Jun 102012
iOS app: StickyStudy: Chinese

StickyStudy: Chinese (HSK/TOP/TOCFL Hanzi Study Flashcards) is an iOS flashcard app that uses a Leitner system with five steps to card mastery. One card side is presented and you indicate whether you got the word correct or not. If you do, the card moves to the next step/Leitner box, and so on until the card is considered mastered. For each card you can also move it immediately to the “mastered” box. Studying When studying you can choose to see any combination of hanzi, pinyin, and English on the “question/front” and “answer/back”. So you can configure it to show just hanzi on the front (to test recognition) or to show pinyin and/or English on the front (to test your ability to recall words and write characters). You can also choose to have audio play automatically or when you tap a button  (seems to work only when you have hanzi visible on the card) . … [read more]

Mar 222012
iOS app: CS Zika

CS Zika is another iOS app from Clavis Sinica (see also the review of CS Xiezi). This one is a multiple-choice-format vocabulary tester that supports simplified or traditional characters. You can choose one of three largish sets of vocabulary: most common 300 characters, next most common 500 characters, and the 178 radicals. There are also fifteen 25-word lists of themed vocabulary available, such as countries, food, business terms, and academic subjects. How the test works: You are prompted with a character (or word) and first try to choose the correct pinyin. If you get the pinyin right, you then try to choose the correct definition. If you get the pinyin wrong, you are shown both the pinyin and the English, along with a list of words that include the character in question. The feedback is very like that of CS Xiezi (see that review for an image). At the end … [read more]

Mar 162012
Get your daily Chinese word by Twitter, e-mail, RSS, etc.

If you like the idea of trying to build your vocabulary by a word per day, there are a number of ways that you can get your fix. Previous posts covered word-of-the-day websites and iOS apps, but here are some services that will bring a word (or sentence) to you everyday via Twitter, e-mail, RSS, or your Google or Yahoo homepages. Follow on Twitter: @chineseclass101 @chineselanguage @chinesesentence @dailyzhongwen @nciku Facebook apps: Chinese Audio Word of the Day Multilingual Made Easy RSS, e-mail, and more: chinesecharacteraday.com — Dr. Adeline Mah offers a word a day by e-mail. Chinese Class 101 — In addition to the Twitter feed, subscribe by e-mail or add to iGoogle. chinese-course.com — Offers a selection of RSS feeds at various levels, and for both words and sentences. These can also be added to your iGoogle or My Yahoo page. Learn Chinese Everyday — Subscribe via RSS or e-mail … [read more]

Dec 172011
Free iOS game: TileSpeak Mahjong

TileSpeak Mahjong is a solitaire-style mahjong game with a significant educational slant. Each tile displays a character and pinyin; when you select a tile, you hear the pronunciation of that character, hence the name. You can choose simplified or traditional characters with Mandarin or Cantonese pronunciation, respectively (see the first “con” below). Educational value is boosted by a display of pinyin, a basic English translation, and part of speech given at the top of the screen as each tile is selected color-coding of characters according to their tone a choice of fourteen levels which seem to correspond roughly to character frequency. Nice touches: attractive backgrounds pleasant music completed games are rewarded with a Chinese proverb (in English; it would be nice to have the Chinese too.) buttons to reshuffle tiles and undo last move. Cons: The Mandarin and Cantonese are pronounced by the same speaker, who seems to bring something … [read more]

Oct 062011

昨天晚上一个好朋友寄给我短信写着:”苹果贾伯斯过世了.” “Apple’s Jobs has passed away.” Apple products and apps for them are frequent topics on this site. In fact, I’ve never owned a non-Apple computer or smartphone. 史提夫・贾伯斯,谢谢。祝你安息。 Shǐtífū·Jiǎbósī (or 史蒂夫・乔布斯 Shǐdìfū·Qiáobùsī)