Apr 132011
iOS game: ICQuiz

ICQuiz is a matching quiz with several variations (actually called “Games” in app). Vocabulary is divided into six levels; it is unclear what the basis for those is (蝨 / 虱 shī ‘louse’ is level 2?!) and there is no way to see a list of the words in each level. In one variant, you match six English definitions with the appropriate characters (either traditional or simplified) by dragging the characters. You can change your mind as often as you want. You tap a check icon to learn which you got right. If you missed any, you can re-arrange and then check again. Other variants can test you on matching either pinyin or zhuyin with characters (your choice of traditional or simplified). There are a couple of ways to play the match-character-with-transliteration variants. I say “play” because one way works essentially like a timed game of “Concentration” (aka “Memory”): there is a grid of face-down “cards” and … [read more]

Apr 082011
Hmart flyers

If you’re the kind of person who tries to see how much you can read on Chinese restaurant menus and fortune cookie inserts, you might enjoy checking out the flyers from Hmart, the Asian grocery store chain. Friends gave me one they got in the mail, but you can also find them at the Hmart website. Easy way to gradually build your vocabulary of foodstuffs. Traditional characters only.

 Posted by at 8:12 pm
Apr 032011
iPad game: RollingZilla

Since I find the online version of RollingZilla (see my review in this blog post) quite addictive, I was happy that I could finally get the iPad version working after the 4.3 update came along. Gameplay on the iPad is somewhat different. There are two modes, one of which is very like the web-based RollingZilla (again, see the earlier review); the other is a multiple choice variant.  The multiple choice variant is a good innovation given that one of my comments about the web game was one’s score was too dependent on typing speed. On the iPad, where most people cannot type as fast as on a full-sized physical keyboard, slow typing has an even greater effect. Another significant difference between this and the web version is that each word that appears in the little Zilla’s thought bubbles is also printed larger in a box at the bottom center of … [read more]

Mar 072011
iOS game: Language LianLianKan

Language LianLianKan is a matching game. You pick two languages (presumably one you know and one you’re learning). When the game starts, two blocks fall from the top of the screen, each with a word in one of the languages. The idea is to click the corresponding words in each language (‘flower’ and 花, for example). The odd thing is, the pairs of falling blocks are already matched up. So ‘flower’ and 花 fall at the same time. And so on. All you have to do is click each pair as they fall. You can do it without knowing what either word means. The game is harder if you deliberately wait and wait until the blocks pile up some, but that takes a while. Even when I accidentally clicked an intrusive iAd and had to close it to get back to the game, only two pairs had piled up. And if you wait too long, … [read more]

Mar 042011

The website translationzilla.com helps you learn foreign language vocabulary (the Romance languages, CJK [Simplified Chinese only at this point], German, Russian, Hindi, and Arabic, plus English) with a Flash-based typing game. I find it rather addictive (after each game I always think I can do a bit better on the next and so keep playing). There are two variations on the game, RollingZilla and PowerTranslator. In RollingZilla, little Zillas (I assume they are called that; they are round cartoon creatures) with words written on them drop from the top of the game screen and you have to type the translation before the Zilla reaches the bottom of the screen. As the game gets going, multiple Zillas may be onscreen at the same time; you can type in the translations in any order and let ones you don’t know go by (which count as wrong, but don’t take up time). You … [read more]