Mandarin Chinese is a rich language spoken by more than 900 million people around the world. It’s also one of the hardest languages to learn for native English speakers, because it utilizes a vastly different writing system. Learn Chinese with Miao Miao attempts to make the learning process easier with pictures, animation, and fun interaction. It’s aimed at preschoolers, but adults can also benefit from this simple app.
Learn 30 Everyday Words in Chinese
In Learn Chinese with Miao Miao, children learn to read and say 30 words in English and Chinese. In their journey, they are aided by app mascots Miao Miao (pronounced as “Miao miao”) and Dou Dou (“Doh doh”). Miao Miao is a young Chinese-Canadian girl with a sunny disposition, and Dou Dou is her loyal canine companion.
In the Explore section of the app, children can browse words from three categories: People, Nature, and Animals. After tapping a picture from the menu, they will hear Miao Miao say the word in Chinese, then English, then once more in Chinese. Miao Miao will also act out the word. For example, she will point at her mouth and give Dou Dou a kiss to explain the word gǒu (mouth).
Children can also tap on the Chinese character on the left side of the screem to watch it come to life. For example, tapping the word lóng will turn it into a snaking dragon. This process is designed to help children make the connection between a word and its meaning.
In the Write section, children learn to write 10 Chinese characters in fun tracing exercises. At the beginning of each exercise, an animation is shown to emphasize the meaning of the word. For example, Miao Miao will scatter seeds on the ground to make the traceable character tián (field). A ladybug then appears to guide children to write the character in the proper stroke order.
Parents Need to Know
Parents should know that Learn Chinese with Miao Miao allows you to choose the app’s default language. If Chinese language is selected, the menu and narration will be provided in Chinese. Thus, you can use the app to help Chinese speakers learn simple words in English.
Learn Chinese with Miao Miao has no third-party advertising and no in-app purchases. You don’t need an Internet connection to use the app.
Things I Like
Not everyone is aware that much of the Chinese language is based on pictures. Learn Chinese with Miao Miao exposes this fact through great use of pictures and animation. The artwork for each Chinese character is carefully made to resemble the object it describes, making it easier to remember what each word means. Children can also interact with the words and animation for a fun and engaging learning experience.
A minor problem I have with the app is it can be difficult for the untrained ear to catch Miao Miao’s pronunciation of a word. Putting the phonetic spelling under each word would solve this problem. This is also the approach that developer uses in their newer app Fun with Colors.
If you’re looking to introduce your child to the Chinese language, you can’t go wrong with Learn Chinese with Miao Miao. The clever design of the app makes it so that young learners can easily associate each Chinese character with its meaning. It’s also easy to use for both children and adult.
App was provided for our honest review.
About Mark Media
Mark Media is an exciting new film, television and digital media production company based in Toronto that combines culture and technology to create media properties that entertain, inspire and educate across platforms.
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Fun with Colors offers a fun and easy way to learn how to pronounce 30 simple words in Chinese. Because the app is built around an interesting narrative of sea creatures losing their colors, kids ages 4+ are more likely to participate in the learning process. If you’re looking for a fun and engaging way to introduce your kids to Mandarin Chinese, you should definitely give this app a try.