Top 10 Applications for Learning Chinese
When searching the Apple store, you will be amazed by the amount and variety of Chinese learning apps. This article will give a brief introduction to 10 categories of them and recommend handy apps for all Chinese learners.
1. Flash Card
l Fun Chinese (Listening practice) Recommend: Yes ★★★
Fun Chinese provides several different games in every topic for learning Chinese.
Memory game: matching the color in a different box.
Bubble game: eliminating color bubbles according to instructions.
Word bounce: matching colors according to characters.
2. Kids Mandarin
l KidsMandarin Recommend: Yes ★★
KidsMandarin gives pinyin, characters and English translation. Students are expected to read out loud the numbers in Mandarin and then write the numbers. Only when you repeat the word correctly can you move to the next one.
3. Survival Mandarin (adults)
l My Chinese Library Recommend: Yes ★★★
Five topics：At the airport, At the hotel, Meeting new people, Taking a taxi, and Travel destinations in China. There are 222 sentences total. Every sentence comes with Pinyin, English translation, and an audio track.
My Chinese Library Learn Chinese
l Learn Chinese Recommend: Yes ★★
Mainly for survival Chinese phrase and sentences. Sentences are in English, click to reveal pinyin and the character.
Pinyin chart Recommend: Yes ★★★★
The app gives a pinyin chart with all the possible combinations in Mandarin. For example, if you click fa, 5 choices will show up: fa,fā, fá, fǎ, fà. You can click to hear the difference in tones.
5. Character Writing
l Writer Recommend: Yes ★★★★★
The game is a Chinese Russian block game. Characters are falling from the top. Students need to click on the character and write it in the right stroke order to eliminate the character. When the character appears, the app reads it, and gives an English translation at the top. The best of Writer is you can create your own character list to practice what you have learnt.
l Art Chinese Recommend: Yes ★★★
Art Chinese focuses more on telling the story of each character. It introduces the development of the character alongside the pronunciation, stroke order and word phrases.
l Eudic欧路词典 Recommend: Yes ★★★★
When you type in one character in the Eudic dictionary, it will provide a variety of phrases and sentences. And you can also click to see the translation.
7. Read Aloud
l Little Red Riding Hood Recommend: Yes ★★★★
It tells the story of little red riding hood. You can choose to read along or the let me read mode. In read along, the story stops at each page and lets students repeat. In the let me read mode, students are expected to read the whole story alone. The first story is free, and you have to pay for more stories.
Little Red Riding Hood
l HSK Test Recommend: Yes ★★★
It has three levels: HSK beginner、HSK intermediate、HSK advanced。Every level has 15 multiple choice questions. The questions and choices are all in characters. Students have to answer the questions correctly to move onto the next question. At the end of the app it gives a grade, but unfortunately it doesn’t provide a clear explanation for the grade.
Interactive Chinese Recommend: Yes ★★★★
Interactive Chinese can be used on the iPhone、iPad and even through the PC. The software has 6 levels and 180 lessons in total. Each unit has three parts：lessons, notes, and exercises. In lessons, there are three videos, with Chinese subtitles. In notes, the app provides new sentences, vocabulary and grammar points.
l China Radio Recommend: Yes ★★★★★
Students can listen to 14 Chinese programs, such as Chinamerica Hit Radio, Washington Chinese Radio etc. Students are exposed to authentic Mandarin, and could learn news, popular culture.
l Idioms Recommend: Yes ★★★★
Specifically for learning idioms, very similar to quote of the day. Each idiom has pinyin and English translation, and a brief story.
In conclusion, the Chinese learning apps that are available now mainly focus on practicing student listening skills. Lacking interaction is the major restriction for all language learning apps, but if you use them wisely during your studies, you’ll definitely see the benefits.