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Friday, March 09, 2012

Learning Chinese App for Android and iPhone

I am constantly on the lookout for ways to help my kids and myself learn Chinese Mandarin. I was searching the Android Market which is now called Google Play incidentally and was very pleased to find this Learning Chinese App. It helps me and my kids learn and practise our Mandarin through the use of a dictionary and flashcards.

How I find it useful:

My son and daughter have weekly "ting xie" (Chinese Writing/Spelling) in school. They also learn new words and terms frequently. Sometimes they have to learn to make sentences using the new Chinese Words and Phrases that they learned. I get very frustrated whenever my son comes to me and asks me to help him construct a sentence using a two worded Chinese Phrase because I don't know how. This TrainChinese app (that's the name for the app by the way) includes a dictionary that gives a couple of useful sentence examples. We  can use those to help us think of sentences to write. The Chinese dictionary can be used offline as well which is great because I don't always have wifi.

What I like best is the flashcards. I can have a 20 word list (either taken randomly or by choice) from the trainchinese site or I can make my own list. I can make my own list using the words that the kids learn in their Chinese Writing lessons. Then we can train in 4 ways.
  1. Reading - Look at Chinese Characters, Phrase or Simple Sentence, then read it. Turn the flashcard around by tapping and the pinyin and meaning in English will be revealed or tap the speaker to check your pronunciation
  2. Writing - Listen to the audio and look at the pinyin of given words. Then use your fingers to write out the Chinese Character. Turn the flashcard around and you can check your writing against the actual, then play the animation to see how the word should be written step by step. What my kids love about this step is the animation of the Chinese Character Stroke is played beside their own Chinese writing  which has been animated too so they can check their own stroke order against the actual Chinese Stroke Order. It's really cool to learn Chinese this way.
  3. Translation - Translate a given English word, phrase or Sentence to Chinese. Turn the flashcard around by tapping and see the pinyin and English translation
  4. Listening - Listen to an audio of a Chinese word or phrase, then give its meaning. The flashcard will be blank as you listen. Turn the flashcard around and the Chinese Characters, pinyin and meaning will be revealed.
You have to mark your own answers and set your own passing conditions.

You can test out this application as its free to download. At the moment I am using it to make lists from my the new words my son learns at school. Then he can practise it anytime in this cool manner. At the moment we can make 25 free flashcards a week, which will go down to 15 then 10 per week for free users. However you can buy subscription time (3 months to lifetime) and/or flashcard lists (from 1000 cards to unlimited number). Prices range start from $15.99 onwards.

This application can be used on any desktop with Windows, Mac or Linus, on iPhone, iPod or iPad and on Android. It includes audio and stroke animation.

I think this Chinese Flashcards app is a wonderful application for anyone learning Chinese as well as for parents like me who do not know Chinese but needs to give assistance to their child who is learning Chinese.


  1. I hope there are apps to learn other languages as well :D

  2. Hi,

    My name is Ten Ten. I am a native Chinese speaker.
    I like to communicate with people from different countries,
    So I teach and learn languages.

    I have a blog teaching Chinese.
    If you are interested in Mandarin Chinese, you may come to my blog: TenTen's Everyday Mandarin
    It offers free learning resources

    Welcome to add me into your FB friend list~
    If you have any questions on Chinese, we can discuss on my FB wall.

    If you wanna do language exchange~
    you can teach me English (speaking & listening)~

    Nice to meet you

    Ten Ten Len


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