Sunday, March 25, 2012

Learn Chinese on the Ipad and Iphone

Whenever you are learning Chinese, it’s very easy to find distractions, frustrations or to get behind every time that you forget a key vocab word or struggle to speak well.  Thanks to new technology such as ipads and iphones, it’s getting easier and easier to find good tools to make your Mandarin study time more enjoyable and productive.

If you want to learn chinese on ipad iphone then the first thing you should do is to download a few of the best iphone apps or ipad apps for learning Mandarin and figure out which ones you will be the most likely to use over time.  You should probably start with a Chinese-English dictionary and after that, my recommendations depend on when and where you plan on studying.  Realistically, as long as you can find an iphone app that you want to use on your commute or your coffee break, then you’re on the right path. If you have an ipad then it’s a good idea to find one you’ll want to use while sitting on the couch.

Although almost all of these applications can help you to study Chinese on the go, they should not be the only exercises you do for learning and memorizing characters. For that you should definitely try writing characters by hand because it’s a better way to store the images and words in your long term memory.

Because there are so many new technologies for that can help both to teach and to learn Chinese, some classes are taking a approach to teaching characters that only involves character recognition and reading. They skip the important parts of learning radicals and stroke-order required to effectively write them by hand.

I think that is not a wise thing to do.  The brain works in strange ways when it comes to storing memories and it turns out that even the simple movement of your hand can have a positive impact on how memories are stored.  The other issue is that there are many characters that only have very small changes between them.  That means that it can be quite difficult to tell them apart because you only memorized how they look overall or always had suggested words by typing pinyin on your phone.  This kind of approach ultimately becomes quite difficult to use in real daily life.

In conclusion, you should always take a chance on trying new technologies when you’re looking to improve your language skills.  However, at the same time, you should also be aware that certain things like movement can have a big impact on how your brain stores memories. Doing hand motions, walking around while talking or just writing by hand can all help learn new words faster.

Chinese music videos

Finding Chinese music videos that you like is a great way to practice listening and speaking Mandarin.

Here's a fun song by Dawen - Chinese cover of Radiohead's Creep.