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Read Chinese, Learn Mandarin – daily easy Chinese news

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An essential app for anyone dedicated to learning Mandarin.  Develop your language skills and learn about Chinese culture through popular news articles written in Chinese characters with supporting translations.

Teacher Review

This app is essential for those with a general interest in China, who want to learn about the culture through popular news, whilst developing their language skills at the same time.
 
Upon opening the app, users are directed to the newest articles available and encouraged to sign in.  There is the option to skip sign in (with limited functionality), however, in order to really benefit from the extremely powerful learning tools available within the app, an account is needed.  This allows the app to really support and direct the whole learning experience.  Articles are searchable based on the newest or the most popular, but most importantly to learners of Chinese, articles can be sorted based on their reading ability using the HSK (HanYu ShuiPing KaoShi) levelling system: the most common form of levelling for non-native Chinese speakers.
 
Articles are written and translated by the community that has evolved around Decipher Chinese and there is the option to thank authors and/or mark articles as favourites.  Article are written in Chinese characters, with the option to view in simplified or traditional characters.  PinYin (the Romanised version of Chinese characters that is used to show pronunciation) can be displayed, either as a permanent fixture when clicked or with the option to fade after a few seconds.  Subtle features like this really add value to the app – they are features that learners of a language, particularly Chinese, have used throughout history and have proved to be effective learning tools.  For example, when an unknown character is seen, it is extremely difficult to know the pronunciation, therefore the ability to permanently display PinYin above the word is extremely beneficial.  Similarly, when a character has been forgotten by the user, a gentle reminder is all that is needed before the PinYin fades after a few seconds.  Additionally, characters can be highlighted according the HSK level they fall under, allowing the user to focus on words they should know at their level.  Further, once a character is clicked, as well as the pinyin display, there is also the option to hear the word spoken, which is extremely useful for beginner learners who can read pinyin but need practice for their pronunciation.  There is also the option to add characters to a word list which is stored in the apps database.  This can then be accessed, practiced, exported, etc.  Again, in terms of learning techniques, these features are all exceptionally powerful.  The audio is also available in sentence format as well as individual words, supporting the listening skills alongside the written content.
 
In addition to the learning associated with each article, there is also a community that has grown around Decipher Chinese: articles can be commented on; shared on a variety of platforms; favorited; authors thanked; similar articles viewed and searched; etc.  Then in terms of the learning functionality, users can view their vocabulary lists, reviewing, listening, deleting, exporting to different platforms, etc.  Again, all powerful learning tools.  It should be noted however that users really need to dedicate some time to exploring the app in full depth since there are many features that users will only discover when using the app in greater details.  
 
Overall, this app cannot be rated highly enough – an essential app for anyone truly dedicated to learning Chinese!  Well worthy of its 5* rating.

Screenshots

  • Read Chinese, Learn Mandarin – daily easy Chinese news-1Read Chinese, Learn Mandarin – daily easy Chinese news-2Read Chinese, Learn Mandarin – daily easy Chinese news-3Read Chinese, Learn Mandarin – daily easy Chinese news-4Read Chinese, Learn Mandarin – daily easy Chinese news-5

From the Developer

Be inspired to improve your Mandarin Chinese by reading a fresh bite-sized news article every day. Be efficient and effective.

Get free daily articles written by experienced teachers specifically for beginners and intermediates. Articles are graded by HSK level and come with tools – instant dictionary, pinyin, vocab guide and Chinese audio. Practice reading, listening and choose your own vocabulary to memorize and study 5 words a day for a guided personal journey – no more flashcard drills.

Refresh your reading skills, supplement your lessons or for fun. A bite-sized dose everyday is efficient and effective.

Testimonials

  1. "Perfect for beginners, I love the sheer variety of articles available" - Sophia
  2. "Simply the best method for reading acquisition, I have downloaded many apps to learn Chinese, this is one app which I will keep" - Damir
  3. "I find myself reading Mandarin for pleasure for the first time" - Dominic
  4. "I've always been intimidated and discouraged by words I don't know. Now this app makes learning so much easier!" - Angela

FEATURES

  • Simple reads added daily
  • Varied topics including China news, culture, history, proverbs
  • Archive of 300+ articles
  • Suitable for beginners and intermediate at HSK 1,2,3,4,5
  • Dictionary, pinyin and audio with one touch
  • Save words you like for learning
  • Colour coded language hints
  • Simplified and Traditional characters
  • Synchronised across phone, tablet and your web browser
  • Chat live, vote and see popular words
  • Tracks your study progress and get intelligent word suggestions
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