Sep 252011
iOS app HanCard updated

The flashcard app, HanCard, has been updated to offer pre-made card sets for popular textbooks, such as Integrated Chinese and New Practical Chinese Reader, as well as for the HSK exam. These sets are available as in-app purchases at various prices. The first chapter of each textbook is available for free. You can also test the functionality of the app with the included free card sets (most frequent characters and Hong Kong grade levels).

Sep 042011

The last couple of posts have been for the absolute beginners, especially the students that I know are using the textbook Integrated Chinese published by Cheng & Tsui, so I thought I would do a post highlighting ready-made resources for that textbook series. If you know of others, please leave a comment. The website yellowbridge.com has online flashcards and a memory game for the third edition. In addition to the flashcards and memory game, for the first/second editions, there are also Word docs of the texts, with audio (the one that I checked opened in Pages for the Mac just fine; once saved as a Pages file, the audio worked in Pages for iOS too). I discussed the website hskflashcards.com in an earlier post, but I wanted to highlight the fact that in addition to the online flashcard tool, the site has a downloads section where you can find files in … [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]

Jul 172011
iOS app: iFCL

This is a basic flip-and-grade-yourself flashcard app. The lite version, which I tested, comes loaded with cards for all 14 chapters of volume one of the textbook series “New Practical Chinese Reader.” You can put anything (choice of traditional characters, simplified characters, pinyin, and English) on each side, but there are only two sides. Pros: Flipping to the “answer” side shows all the info for the card, no matter what two things you put on each side (but the print size makes the characters extremely hard to read). Choose any combination of chapters within the volume (I’m not sure if the full version allows you to select chapters across volumes). Cons: No way to customize font sizes. Only two card sides. Swiping motion to flip and grade is more tiring than tapping would be. Kitschy pink, lined card design on woodgrain background. For features to look for in flashcard apps … [read more]

Jul 102011
iOS app: Chinese Vocabulary Quiz 123

UPDATE: The full version of this app is now free. The developer has ceased work on it. Grab it while you can; it’s still a good app (although there is a small glitch in the animation) and works on an iPhone 4S running iOS 5. Chinese Vocabulary Quiz 123 is a multiple choice quiz, but for each word there are several multiple choice “questions”: you have to select the correct pinyin, draw the correct tone mark (repeating these steps for the other syllables of multi-syllable words), and finally choose the correct meaning. There is also a simple study mode where you can see a page for each word with all the info for it at once. It was not clear to me at first what the checkmarks and x’s are in this mode, but it seems the app keeps track of how many times you get each word right or … [read more]