A review of Lirica: a language app that helps you learn Spanish through music.
It is no mystery that music can significantly help improve your language skills, just like a good movie would do too. If you love Spanish songs and are motivated to learn the language, one of the most effective methods to practice and learn new Spanish skills is through music. It’s both a challenging and fun learning technique!
But have you ever wondered if any app can offer you that experience? Well, there is! For all music lovers who would like to learn Spanish, there is a language app called Lirica that allows you to learn the language through music. It has an option to learn English as well, however, as a Spanish native speaker, for this review, I tried out some lessons in my language.
After having fun with what Lirica has to offer, I decided to share my honest opinion with you. So get ready, follow the rhythm and let the music attract you to this unique Spanish learning experience!
Of course! Listening to music can help you improve both your listening comprehension and vocabulary. If you practice with Spanish lyrics and music videos, you will instantly recognize its advantages. Even when you are humming along with the song, you are already increasing your skills. In addition, according to the British Council, songs are frequently open to interpretation, and therefore, listening and trying to comprehend the lyrics can improve critical thinking abilities. This is because you are making an effort to deduce the overall meaning of a phrase.
Such a brilliant way to practice a language that you love!
Moreover, due to the repetition of the song and its catchy rhythm, it's easier to memorize vocabulary and retain it in your memory much longer. This, I know from experience, as I’ve successfully learned a huge amount of Korean word pronunciations by listening to songs over and over again.
However, if we only know the pronunciation, but not the meaning, we will not be able to use it in our daily conversations, which is the main goal, isn’t it? That is when an app like Lirica comes in handy.
Do you want to know why? Keep reading!
Made by linguists, designers, engineers, and of course, music lovers, who decided to implement a new and fascinating perspective for language apps, Lirica successfully offers memorable training through songs. It connects you not only with the language but also with the culture of your favorite singer.
Lirica uses Latino and Spanish songs by top artists to improve your grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, listening, and writing skills. While practicing with this method, you will notice that your language abilities become more natural. As you are not learning from a book, you will get to know relevant vocabulary and grammar that you can use in a casual conversation with a native speaker without any awkwardness.
You can use Lirica on both IOS and Android and enjoy it anywhere you go, at any time. Even on your way to travel to a Hispanic country. Why not practice your Spanish vocabulary while listening to music on the plane? Maybe you are a bit rusty from that grammar your Latin American friend taught you last year. Well, traveling while learning can be a fun experience too!
Now that you know the concept of Lirica, let’s dive in a bit more into how it works.
As soon as you open the app and choose ‘Spanish’ as your target language, you will get quick explanations of both learning modes. The first one is the Learn Mode, where you will find lessons about specific grammar and vocabulary from each song.
The app divides difficulty into three levels: Beginner 1, Beginner 2, and Intermediate. These levels are assigned to each song to help you set a specific learning goal based on your experience, and keep track of your progress.
To select the difficulty, think about your current level and what you want to achieve from this app. Can you say basic greetings in Spanish, such as hola? If yes, select ‘beginner 1.’ If you can speak with a Latin American, in a basic conversation, select ’beginner 2.’ Finally, if you can have more complex conversations with native Spanish speakers while traveling around Hispanic countries, you can click on ‘intermediate.’
From there, you can begin following all three levels to refine your Spanish vocabulary and grammar. Singing along to the most catchy pop songs and doing engaging and interactive exercises regularly will bring out your desired result.
After going through some lessons and having enough vocabulary and grammar in your hands, you can start playing with the three different categories in Play Mode. These are perfect interactive games to practice what you have learned in the lessons and therefore, continue retaining that information in your memory.
After you choose any song and download it, you can select which category you would like to try. ‘Lyrics’ lets you sing along with the song while reading lyrics that will be provided both in Spanish and English. When you feel ready, you can toggle off the English translation to test yourself. Were you able to memorize the meaning of the words?
You can also select the ‘Video’ option to enjoy the official music video of the song with synced lyrics. This is a great way to master your Spanish pronunciation. You will be able to sing as fast as the Hispanic singers that you like! Or as slow as a nice ‘balada’—(ballad).
A great addition to this feature is that in between each verse, you will get information about the singer. It’s a delightful way for you to become closer to your icon and Hispanic culture. That is one of the best perks of this technique, you acquire much more than just the language, you gain a lot of important cultural context as well.
Even though I'm a native speaker, I had a lot of fun playing the challenge option. So I’m sure for you, a Spanish music lover, it will be so much more interesting! You can play and collect virtual disks while you learn as many words as possible by enjoying the song and practicing with listening and translation exercises.
All this information sounds good, but will it be worth it for you if you want to become fluent? Will it help you improve? Here are my thoughts.
|1. Improve listening skills||1. Not enough songs listed|
|2. Learn more daily life vocabulary||2. Limited lessons|
|3. Improve your reading comprehension||3. Won't help reach fluency|
|4. Excellent user experience|
|5. It provides clear lessons overview|
|6. It offers 3 difficulty levels and progress tracking|
|7. Positive reviews!|
|8. Good pricing|
Besides being a unique initiative and concept, I found many other positive points in the app. Let’s begin with the aspects that make Lirica, in my opinion, one of the best apps for Spanish learners.
