One of the big challenges of learning Chinese is the ability to recognise Chinese characters. By looking at each character, in some instances, it is possible to guess how it might pronounced.
Besides hazarding a guess, the next thing to do is to search through a dictionary. That can be a little daunting as you will need to be able to count the number of strokes and then also recognise the basic radical that the word is categorised in.
With the iPad, there is an input process that will lend itself well as an easy way for learners to solve this problem – the Chinese handwriting input system.
To set it up, go to Settings>General>International>Keyboard then search for the Chinese handwriting keyboard.
Using this, the unfamiliar word can be written out, or drawn out as might be the case for many learners.
The next thing to do is to use the Speak Selection function of the iPad. To set this up, Settings>General>Accessibility>Speak Selection>On. You can also determine how fast or slow the reading will be done.
With this function activated, when you select the word or phrase, the option “Speak” will be available and the learner can now know how the word is pronounced.
If the learner knows pinyin, he could transcribe the word’s pinyin for future reference. All this works great even with Internet connection.
With Internet connection, definitions can be found by searching the net. By using we pages such as Google Translate, the pinyin with tones for the words will also be displayed.