Buena suerte! 

Lirica – learn Spanish with the power of music
For
  • An engaging way to learn
  • A range of different exercises
  • A big range of lessons and songs
Against
  • A limited number of languages available
  • It may not challenge more able linguists
4.5Overall Score