How to Learn Chinese on Your iPad or iPhone
China is becoming increasingly important in today's world, and more people than ever before are learning Mandarin Chinese. Whether it's because of personal or professional reasons, no one can doubt it's an interesting language to learn. It's also, unfortunately, one of the most difficult for native English speakers. With a complex writing system and challenging pronunciation, it's very different from any language that people in the West are familiar with.
Luckily because of its popularity and importance there are a lot of tools out there to make things easier for you. As someone who's recently begun learning Chinese, I'd like to share some of the iOS apps that have made things much easier for me.
In this article I'll be covering <>Stickystudy<>, a paid app (4.99 USD) which is an excellent app for learning hanzi (Chinese characters). It's basically a flashcard program and learning tool for hanzi, without much else. Technically, it's focused on the HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, a Chinese proficiency exam), but even if you're a beginner you can use it with ease. I've tried other flashcard programs and others don't come close to the amount of information and ease of use of this program.
What's great is that all of the hanzi are listed in different difficulty levels, so it's very well organized and easy to jump to the characters that you're not quite familiar with yet. On top of that, the best feature is that virtually every card comes with an audio file for listening to the pronunciation. Considering that the tones in Mandarin Chinese are often the most difficult part for Western learners, this feature is indisensable.
Users can also easily track their progress in learning hanzi - before starting each deck, you're given a quick visual representation of which cards will need the most work. Cards are placed into different colored lists in each deck to give you an idea of your progress. You can also customize your experience a lot with the different settings - you can switch from simplified to traditional characters, for example, and change just how much information each flashcard shows before flipping it.
Despite being aimed toward those studying for the HSK, StickyStudy is actually one of the best beginner's apps for Mandarin Chinese around. Use this in combination with other beginner's resources and your Chinese studies will go much smoother.
Amazon Price: $29.95 $17.63 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 9, 2013)