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Language Studies: Japanese, Korean, & Chinese

This guide is designed to share resources with students who are currently enrolled in Japanese, Korean, or Chinese language courses (or anyone who is interested in self-studying a language!).

Chinese Language Resources

HelloChinese: Hello Chinese is a powerful learning tool that can help you overcome the fear of learning Chinese. This app focuses on daily life topics. It starts from basic pinyin, so that even if you are a total beginner or have absolutely no background in Chinese, you can still learn with it. What is special is that this app allows you to listen and record your own voice, and to help you check automatically if your pronunciation is correct. 


Pleco: Pleco is available on Android and iOS devices and is an all-in-one app: off-line dictionary, flashcards, optical character recognizer, handwriting recognizer, stroke order diagrams, audio pronunciation, and text reader.


The Chairman's Bao: Reading news stories on The Chairman's Bao feels less like studying and more like something you would do for fun. With so much of the content being China-centric, you’ll learn a ton about the culture as well. They also have comprehension exercises with each article.


Chinese Skill: Chinese Skill is free app that’s great for beginners.  The design and interface is really cute, featuring a panda, of course. Also, the content is designed according to categories like food, numbers and colors—so you get the learning in a rather systematic way while having some fun.


Du Chinese: Du Chinese is an app that will help you improve your Chinese reading skills. It's easy to use and loading material takes only seconds. You can read by yourself or listen to an audio recording and read along. You can easily turn the pinyin on and off and switch Chinese characters between Simplified and Traditional. It supports English translations for single words and sentences. All sentences have been carefully translated and they stay as true as possible to the original Mandarin. The reading material topics cover daily conversations, Chinese culture, current events, the latest trends, funny stories, and regular life in China.


Clozemaster: Clozemaster is a popular app that is excellent for getting lots of exposure to sentences and vocabulary. This app uses lots of fill in the blank exercises for which you can type in your answer or choose from multiple choices. You can filter sentences based on HSK level and you’ll earn points for answering questions correctly. Although there is a pro version that requires a subscription, most people will find the free version to offer plenty of value.


Mango Languages: The sweet and simple language learning app, this app is geared towards teaching you practical phrases and having you use them in everyday life. The content is very auditory-heavy, with clear voice recordings of every phrase and prompts to repeat and record yourself. Vocabulary and grammar lessons are combined together in units called “getting around”, “asking opinions”, and similar phrases. We loved the timer feature on the lesson quizzes, which added a competitive edge, as well as the option to download lessons offline.


TOFU Learn: For those who feel like Skritter isn’t worth the cost, TOFU Learn may be just what you’re looking for. This free app could be a suitable alternative and a good way to improve your vocabulary and help you learn to write Chinese characters.


Skritter: Skritter is the app for those who are serious about learning to write Chinese characters. Basically, you practice writing characters using your finger and your phone’s touch screen. It utilizes a combination of SRS flashcards and stroke recognition to help you remember how to write characters. It’s convenient to use and works great. Unfortunately, the price is on the higher side.


Drops: All the new verbs are 100% illustrated which reduces the chances of you using another language to identify and then translate. The short duration of each gamified session is both fun and addictive which is key in learning a new language. You do have to remember that Drops only offers verbs. There aren’t any grammar or expressions. So if you want to expand your vocabulary and know more words, this is the ideal app for you.


Memrise: Memrise is a free app that has tons of user-created courses. These can be anything from characters to restaurant items to slang words. It’s sort of a gamified flashcard system that you can use to learn new characters. It also uses mnemonics but the quality can vary significantly on a course by course basis.