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maggieh

App for writing characters

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maggieh

Hi there

 

Any recommendation for a free app to use for learning to write simple Chinese characters?

 

I love Skritter but it's a paid app. I'm doing teaching practice in a secondary school  and I can't ask my students to pay for anything. 

 

The students are at a pretty basic level.  Chinese Made Easy types textbook.   Ideally it would be an app that I could load my choice of characters onto, rather than them working through random lists. 

 

I like quizlet on the computer but the phone app gives away too much information, defeats the purpose. 

 

Suggestions anyone?

 

Thanks!

 

 

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querido

Wouldn't you consider the traditional paper handouts to fill in?

 

Edit: You could create them with Hanzi Grids. One more thing that would be nice is stroke order info which is available if you're interested.

Edit: I answered this way because, no, I can't think of anything that can do what Skritter can do, like a) enforce correct stroke order, b) require that every stroke be input before showing the result, c) not be too frustrating to use *and* is also free. Also, does every student have a handwriting capable touchscreen device? A lot of people here believe in hands-on, so paper is not so bad. :-)

 

Couldn't you ask Skritter for a classroom rate, so that only you would have to pay some reasonable amount? This has probably been discussed on their forum. They'd still need the Skritter-capable devices though. 

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Shelley

Have to agree with querido, never found anything that compares to Skritter.

 

The idea of using Hanzi Grids is a good idea, there is nothing like actually putting pen to paper to really learn how to write.

 

If you were prepared to fore go inputting your own list a great little app that is available for android and iOS is Hello Chinese- Learn Chinese. It has skritter style but not the same character writing section.

 

I wrote a little review in my blog here http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/blog/108/entry-605-my-learning-materials-and-resources/

 

There is also a topic here on the forum about it.http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/49944-hellochinese-%E2%80%93-new-chinese-mandarin-learning-app-learn-chinese-speak-chinese/

 

Also have a look at their website http://www.hellochinese.cc/

 

It is free, ad free and no in app purchases.

 

Hope this helps

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Michael H

While it's not free, for a one-time cost of about $20 (if you have a suitable device) you can get Pleco with the handwriting recognition add-on. You can then use Pleco flashcards where it asks you to input a character via handwriting recognition. This won't correct your strokes, but at least it will ask you to write a character well enough to be recognized. This is the best alternative to Skritter that I am aware of. And of course writing on paper the old fashioned way can be very valuable.

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maggieh

Hi folks

 

Thanks for these suggestions.  Yes, I'm a great believer in handwriting too and will certainly be using Hanzi Grids or Arch Chinese.   But these young teens do like their phones, so I was looking for 'something else' to supplement and have fun with.

I've downloaded the Hello Chinese App , that looks promising so I will have a play around with it.

 

I think if I do eventually get a 'proper' job, I will certainly talk to Skritter and see if there is a way of getting the school to use it, but as a student teacher, I doubt I can ask the school to fork out for anything, no matter how marvellous. 

 

谢谢大家!

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Shelley

I thought Arch chinese was a paid app, I looked at it a while ago and to get full usefulness there was a subscription charge, has this changed?

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maggieh

Hi Shelley

 

Yes, it has some paid functions - which I paid up for in order to try it out.    But that's fine - it's a one-off fee for me.  

 

The writing app is a different thing.  I want each child to be able to use it.  But I can't ask students in a secondary to purchase anything. 

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Shelley

Oh I see, thanks for the info. It seems you can do some things on Arch without paying. As I only study chinese for pleasure, I can't justify spending too much money on things.

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Luxi

Have you tried Chinese Writer Free by Trainchinese? It has an Android and an IOS version. The free app comes with a limited number of characters but I think these are over 100 and include most of the HSK1 set (or used to be), enough to keep your students entertained for a while. It's in a game form, I'm sure it'll be popular for beginners

 

http://www.trainchinese.com/v1/a_all/writer.php

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/trainchinese-chinese-writer/id422248993?mt=8

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.molatra.chinesewriterlite

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Shelley

I tried train chinese, its ok, I think the kids might like the dropping game, I found it a bit distracting. the free version only lets you choose 50 characters a month I think, best check out the website for details.

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maggieh

Hi Luxi and shelley

 

Yes, I did try Train Chinese, however, so far as I could see - it was just a random stream of characters that kept coming. 

 

Ideally I want to be able to put my own characters in:   "This weeks homework is learn  xxxx characters"  - from my list of whatever topic we are doing.

 

I'm not sure that random selections of Characters works for a younger age group.   

 

Sorry to be so picky.   I guess I just know what I want  (quizlet - but better.  Skritter , but free) - and can't find it...

 

m

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