Jul 062012
iOS app: trainchinese Dictionary and Flashcards

Following up on the last post about Skritter, we’ll be looking at another sophisticated flashcard app specifically developed for Chinese, trainchinese: Dictionary & Flash cards. The free app allows use of the dictionary and a free account allows flashcard use for a very small number of new words per week, but this is enough to decide whether you want to upgrade to a paid account. With either a paid or free account, you can also practice your flashcards on the trainchinese website. Study modes The app uses a spaced repetition system to test you less often on words that you know better. There are two basic methods of testing: “honesty” and multiple choice. “Honesty” is the familiar flashcard method where you are responsible for indicating whether or not you knew the correct answer. Multiple choice is self-explanatory. In both modes you can get a hint without penalty. For each method, … [read more]

Sep 052011

This post continues the series of posts for people just beginning to study Chinese this academic year, focusing on free, lite, or low-cost iOS apps. Frankly, if you’re taking a introductory class, you probably do not need a dictionary just yet, but a good dictionary for beginners should include examples of how words are actually used. Stroke order diagrams and audio are also useful at the early stages of study. Another desirable feature is the ability to save word lists, so you can review later (preferably with the ability to export the list as a text file so that you can use it in other flashcard apps or sites). Some dictionaries have built-in flashcard functionality for this. So while there are lots of free dictionaries for iOS, this list will highlight ones with some of those features. For more info, please see the page on iOS dictionaries. First of all, … [read more]

Jul 172011

HeDictionary seems geared more toward Chinese-speaking learners of English (e.g. includes audio and printed pronunciation of English words and things to help with GRE preparation). The Chinese dictionaries are Wiktionary, Google, and Dict.CN, rather than CC-CEDICT.