read, write and sing Chinese

I recently came across some fabulous Chinese learning tools so I thought I’d share them with you all (noo, I’m not out of blog post ideas…not at all πŸ˜‰

1) DianHua

My colleague introduced me to this awesome (free) app for iPhones and iPod Touch that is not only an English-Chinese dictionary, it also has a built-in flashcard studying tool and (pretty damn difficult) writing test. I know, I know, there are plenty of dictionaries out there but this one’s my fave cuz:

  • when you’re writing Chinese characters into it, you can go as slow as you want instead of having it deciphering your half-written chicken scratches before you were even finished
  • you can search in English, Pinyin, Simplified and Traditional characters
  • you can create different folders to save words that you looked up
  • you can trace characters to learn how to write
  • you can sync everything to dianhuadictionary.com !

There’s also an audio module that can pronounce the words for you, but too bad it’s only in Mandarin.

2) KKBox

I won’t deny it, I’m a huge fan of karaoke. It’s no wonder then that KKBox is one of my favourite apps, ever! Basically, it’s a music streaming app for iPhones, iPod Touch and Android devices, where you can listen to all the latest songs from HK/Taiwan/Japan/Korea/US/Europe for cheap, and the best part is, there’s a ‘karaoke’ function where the lyrics are shown as the song is playing! I swear it’s the fastest way to learn to read.

Yes, I also know there are other lyrics apps out there, but this is really an all-in-one tool for lazy people like me who don’t wanna go and download buy all the latest songs and import them into my iPod. Plus, I never know what songs are good, so KKBox does all the selection for me already, much like a radio, without all the annoying and meaningless banter. Aaannd, every song you stream stays in your cache so you can listen to them offline too.

You can download the app for free and get a 7-day trial, then after that it’s just HK$49/month. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

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