3 Great Apps For Learning Mandarin Chinese
Since you are reading our blog post, we assume you are no stranger to technology and gadgets manufactured in China – and thus, perhaps, China itself.
These days it’s hard to avoid hearing, watching and talking about China – at least when it comes to technology, business and economy. As the country is growing stronger, so is the language. Having already conquered the title of the most spoken language in the world – Chinese is slowly but surely making its way into international business meetings, conferences and exhibitions. Picking up a few words in the language or even mastering it more profoundly could open new doors and opportunities and let you catch a glimpse of this old and mysterious culture.
Here are a few Android apps for learning Chinese that can get you started.
Pleco is somewhat of a mix between a learning aid and an on-the-go translator – and when learning Chinese you would definitely need both. The application gives lots of due attention to one of the most complex aspects of the language – the writing. One of the best featured Pleco boasts is Optical Character Recognizer, which, as you may have guessed, lets you understand unfamiliar characters that you come across. Just snap a picture of the character and the app will bring up the explanation. And with so many characters to memorize – you should really take any chance you get. Unfortunately, Optical Recognizer is not included in the free version on the app and comes as an add-on. But, truth be told, there are lots of add-ons to choose from (Flashcards, Stroke Diagram for Character Writing and more) and you can expand step by step depending on where you are in the language learning process.
Learn Chinese Mandarin Phrases
Starting to learn a new language from scratch is tough – especially, if the language is as complex and different from what you are used to as Chinese. If you feel like there is too much unknown ahead – start with something simple to get the feel of the language. Learn Chinese Mandarin Phrases (true to its name) contains over 800 typical everyday phrases in the language that will help you get around, should you ever travel to China. Learning phrases is actually one of the most effective ways to get past the initial hardships and get yourself speaking. In a language like Chinese, you will never be able to make sense by learning separate words – so this approach is a great choice for this particular purpose. The application comes with a simple and colourful interface and a parrot mascot, that will help you read out the phrases, as well as check your own pronunciation.
Learning with PPTV is by far the closest thing you can do to actually being in China. You have probably heard about immersion learning. The idea is that you have to be completely surrounded by the language – not only in the classroom, but also everyday life. Well, PPTV will give you that. The application is basically a programme for streaming all sorts of Chinese TV programs – from recent movie releases to series and soap operas. PPTV is totally free and you will feel truly immersed after your 10th episode of the soap opera about Qing Dynasty. Yes, watching TV in Chinese is not for the faint of heart and you will probably be lost for the first few weeks. But if you don’t give up, keep watching and listening and getting immersed, pretty soon the unfamiliar sounds and words will not be quite so unfamiliar. And in addition to the language itself, you will get a profound knowledge of Chinese history and modern days.