For most students at LHS, a foreign language class means students must be able to form sentences in that particular language, memorize vocabulary, and understand the difference between English and the language they are studying. For those taking Spanish at LHS, the new online curriculum relies heavily on devices for easy access and homework. So for those struggling to remember vocabulary and other quick-reference concepts of the language, look the app SpanishDict could be a great way to quickly look up and understand something a student might be struggling on. However, it should be noted that SpanishDict is a translation app; the app is not designed to teach Spanish or spit out long sentences with reliable accuracy.
When opening the app, users are met with a randomized photo of various famous places across South America and abroad as well as a search bar for users to search using a dictionary, translation, or conjugation. At the bottom of the screen, there is a spanish word of the day, and tapping the banner at the bottom of the screen shows that today’s word of the day is panuelo, or handkerchief, with the ability to hear the word being spoken in either English or Spanish, as well as sentences that the word might be used in as well as more examples online. This layout for searching a particular word is not only easy to use but easy to see, and continuous throughout all translations and words within the app. If a word can be conjugated, tappin the ‘conjugation’ button right under the word’s definition shows all forms of conjugation, including Indicative, Imperative, subjunctive, etc.
For words and meanings as well as conjugation, this app is a great reference tool. When typing multiple words or sentences in a specific order, the app relies on Microsoft, SDL, and PROMT softwares to translate the given sentences, producing completely different sentences from each other, often times not making sense at all as one software the app uses does well in conjugation while the others add or remove words from sentences it might deem necessary for translation, or use words that are not taught in the curriculum at LHS. It also sometimes employes vocabulary and sentence formation that hasn’t been taught yet depending on what class the student is in, rendering the translations almost useless.
All in all, the app is very useful in understanding quick-reference vocabulary and conjugation for Spanish speakers, but should not be used to form complex sentences as the translations are not only unreliable but sometimes do not make sense. For those types of language tasks, a student should stick to understanding how to do that on their own. Overall, SpanishDict can be very useful as a word translation tool – probably best suited for early Spanish speakers – but otherwise fails to teach or correctly inform.