Chinese is simple! Okay…it’s not really.
Sometimes Chinese can be a nightmare. But you have a whole summer ahead of you, why not try to catch up a little on your mandarin language skills? Here are six useful online tools to get your Chinese from mamahuhu to chaojiwudi:
ChinesePod (depicted in the article's title image)
Chinesepod has Chinese lessons that work. Chinesepod's podcasts consists of a short sketch which the two hosts disect – explaining the new vocabulary and cultural concepts in depth. The sketches are fun, quirky and you're bound to relate if you live in China. A personal favorite is an episode called the "DVD Ploy", a lesson all about netflix-and-chilling China-style. Levels range from beginninger to advanced and members get a free trial for a month after they subscribe. After that, classes cost RMB90 per month and RMB195 per month for Premium. It sucks that it's not free, but if you're dedicated to learning Chinese, Chinesepod is worth the price tag.
The Chinese-English dictionary you have always dreamed of, simple and thorough. Sign up to create folders which you can share with other Line Dictionary members. You can also search for folders that other members have made, including a bunch of HSK vocabulary folders. The website also has a nifty app which makes looking up words and phrases even more convenient.
The HSK Pro App
How about prepping for the mandarin proficiency HSK tests this summer? Because you can never have too many certificates. The HSK Pro app is a handy app geared specifically towards each HSK level. HSK Level 2 Pro is an app for level 2, HSK Level 3 Pro if for level three, etc. The app allows you to memorize terms, test yourself with creative quizzes, practice stroke-order, or play educational board games. You can find it, for free, on amazon.com
No, this is not a Chinese language app. But Quizlet is an amazing flaschard-making site loved by students all around the globe. Flashcards are a great way to study Chinese and quizlet also lets you play silly, educational games that will drill the Chinese phrases into your head forever. You can also create classes and share flashcards with friends. If you fall head over heels in love with Quizlet (like we did), download the app so that your beloved Chinese vocab is always close at hand.
You have a lot of time this summer to take things nice and slow. So this podcast – Slow Chinese – is perfect. The podcasts are pretty straight forward, a host reads a short article and under the podcast the article is written out. The podcasts are read out slow and stead – hence the title – at three characters per second. The topics of each podcast range from Taiwanese pop-star Jay Chou to the Beijing smog. Levels are from upper intimediate to advanced.
Okay, so the interface of this website isn't that beautiful, we agree. However, the site does have a bunch of useful tools. There is a pinyin editor if your computer suddenly loses its ability to type in Chinese. It also has an idiom dictionary, a tool that gives you the pinyin for unknown characters, and a simiplified-traditional/traditional-simplified dictionary. The website also has some simple lessons for beginners to Chinese which gives you the lowdown on Chinese grammer and pronounciation.
So what are you waiting for? Find a nice rooftop cafe with Wifi and get studying! You have all summer, for god's sake.
Cover photo is from the chinesepod.com website.
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