As I explained before, listening to music can have a big influence on your learning process. But in addition to that, I would like to highlight the fact that Lirica has songs from different Spanish-speaking countries, all with different accents, diverse vocabularies, and a variety of rhythm speeds. Consequently, practicing with this app will sharpen your ear to become a pro in understanding different accents and level up your comprehension skills faster. Ideal if you have been having trouble catching up with your friend who speaks Spanish too fast!
Based on the lessons that I went through, the Spanish vocabulary that you can learn at all levels is made of essential words that will end up coming in handy when you least expect it. Conversational Spanish skills are what you need to achieve for your journey towards fluency. So, after a short Latin music session, you will be ready with some funny yet functional colloquial expressions to speak Spanish with a native speaker. As Nelson Mandela said:
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”
The lessons will teach you the language with enough context for you to understand the meaning of the words and how to use grammar. So that when you read the lyrics again, you will be able to comprehend the deeper meaning of each phrase.
Besides, as you listen to the song and read the lyrics at the same time, you will begin to recognize the sounds of each letter and become a pro in rhyming words.
After having some fun with the catchy tune of some Spanish songs and Latin music, I put on more attention to the user experience and design. I found the app to be very user-friendly as it is useful, efficient, and accessible. All information is presented in a clear and concise way, making it visible and therefore easy to follow. All of these characteristics are important factors that help improve the overall learning experience.
Above the name and singer, you will always get a short overview of what the lesson will be about. So if you like ‘La Macarena’, and better yet, you would like to learn about how to express ‘likes and wishes’ in a conversation, then you will know this is the next lesson for you.
Each level, beginner 1, beginner 2, and intermediate, has 4 sublevels for each song's difficulty to ensure a smooth learning progression for your desired goal. In addition, you can check your progress in your 'profile' section to see a list of all the words that you have learned from a song. The list shows you the word, its translation, and the level of difficulty to keep in mind as you track your progress.
Currently, the app has 4.8/5 stars in the App Store based on 2.2K ratings, which is pretty decent. Many of those reviews are by users who specifically use the app to learn Spanish. In addition, it was awarded Google Play’s ‘Hidden Gems’ title in 2018, according to Insider. So it is definitely a good option that will help you learn Spanish.
In general, the price is of the app is very good for what it offers. Specially the lifetime access, which allows you to learn Spanish through music, forever and at any time. You can choose from the following options:
There were many positive aspects from my point of view, but I also found some negative ones. You need to know the cons as well before deciding on whether this language app is for you or not. Let’s begin!
From Shakira to Enrique Iglesias, from classic to modern, the options for Latino music and Spanish songs are good enough to have a little entertaining moment while you learn Spanish. The same applies to the English version.
However, in my opinion, if I have lifetime access to the app, and I’m interested in using it for a long time, the number of songs listed at the moment won’t be enough for my purpose. I’m sure you would feel the same. The app needs to add new songs regularly to keep its users entertained and engaged. While on that, more music genres would also be a great addition!
This might be a con for many, as you can only access 1 lesson for each song in the free version. However, it is important to know that like any other language learning app, Lirica was developed for people who are keen to learn the language and therefore don't have any problem paying a subscription to access all lessons.
If you recently started learning Spanish, Lirica is ideal for practicing basic to intermediate knowledge. As I said before, it will certainly help you sharpen your ear, improve your speaking abilities, and get used to the new language. However, you will reach a point where you will not be able to level up anymore due to the limited number of lessons and songs, therefore, you will not reach fluency with this app.
You can use Lirica to enjoy some relaxing and fun time while you are learning Spanish. However, if your main purpose is to become fluent, you will need higher-difficulty lessons for all levels of proficiency. We got you covered for that! For more advanced Spanish lessons, try the Ling App today.
Absolutely! This app will enhance your experience while learning Spanish. It’s an efficient alternative to consider for people who love both the language and the music. In addition, I would recommend this app to anyone interested in Spanish pop culture.
As someone who had music as a core motivation to learning languages, it was interesting to try this non-traditional method. Having studied English with outdated audio conversations, boring books, and dull exercises, it’s refreshing to see how technology keeps advancing to improve online learning. Furthermore, I deeply believe that both entertainment and real-life experiences are the most effective ways to become fluent in any language.
Lirica is all about taking your inner music lover to an appealing experience. Yes! learning Spanish can be fun when you practice with something that you are passionate about, such as Latin music, for example. If your favorite songs are also your motivation to learn Spanish, give this app a chance to shine!
Have you ever tried any app to learn Spanish through music? Let us know what do you think about this teaching technique in the comments below!