HelloChinese App Review

HelloChinese Speech Audit Screenshot IMG_2648 IMG_2646 IMG_2645

My Friend Vera, who used to work at ChinesePod is now involved in the launch of a wonderful Chinese Learning App called HelloChinese. The app is designed by a talented team with a wealth of experience in Academic Chinese learning, and it looks like they have the design side down as well.

You can get the app for yourself at http://www.hellochinese.cc or at the following links.

Download HelloChinese for iPhone

Download HelloChinese for Android

HelloChinese is a great new learning app that simplifies the headache of automation learning that is Rosetta Stone.  Like any language learning tool, it’s not going to make you fluent.  But it will help you to get started off on the right foot and allow you to hear native speech patterns and get you in the habit of imitating them, which is something that I think is extremely necessary for early learners.

There are several things that sets this app apart.

1) Great design

2) Linear, Progressive format

3) Speech and writing recognition.


Great Design –

The design is very simple to understand and looks pleasant.  They have stuck to the golden Keep it Simple rule and it has paid off marvelously. My only critique would be to make the settings button a bit more prominent and easy to find.

Linear Format –

Presented with a visual learning map, it is very easy to contextualize a learning goal and motivate yourself to keep going.  It may seem silly, but Candy Crush has used the same technique to the tune of over 100,000,000 users.  The logic behind this is that if you can visually see where you are going, you will keep going.  I am a huge fan of having lessons laid out in a linear format.  There is no guesswork of what I need to learn next, I just keep learning and I get taken to the next point on the map.  I think that restricting content in a linear format is the best way to learn it in an app.

Speech and Writing Recognition –

Powered by technology similar to Skritter, one of the great features of the HelloChinese.cc app is the quick and powerful way in which it teaches you to be able to write characters. This is important because it will help you to memorize the meaning and pronunciation of the vocabulary. I have Included screenshots of the features above.  In addition, there is a reliable speech recognition tool.  The speech recognition tool here is genius because of the powerful and high quality recording capability built into the iPhone, in the past, speech recognition has suffered due to poor sound cards on windows machines and their variable microphones.  The speech recognition this app actually works!

Too Long/Didn’t Read

This is a great app with great features and it will give you a good base in Chinese learning.

Pros – Great Design, Great Lesson Format, Powerful Speech / Writing Tools.

Cons – Some of the menus and features need to be tweaked and expanded on, several small bugs like not being able to turn off the speech training.  At this stage though, the app is early and all bugs have been reported and are currently being fixed.

Highly recommend!


Top 100 Most Read Bible Verses in Japanese – Number 1-10

As many of you know, I am currently developing an Android App that will teach you Japanese by reading the bible,

I have been able to learn many Kanji by transcribing popular bible verses, and the app itself will contain the top 100 most read scripture passages according to biblegateway.

Click here to get Cheap Online Japanese Lessons!

#1 John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.


Kanji Used: 神 – God (Kami) / 子 – Son,Child (Ko) / 賜 – Give (Tama) / 世 – World (Yo) / 愛 – Love (Ai) / 御子 – God’s Son (Miko) / 信 – Faith (Shin) / 者 – Person (Mono) / 滅びる – To die, Be destroyed (Horobi) / 永遠 – Eternity (Eien) / 命 – Life (Inochi) / 得 – To profit, Gain (E)

#2 Proverbs 9:10: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

主を恐れることは知恵のもとである、聖なる者を知ることは、悟りである List of Kanji – 主 – God (Shu) / 恐 – Fear (Kowa) / 知恵 – Wisdom (Chie) / 聖 – Holy, Saint (Sei) / 聖なる者 – Holy One (Seinarumono) / 知 – Understanding (Chi) / 悟る – Realize (Satoru)

#3 Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

わたしはあなたがたのために立てている計画をよく知っているからだ。ー主の御告げー それはわざわいではなくて、平安を与える計画であり、あなたがたに将来と希望を与えるためのものだ。

List of Kanji – 計画 -Plan (Keikaku) / 知 -To Know, Understand (Chi) / 主 – God (Shu) / 御告 – Revelation (O tsuge) / 平安 – Peace (Heian) / 与 – Given (Atae) / 将来 – Future (Shourai) / 希望 – Hope (Kibo)

#4 Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Kanji Used – 神 – God (Kami) / 愛 – Love (Ai) / 者 – Person (Mono) / 御旨 – intention (Gyoshi) / 召 – To call (Me) / 爲 – Sake (Tame) / 凡 – All (Yoso) / 相 – Together (Ai) / 働 – Works (Hatara(ku)) / 益 – Benefit (Eki) / 我 – I,Me (GA) / 知 – To know. (Chi)

#5 Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


Kanji Used – 強 – Strength (Tsuyo) / 何事 – Everything (Nanigoto)

Click here to get Cheap Online Japanese Lessons!

#6 Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.


Kanji Used – 神 – God (Kami) / 天 – Heaven (Ten) / 地 – Earth (Chi) / 創造 – Creation. (Souzou)

#7 Proverbs 3:6: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.


Kanji Used – 道 – Ways (Michi) / 主 – Lord (Shu) / 認 – Recognize,Acknowledge (Mitomeru)

#8 Romans 12:2: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.


Kanji Used – この世 – This world (Kono Yo) / 妥協 – Compromise, Conform (Da Kyou) / 心 – Heart,Spirit (Kokoro) / 新 – New (Shin) / 造り – Structure, Making (Tsukuri) / 何 – What (Nani) / 善 – Good (Zen) / 神 – God (Kami) / 喜ばれ – Pleasing (Yorokobare) / 全 – All (Zen) / 知る – To Know (Shiru)

#9 Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.


Kanji Used – 何事 – Everything (Nanigoto) / 思い – Think (Omoi) / 煩 – Trouble (Han) / 事ごと – Everything (Koto Goto) / 感謝 – Thanks (Kansha) / 祈 – Pray (Inori) / 願い – Wish (Negai) / 求める – To wish for (Motomeru) / 神 – God (Kami) / 申し上 – To say onto (Moshia)

#10 Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


Kanji Used – 行 – To Go (Iku) / 国民 – National (Kokumin) / 弟子 – Disciple (Deshi) / 父 – Father (Chi Chi) / 子 – Son (Ko) / 聖霊 – Holy Spirit (Seirei) / 名 – Name (Na) / 彼ら – They (Karera) / 施し – Charity (Hodokoshi)

Click here to get Cheap Online Japanese Lessons!

What I learned taking the JLPT N4 Practice Test – Steps to study going forward.

Yesterday My wife and I were able to have the opportunity to take the JLPT N4 Practice exam.

Here are the key take-aways.

1) You know much less Kanji than you think you do.

2) You know much less Grammar than you think you do.

3) You know much less than you think you do.

I would say that after 6 months of study, we were able to fail respectably.  However in the next two weeks, we have time to prepare.

Here is our course of action –

Memrise –

Tae Kim’s guide to Grammar Course

JLPT Bootcamp – JLPT N4 Course

JapanesePod101 –

JapanesePod101 – NEW JLPT N4 Prep Course  (Under the bonus courses section)

We will both try to study for about 3-4 hours per day for the next two weeks in order to obtain a passing Grade.

I had an unfortunate experience of sitting next to a very urusai person who scribbled loud notes during the listening section. Note to Self – Keep coffee intake light.

Please wish us luck!!!!