The easiest way to learn something is to have fun with it!
Games are an unorthodox way to learn a language, so if you are tired with textbooks and homework, you should definitely give them a try! Unfortunately, playing a Chinese learning apps can’t be a substitute for more traditional ways of studying, but it can still be a great complement to it.
Why should you download an app?
Since games can make studying fun, we recommend that you download a Chinese learning app. We assume that you have a smartphone. We also assume that you often look at it: you may like to scroll through your social media or play some games already, especially when you have a short break during your busy day. You look at your phone when you wait at a bus stop, take the metro or prepare to go to sleep (let’s admit it, even though it is wrong, we still do it). This is the time when you can push your Chinese skills forward, just download an app and use these short moments to speed up your learning.
Here is our list of 5 best free games that can help you learn Chinese.
If you are studying Mandarin Chinese, you will most likely take at least one HSK exam in your life. In case you haven’t heard about it yet, HSK (汉语水平考试, Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi) is a standardized test of Mandarin Chinese, administered by the People’s Republic of China. It has six levels, from HSK 1 to HSK 6. Successfully passing any HSK level requires a lot of studying hours. However, the key to success is mastering your level’s required vocabulary list, which is very easy to find online.
Flashcards are probably the best way to effectively memorize loads of new vocabulary, which is why we recommend you download the HSK Chinese Flashcards game. It is very easy to use and it reads out the character sound and translation (it has both simplified and traditional characters). If you like flashcards, this application is for you: it is straightforward and simple, just as it should be. What is more, it makes memorising new vocabulary more active and fun.
The game is available on Android.
If you search for something more than flashcards, Chinesimple may be just for you. Chinesimple offers several apps for different levels of Chinese, including preparation for the HSK exams. Each app has different games like picture cards, character games, sentence games and many others others. The variety of games and materials is what makes Chinesimple extraordinary fun and original. It is very good for both practicing for the HSK exam as well as just keeping in touch with the language. Moreover, it is well-structured and has sample sentences for every new word with an audio.
The apps have both free and pro version, but even the free version is very helpful. Chinesimple is available for Android and iOS.
If you are new to the language, Chineasy can be an incredible fun for you. It is famous for its great design and beautiful drawings. The game was created by a Taiwanese entrepreneur based in London, who wanted to make it easier for her children to learn Chinese. This is why the app is so simple and colorful, and it can really boost your imagination. It has a very original way to introduce characters, as it focuses on visual learning: it helps a new student memorize Chinese characters by associating them with a visual representation of their meaning. The app is very fun to learn with, original, playful and very pleasant to look at.
The app is free to download and use, but you need to buy a premium version to unlock its further levels. It is available for Android and iOS.
HelloChinese is a very well-designed and colorful app that covers the beginner and elementary levels of Mandarin Chinese. What makes this app unique is that it puts heavy emphasis on speaking. Thanks to that, the process of learning is very engaging and active. There is also a lot of content accessible for free, so you can download the app without worrying that you will have to pay after one hour of playing. The app covers a lot of material: speaking, vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening, as well as some information about the Chinese culture. It is not only great to study with, but it is also fun and colorful!
HelloChinese is available for Android and iOS.
Memrise is a great app for learning languages, as it focuses on sentence building and listening in real-life situations. It also puts a big emphasis on visual learning, providing you with videos featuring native speakers talking in different situations. This method can really help you put your learning process in a real-life context.
Despite the fact that it offers multiple language courses, it is surprisingly good for learning Chinese. Memrise provides various materials that you can include in your study, such as a complete list of radicals, the HSK vocabulary lists, vocabulary from various textbooks and others. It makes it feel more like a learning software than a game. However, watching people having short conversations in different real-life situations can be very engaging: it is definitely the most natural way to learn a new language.
Memrise has a lot of resources available for free. It runs both on Android and iOS.
LEARNING GAMES ARE FUN, BUT…
… there is nothing more helpful for improving your Chinese language skills as good, old-fashioned reading. Maayot can provide you with just that that: we offer daily stories in Mandarin Chinese to help you enhance your reading skills. Just like with a gaming app, you can spend a couple of minutes daily with fun and engaging short stories. If you are a newbie and would like to know more about learning Chinese, check out some of our articles below:
- How long does it take to learn Chinese?
- How to find your name in Chinese?
- Mandarin vs Cantonese: Differences
- Simplified vs Traditional Chinese
Have fun with learning Chinese!