Flashcard sites

Sep 092012
Back to school: iOS dictionaries

Last September, I posted about two free dictionaries that had flashcard functionality (at extra cost): Pleco Chinese Dictionary and trainchinese: Dictionary & Flash cards. In reviewing the state of the iOS Chinese dictionary market, I find that those are still the two that I would recommend to students, so let’s take a closer look at their respective advantages. Both have useful features for learners, such as color-coding by tones and example sentences, but for beginning students, I’d recommend trainchinese over Pleco for a number of reasons: Features that are especially useful to beginners, such as audio and stroke order diagrams, are included at no extra charge. Audio does require an internet connection. English to Chinese search is better. A nifty feature draws your attention to characters with similar shapes to the ones you search for (see image below). App badges remind you to study. It seems easier to use, partly … [read more]

Aug 122011
Study tool: www.hskflashcards.com

Although the HSK Exam (汉语水平考试 / 漢語水平考試) changed in 2010, I still recommend the website www.hskflashcards.com. As the name implies, there is a built-in flashcard feature (not Flash-based!). The functionality is pretty basic: you see hanzi (traditional, simplified, or both) and you think whether you know the pinyin and English meaning. Flip to check if you were right and click 对 or 错 as appropriate. The flashcards are not limited to the old HSK. You can also test yourself on vocabulary from New Practical Chinese Reader, Practical Chinese Reader, or Integrated Chinese (2nd or 3rd ed.) The interface is pretty slick but not immediately intuitive, so here are some tips: Use the sliders to chose the range of words included in the test. While testing, buttons for flipping the card, moving forward and backward, marking correct or incorrect, etc. are hidden until you mouse over them. You can also use the keyboard instead … [read more]