New iPad/iPhone app is out - Portuguese through Spanish

Friday, December 17, 2010

After a lot of work, our newest app is finally out. This one is a language learning app in contrast to others I've made the content so far that have been about history, space and other such subjects. The name of the app is Portuguese through Spanish, and looks like this:

A book for people who know Spanish (either fully or partially) and now want to learn Portuguese. Considering the similarities between the two though (about 90% lexical similarity and much the same grammar) for a lot of people it would be better to begin by converting the Spanish they already know into Portuguese whenever possible instead of starting entirely anew on the assumption that they know English and nothing else.

You'll notice that it says it's been created by the US government and that's because it comes from here, and I chose it to convert into an app as one of the most interesting FSI courses out there. As for the question of why one would choose to pay for an app when the FSI course can be downloaded for free - it's the same as why someone would pay for Sherlock Holmes or a Charles Dickens book at the bookstore when these books are now free of copyright as well. Nobody is stopping a person from going to Project Gutenberg and reading them there, but sometimes it feels better to read it as a book. In the same manner this app has been created for someone who is soon going to Brazil for whatever reason (or even at the airport waiting for a flight) and suddenly realizes that they speak Portuguese over there and wants to learn some before going. For someone like this the quickest way is to download an app and learn from that.

This doesn't mean that one can just speak Portuguese by converting Spanish, but when beginning to learn it it's best to start by finding out what can be converted, where the two languages are the same and where they differ. You'll notice notes on not just vocabulary transfer but also subtle differences in the way ser and estar are used, how Portuguese allows you to add suffixes to the infinitive where Spanish does not, and so on.

As it has just been released I have a number of promo codes, and I'll give Page F30 readers first crack at them if they want, so send me an email if you'd like one. After that I'll give the rest of them away somewhere else in a day or two.

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