With around 1 billion native speakers, Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken language worldwide. I thought that was quite interesting as for some reason, I always thought Spanish takes the first place. Because of that, I thought how many people are interested in actually learning Chines and more importantly, how many have the time or money. So an interesting idea hit me when I turned on my phone – apps. After a quick google search, I soon realize there’s quite a lot of apps for Chinese. Again, I was surprised. I wanted to write an article, but testing all them out would take too much time. Luckily, a bit further research brought me to a compelling site that organizes and live-updates the current top 10 apps. Somehow, out of all other sites, this one seemed the best to me.
I decided to pick my 3 apps to review from there, so here they are.
Learn Chinese Mandarin Words for flashcard lessons
If you’re a person that likes to use flashcards for learning, you might like this app. I like how there’s no need to spend time preparing your own flashcards as the app does that for you. This way, you can start learning from the get-go. I think the app is definitely focused more on beginners and I absolutely understand why. Flashcard lessons are designed to teach you the most common words, which is great if you’re planning a trip to the most populated country. If you want to take it a step further, you can customize lessons that keep track of words you need help on. Finally, I need to mention I also like how all the features are free, and you aren’t pressured to make in-app purchases! But to make it clear, I don’t think the app can help you get fluent in Chinese, but it’s great for the basics.
Learn Mandarin Chinese Phrases/Chinese Translator for useful phrases
Whether you need to ask for directions to downtown Shangai or are in a restaurant about to order food, you might need help putting phrases together in Chinese. So for all of you how are taking a trip, I decided to include this one. Although it doesn’t have a “catchy name”, it does have the most common words and useful phrases to help you in any situation! You can quickly find the right word if you’re in a restaurant or asking for directions for example. Finally, although I think that’s its main function, you can also practice pronouncing with the recorder that allows you to slow down the playback. Again, it’s not an app for mastering Chinese, but it’s definitely helpful.
HelloChinese for speaking Chinese fluently
Finally, here’s an app that suited both for beginners and more advanced. The app revolves around an entertaining learning system filled with games. Some are silly, but I was surprised to realize they are quite helpful. With many award-winning games and rewards, it is simply easy to stay motivated and they made me feel like a child in a kindergarten. Also, as a little extra, it has weekly podcast episodes which can be very helpful. Overall, it’s a great app for anyone who wants to take their time and bring their Chinese to a higher level. The first two might be more helpful in quick situations, but this one provides a learning experience that’s as close to actual classes as it can be.
So these are my top 3 picks for learning Chinese. You can start building up your vocabulary with the most common words and phrases. And whether you want to speak Chinese fluently or only want to learn a few words to get around Beijing, these great apps for learning Chinese can help you out.