A straight ahead, no-frills app calls for a straight ahead, no-frills review.
Jourist Vocabulary Builder (Western Europe) is a language learning flashcard app designed by Jourist Verlags GmbH, offering flashcards with 10,000 words on varying levels of difficulty in six different languages:
The very simple, clean appearance of the app is deceiving; for $9.99, I expected flash (no pun intended). But there’s no need for that – what you’re paying for is an enormous number of flashcards and several ways to test yourself in a very easy to follow format.
Once you choose a language, you’ll be able to choose the cards by level (called “learning groups”) and sets. The first learning group focuses on the most frequently used words, and they get progressively more obscure from there. Each set has 200 words, but you can exit at any time and the app will save your progress.
Select a set and the words are divided into sections by whether you’ve learned them and the level at which you’ve mastered them – adequate, satisfactory, good or very good. At first I wondered how the app could judge at which level you’ve mastered a word, because as you’re moving through the flashcards it’s a simple matter of whether or not you choose the right answer, but then I realized it depends on how many exercises you’ve completed.
Because there’s more to it than just flipping through the flashcards and listening to the audio recordings of each word. Once you select a set and tap “Begin to Learn,” you can choose from four exercises that have your translating from the language, into the language, typing the word as it’s dictated, and playing a short “guessing” word game that helps with translation and spelling. Only by completing each set of 200 cards with all four exercises will you achieve “very good” status – and considering that means you’ll have gone through 800 flashcards, I have to say I agree.
Jourist Vocabulary Builder gives a monumental supply of flashcards; one that, in paper, would cost significantly more than ten bucks. For quizzing yourself and keeping those vocab skills strong, I highly recommend this one.
Jourist Vocabulary Builder [iTunes Link] requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.