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Learn Chinese in China

Apps helping Chinese native speakers with their English may boost your Chinese

Enjune Zhang



Apps helping Chinese native speakers with their English may boost your Chinese 


Apps available for Chinese native speakers to learn English see a rapid boom these years, and most of them focus on providing video and audio materials and offering related practice aiming at the improvement on listening comprehension and spoken fluency. Materials for language learners are common, so if they could be applied to learn English by Chinese native speakers, they are applicable for non Chinese native speakers to learn Chinese. Both types of learners are doing the same thing actually, finding the connection between Chinese and English and figuring out a better way for them to sound native when applying a foreign language. Expecting pronunciation of Chinese and a function testing whether we have pronounced Chinese in a correct way from these apps is not realistic, however, if we have some other ways to fill the gap mentioned above, things will be different. And it's like developing a special version upgraded based on the particular need of foreign learners. To make this happen, we would build a connection between English learning app and translation app.

Two things important determining the outcome and experience will be the learning materials available, whether they are closely connected to daily life, and the level of translator, a translator making standard Mandarin pronunciation possible and offering a system telling you whether you are doing good in pronouncing Mandarin. A combination of the apps listed below would be practical and worth a try.

1 可可英语
An app with both audio and video materials for Chinese students to learn English, resources available concerning TED speech, foreign news, BBC documentary, American & British TV series, etc.

2 有道翻译官
An app available for text and voice translation, powered by Youdao group, catering for Chinese travelling abroad or talking with foreigners

3 一点英语
An app providing short English videos in various topics in multiple fields with Chinese and English titles

Details for downloading of the apps and the operating guidance of each app are shown in the PDF attached. 
Here are the basic steps concerned, and see if it could open up another channel for you to immerse in Chinese.
a. Find a certain bilingual audio/ video in可可英语 or一点英语.

b. Find how the wordings in Chinese match with the English text.

c. Copy the Chinese text to get it pronounced by有道翻译官 (for text in 可可英语,search it in Chinese search engine if direct copy from the app is not working).

d. Learn how it is pronounced and polish your own pronunciation, then input the same characters in short sentence with your voice. Your pronunciation need to be correct and standard for the system to get you the right character. This may be the objective reflection compared with a mere score given by the system.

e. Take the test provided by the system checking if you can choose the corresponding meaning of a certain word given in Chinese or English.




English learning app may help you with your Chinese if you want it -by enjune.pdf



Recommended Comments

Thanks! I downloaded 可可英语 and listened to a couple of the "sixty-second science" presentations while reading the text in Chinese. It's a good learning exercise. Had to stop and start a lot because the presenter's speaking speed is faster than my Chinese reading speed. I also looked up a few unfamiliar words in a dictionary. Did that the second time through. The app worked well and was easy to operate. Required registration, but I was able to link it to my Wechat. 


Have already been using 有道翻译官 for most of a year -- introduced by a local Chinese friend. Easy to use and accurate. Used it for "text to speech." 

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