While not exactly in the scope of Eastern Europe, you would probably be surprised at how useful Spanish can be as you head further east across the continent. In countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, Spanish is often spoken (as well as English) among the younger crowd. In addition, with the large expat and tourist hubs that some of these cities have, it’s very easy to be able to strike up a conversation in Spanish as a backup to English. With that being said, today I want to share this Rocket Spanish review, to help you learn Spanish online if you’re so inclined.
Rocket Languages offers a whole suite of products across a variety of languages. Eastern European Travel has mentioned Rocket German in this article.
In short, the programs are reasonably priced, well-structured, and have a lot of nifty tools to help you learn a language—no matter what your learning style is.
So let’s dive into the pros and cons in this Rocket Spanish review, and see what it’s all about.
Eastern European Travel’s Rocket Spanish Review
#1: Ease of Use
As technology has evolved over the years, so has the ability to learn over technology. While language programs used to come in cumbersome DVD packs that weighed a dozen pounds, nowadays it’s all digital. Just enter your credit card or PayPal information, and you’re sent a login for the site.
Everything is hosted on the Rocket Spanish server so you don’t have to. Just login, and start learning.
Who doesn’t hate commuting to work?
No matter if you live in the suburbs of Bucharest and you drive into the city for work, or if you take metro across Moscow—wasting time just sitting is horrible. You can be productive though, and do some Rocket Spanish lessons while on the go.
As I mentioned in the last section of this Rocket Spanish review, their program is completely portable. They have iOS (works on both iPhone and iPad, as well as Android apps—this means you can just do lessons on your commute. Turn that downtime into a productive hour and you’ll get the hang of Spanish in no time.
(An iPad Mini functions incredibly well as a reader, movie player, and even a backup computer in a pinch).
#3: The Price…
…is incredibly affordable.
Sure, you can hire a private tutor to help teach you Spanish—but have you seen the prices of those tutors? Just a few hours of lessons with a tutor would buy you access to Rocket Spanish for your whole life.
And no—Rocket Spanish is not as good as having a one-on-one native speaker, obviously. But it comes down to value and time.
Even if Rocket Spanish is half as effective as a normal tutor (I’d say it’s more than half), then you can simply supplement with a private tutor if needed. Instead of paying a private tutor for five hours a week, do seven or eight hours of Rocket Spanish (which never “costs more”), and hire a tutor for an hour a week if you need the extra help.
#4: Time Is Money
Of course, another alternative to learning Spanish online is to actually get up and enroll at a Spanish class in person. Some community colleges and universities offer them, and there are “meetup” types of groups.
But, these again are not free—and they’re at a set time.
If you’re a person on the go, who doesn’t have hours a week to commit to being at certain meetings—then I’m telling you, this Rocket Spanish review is for you. Pay close attention.
Also, if you struggle with time—a notepad like this will do wonders for you.
#5: It’s Simply…Good
I’ve done a lot of online language learning, and throughout my experience with both the Russian and Spanish versions of Rocket Languages, I’ve been consistently impressed.
- Hear it! Say it!—the vocabulary is just played out live for repetition.
- Write it!—the vocabulary is played out loud and you type it.
- Know it!—You’re given the word in English, and you have to speak it. The computer then grades your speech and pronunciation. I found this worked best on a real laptop, and was not as clear with an iPhone or an iPad.
- Quiz—you’re asked a question in English and choose the best Spanish answer.
- Play it!—The program eliminates half of the original conversation, and it’s up to you to “converse” with the computer.
Overall, Rocket Spanish is superbly organized. I was fortunate enough to take three years of Spanish back in high school, so I was able to move ahead a bit quicker. But, the organization is very similar to the courses you would find at your local high school and college.
You can rest assured that Rocket Languages have picked the best instructors to build a well-organized, systematic, and effective language course for you.
I’ve got a couple of things I do dislike about the program. In the interest of full transparency I do need to share them in this Rocket Russian review.
#1: The Apps Are Lacking
I know, I know. I praised the apps and the portability earlier. But…they are not perfect. Sometimes they’re buggy. They crash. The vocal recognition is not very good unless you have a headset and microphone plugged in to your phone or tablet.
In short: It’s an app.
It’s never going to have the functionality of a desktop or laptop program, nor do I expect it to. However, it could still be better.
On the bright side, I know their team is quick to respond and is always working on the programs—so hopefully the mobile apps will improve over time.
#2: It’s Just Not The Same
Sometimes when you learn a language online, you feel a bit disconnected. It’s fun to speak Spanish with people. To sound like gringos. To laugh. To flirt. This is not a knock on Rocket Spanish—every online language program is going to have some disconnect.
But it is food for thought.
I hope you’ve found this Rocket Spanish review to be helpful to you.
Finally, I do have one final tip for you…
Just remember that Spanish has a lot of different dialects. For example, there is “Mexican Spanish”—spoken in Mexico, obviously. Then there is “Spain Spanish”—spoken in Spain.
But even within Spain, there are many dialects. If you travel to Barcelona, you’ll hear people speaking Catalan, which is different than either of the aforementioned versions of Spanish. If you head to South America, you’ll find different dialects in Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. There is not much you can do but try your best.
With that being said, if you are a native English speaker—Spanish will come relatively easy to you in comparison to learning a Slavic language…
On top of it—it’s a beautiful language. Who doesn’t want to be able to speak like a Casanova when the time comes for it.
Whether you’re going to Barcelona or Bogota, Spanish is a useful skill to have. Even all the way out in Eastern Europe. You might be surprised at how you can connect with people with a bit of Latin flavor.
PS: One final tip—many major cities in Europe have “language meetups”. You can just Google these and then go practice your Spanish there!