In a community where half the population is native Chinese speakers, and the other half come from anywhere, we all need a little help understanding each other from time to time. So whether you’re just starting to learn Mandarin, or ready to impress your new classmates with your language ability, our roundup of the top five Chinese language apps has got you covered and will have you saying xiǎo cài yì dié 小菜一碟 in no time.
That’s “a piece of cake” in Mandarin, in case you were wondering.
This Chinese language app is like flashcards, but makes them more dynamic. Anki’s platform allows you to utilize definitions, images, or questions to create interactive flashcards that help you learn a new language. The application can also be used to create flashcards for any subject, but it’s particularly helpful for foreign language.
This app’s offline dictionary allows you to look up words using your phone’s camera, by drawing them on your screen, or searching them in the app’s dictionary. With Pleco, you can look up words within a document by tapping on them and, if you’ve got an android phone, you can even utilize the screen reader function.
Interested in living your karaoke fantasy? This Chinese language app curates the web’s best Chinese video content for Chinese language learners. Whether you’re interested in Chinese music videos, movie trailers, or commercials, FluentU has the pop culture references that allow you to get the practice you’re looking for in a colloquial way.
Want to practice writing your Chinese characters? Skritter is the app for you. This platform allows you to write Chinese characters directly on your phone screen and helps you perfect each brush stroke.
5. Google Translate
Looking for an app to help you communicate on the fly? Google Translate is a great option when trying to talk in real time with others. It’ll also help you while working on assignments, if you’re looking for a second opinion.