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4 Smartphone Apps for Expatriate Kids to Learn Mandarin

  • By
  • Asif Ghafoor
  • April 5, 2017

Since the 1997 turnover, learning Mandarin became more necessary than ever. The popularity of Chinese language lessons and tutorials have exploded, so have the number of helpful resources catered to second language learners or expat kids living in Hong Kong.

I think we all know that the educational trends are always on the go, and guess what, so are apps. These 4 fun phone apps will actively enhance and speed up your children’s language learning. And the best part? Your children will be using their time well! In the long MTR and minibus rides or while patiently waiting for Pikachu to pop up on Pokemon Go (okay, I’m aware you cannot use two apps at the same time), your kids will use spare moments to keep the learning going at anytime and from anywhere, and often at no or a very low cost.

P.S. Can it be used even if you’re not a child? 可以! (Can!)

  1. LinguPinguin

It is an interactive English-Chinese picture dictionary with audio. The vocabulary themes are animals, transportation, food, face & body, farm, toys, nature, clothes, and house.  There is a quiz section for review. (Watch LinguPinguin App video here)

Image via Apps2LearnChinese

2. Chinese Fridge Dim Sum

Writing Chinese becomes fun now. Your kids will learn how to Mandarin AND learn five dim sum dishes at the same time. Two birds one stone! Also there’s three options for Chinese characters – Chinese traditional, Chinese simplified, and Pinyin. Perfect for Hong Kong raised kids who will be exposed to two types of Chinese. Don’t be surprised if your child orders your favorite dim sum dish in Chinese next time.

Image via Misspandachinese

3. Monkimun 

Image via Superbcrew


4. Skritter

  • Tips : The best way to use the apps is…
  1. Play with the app as a parent first.
  2. Play with the app with your child together.
  3. Select 3 to 5 words that you have learned, write them down and use them in the next 24 hours with your child. Add more words in the following week.
  4. Put down the device, go out and use the words, phrases, and sentences in your daily conversation that your kids have learned in real life! Have fun!
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