SpanishNow! Deluxe 9 Review

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued.

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Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.

SpanishNow! Deluxe provides a wide range of activities and interactive games to aid you in your goal of Spanish language fluency. This software is designed for a person with prior experience in Spanish language, but beginners can benefit from the program as well.

The most outstanding feature of SpanishNow! Deluxe software is the "big video screen." With this screen, you can select an interesting article or story to explore the Spanish language through media resources. You can also view videos filled with the sights and sounds of people interacting in Spanish, bringing you one step closer to a realistic setting.

This program includes a feature that allows you to slow down the pronunciation of each word allowing you to hear each unique syllable at your own pace. The software also offers a check-word feature that allows you to select a few words to focus on in your studies. With this application, you can build personal vocabulary lists to use for future reference.

The word pronunciation function allows you to concentrate on pronouncing individual words. You may have the program select the words randomly, or you may use your checkword list. The sentence pronunciation segment of the program allows you to record yourself pronouncing words and sentences and compares the pronunciation to a native speaker. The speech recognition software part of the program needs improvement, however. Speech recognition technology should allow your computer to recognize what you say, assess your pronunciation and correct your mistakes. I found that this program lacked accuracy, offering both false praise and weak criticism of my Spanish pronunciation.

The software offers some information in the form of games. The crossword puzzle activity allows you to increase your vocabulary and spelling skills in an amusing environment. As with most crossword puzzles, you are required to type one letter in each square, remembering to add all the accents.

SpanishNow! Deluxe includes a bonus CD that covers grammar and writing acquisition. The quizzes offered at the end of each section are helpful but not customized-the same questions are given each time you work in the same section. The global writer allows Spanish composition and performs a spell check in Spanish.

Although there are many convenient features included in this package, the program lacks the ability to track personal progress and set goals. This product includes the ability to practice pronunciation but does not offer a headset to help you listen carefully so you can develop correct pronunciation. These items are necessary to assess improvement and encourage persistence in learning the Spanish language.

If you are looking for a product that tracks progress, offers superior pronunciation tools and can promote you from beginner to advanced, try our #1 product, Tell Me More Spanish.

The main navigation of SpanishNow! is easy-you simply use the tab button to move from section to section. However, once a section is chosen the controls are not intuitive and the layout of the program is confusing. Also, because written Spanish requires accents to appear above certain letters, inserting them ought to be a simple function in any Spanish language program. Achieving accented letters in this writing program requires extra keystrokes in Spanish Now! Deluxe. Writing Spanish correctly should be more convenient.

The installation of SpanishNow! was fairly simple. However, if you install the Global Writer program and you also use Office 2000, the combination may interfere with Word Perfect-preventing you from altering styles in the later program.

This program does an adequate job of teaching Spanish to a beginning language learner; perhaps advanced learners would gain more benefit. SpanishNow! Deluxe does offer several excellent features but lacks properly-functioning speech recognition software and progress tracking tools. Due to these missing features, I would select the #1 product because it includes these features and several more. If you are searching for a more economical solution, the #2 product is an excellent choice and also includes all of the standard software features you'd expect in a Spanish language teaching program.

Billy Bommer
TTR Contributor

Billy Bommer is a former Top Ten Reviews writer who now works as a technical advisor at Best Buy. He's a keen sax player, and lives in Utah. Billy also has a BS from Weber State University in Communications and Media Studies. His areas of expertise are diverse, and he has a particular passion for AV and audio tech.