Posted by Hollie at WrittenChinese.Com
Games are often one of the best ways to learn a new language, even for the most serious of students. There are lots of apps on the market for Chinese learning, but I’ve chosen our 5 favourite Chinese learning games that can help you and your family learn Mandarin Chinese.
1. Chinese Writer by trainchinese
Chinese Writer is a fast paced, writing game aimed at students wanting to learn to write Chinese Characters. This app is great for learning stroke patterns, because it is based on repetition. The game begins slowly, dropping characters to trace quickly. The characters soon drop much faster and this is when it gets much more difficult to complete a character within the time limit. The database of characters is pretty immense, however the meaning of each character is a little lost due to the fastness of the game. You can freeze the more difficult characters to spend more time on learning the strokes. The app also highlights the most difficult characters for the player to review later.
2. WCC Zoo
Mandarin is a growing language, and it’s well known that languages are much easier to learn at a young age (I was an English teacher and the speed at which some kids learn is amazing!). So, teach your kids a few Chinese words with WCC Zoo!
WCC Zoo is targeted at children and is a fun and incredibly cute way for your little ones to learn some animal words in Chinese. The colourful images and animal sounds are a lovely aid to the touch-and-listen pictures. There are four areas of animals; farm, wild, birds and water each with unique illustrations and vocabulary shown in English, pinyin and Chinese characters (both simplified and traditional). Although this app is obviously aimed at kids, there’s nothing stopping a beginner using this app to learn some animals.
3. Fun Chinese by Studycat
Fun Chinese is a brand of language games with a funny little egg-shaped character appearing in all the apps. I’ve also used the Fun English version of the game back in my days of teaching as a treat for the kids and they always enjoyed the ‘palette’ game.
Studycat produce simple games aimed at children, and for beginners their language apps are also fun and useful. You can choose from different topics including colours, animals and numbers to learn basic vocabulary. The ‘palette’ game is an amusing painting game in which you need to listen and make the object a certain colour. There is a review at the end of each topic to test your knowledge.
4. Learn Chinese by MindSnacks
Like Studycat, Mindsnacks have a collection of language learning apps. The app first tries to work out your Mandarin level, and then gives you a beginning topic to learn. After you’ve learned the vocabulary you can take a test from the selection of games (disguised as comical characters) on the dash board. After you’ve completed) the level you’re given a progress breakdown as to how well you recognised each word or phrase. You can switch from pinyin to characters and vice versa. After each game you receive a ‘quest’ to earn more points. It can take some time to ‘Master’ a topic and it can get a little repetitive after a while, because some characters appear a lot more than others. Each game helps focus on certain ‘skills’ which is recorded, so you can see your progress.
We may be biased, but the Written Chinese Team have really enjoyed playing this game in the office (I always get thrashed by Nora…).
The Chinese Match Game is a fun educational game with different difficulty levels and topic options. You can match between 10 and 40 flashcards depending on your level. If you’re not read to learn Characters, don’t panic! There are 3 different learning modes; English with Chinese Characters; Pinyin, English and Chinese characters and also Pinyin and Chinese characters. The aim is to quickly match a Chinese character with its corresponding English (or pinyin) flashcard. You can share you scores on Facebook and if you play on a tablet, you can play in battle mode! If you and your friend are at different levels, you can even change the difficulty for each player! There are 6 FREE topics to start with, but as there are over 40 flashcards to play with and a score to beat, there’s hours of game play to be had!
You can find out more about the Chinese Match game here!
Try out these 5 Chinese Learning Game apps and let us know what you think!