BarCharts Spanish Vocabulary Flash Cards

3-5 Spanish, Flashcards, Vocabulary

September 22, 2013

Publisher  BarCharts Publishing
Publication Date  2013
Price  $15.95
Skill Level  Beginner, Intermediate

I am picky about my flashcards. These Spanish vocabulary flashcards from BarCharts come in a box of 1,000. It’s a good number of flashcards, and if you buy them and learn them all, or even most of them, you will have advanced your ability to communicate in Spanish.

I like the size of the cards, too—ergonomic. They are laminated on one side but not the other, which I don’t quite understand the reason for, but the odd lamination choice had no effect on my ability to read the cards. I do have some other gripes, though.

One thing BarCharts does for you is divide up your flashcards thematically under—for example—“Travel,” “Studies/Workplace,” “Sports/Entertainment,” and “Body/Health.” When you are at a level where you are buying 1,000 vocabulary terms in a box, you are not, in my opinion, in need of that degree of specialization.

Specializing has consequences. As I was going through the 1,000 cards, I started having a sense of déja vu. (Sorry, I know—wrong language.) Hadn’t I already seen “money”? Hadn’t I already seen “credit card”? Hadn’t I already seen “screen”? 

To make sure my brain wasn’t playing tricks on me, I went back and searched through the box and found that, yes indeed, there are duplicates. “Credit card” appears at least twice, under “Bank” and “Travel,” “money” is under “Bank” and “Studies/Workplace,” “screen” is under “Sports/Entertainment” and “Studies/Workplace,” and so on.

That’s kind of silly.

I say, get rid of the categories and just give me a box of 1,000 uncategorized vocabulary cards. Let chaos reign! Language learners like to get wild and crazy that way.

Another gripe is that some of the terms are just too nitpicky. I am probably not going to remember “maturity date” (la fecha de vencimiento) or “cough syrup” (el jarabe para la tos) unless I am living in a Spanish-speaking country. Don’t get me wrong. I would like to. It’s just very unlikely to happen. Give me the basics of life and I will pile on the extras later.

A tech update might be in order soon, too, since they still have translations for “film (a roll)” and “videocassette” in there.

But you know, it isn’t easy to find paper flashcards in this electronic age, and there is much good knowledge contained in this BarCharts box. I especially enjoyed the food section! Everyone should know “chocolate” and “bread” in their foreign language of choice—even those living sugar- and wheat-free lives!

BarCharts Spanish Vocabulary Flashcards
BarCharts Spanish Vocabulary Flashcards

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Comments (3)

Claire • Posted on Tue, April 15, 2014 - 1:15 pm EST

I really enjoy reading your reviews. They’re always so detailed and well-written. I’m a beginner in Spanish but these flashcards seem like a great deal! I trust your opinion, so I hope that company ships in Italy!

Ellen Jovin • Posted on Tue, April 15, 2014 - 2:06 pm EST

Thank you, Claire! Another option is SparkNotes, which only recently reissued flashcards that they had stopped supporting. I really liked their last version, but I haven’t investigated their new ones, so I can’t give you details yet. They have two levels of 1,000 cards each: (1) Spanish Vocabulary SparkNotes Study Cards and (2) More Spanish Vocabulary SparkNotes Study Cards. I see those for sale on Amazon.

Claire • Posted on Sun, April 20, 2014 - 3:29 am EST

Thank you for the suggestions, Ellen! :)

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