Chinese Fridge Blog

Dreaming Up Fun Ways to Learn Chinese


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Dim Sum Chinese Game App Officially Released

吃飯! Time to eat! Our latest Chinese game app, Chinese Fridge Dim Sum, has officially been released on the iTunes App Store. As you can probably tell, this Chinese game app aims to teach kids fun dim sum vocabulary words.

As with the original Chinese Fridge app, this version also has game modes to help kids learn pinyin, simplified Chinese characters and traditional Chinese characters. In addition, new dim sum graphics, special blocks and sound effects bring new fun and ‘flavor’ to our game.

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Chinese for Kids: 10 Easy Ways to Learn Chinese

Chinese song for kids: Xiao bai tu

When it comes to Chinese for kids, parents are always looking for resources. Learning Chinese can be challenging for kids, and finding good, quality learning materials can be even more of a challenge. With that in mind, we’re always trying to make learning Chinese for kids as simple and accessible as possible. To help you in your quest to learn Chinese, here are ten quick ideas you can use to regularly improve your student’s Chinese:

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Dim Sum Chinese Fridge Game App Now In Beta

We’re happy to announce our Dim Sum version of the Chinese Fridge game app is now in beta for testing. We’re still working out some bugs, but for now we wanted to reward our blog followers with this sneak peek preview image of the game. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for the official release!

Dim Sum Chinese Fridge Game App for Kids to Learn Chinese

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Chinese Characters: Simplified or Traditional?

For people who don’t have a background in Chinese, the distinction between simplified and traditional forms of Chinese characters may be unclear. In fact, many people don’t realize that Chinese characters have these two forms of standard writing. So for those contemplating studying Chinese or just starting out, which version is best to learn?

Simplified vs. traditional Chinese characters

It’s important to first note that this can be a very sensitive cultural and political issue for many people, so it may be best to avoid debates around simplified and traditional Chinese. In this post and on this site, we aim to completely avoid taking any side and simply want to provide information to our readers. In fact, our game app Chinese Fridge features both simplified and traditional Chinese characters because both are used by millions of people and have their own desirable aspects.

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Pinyin: A Chinese Alphabet Learning System

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Chinese teachers and educators almost unanimously agree that Chinese must be learned with Chinese characters, but most are also using the Pinyin Chinese alphabet system to help facilitate learning. While the Pinyin alphabet shouldn’t be used exclusively to learn Chinese or as a writing system, it can definitely help students with memorizing and perfecting pronunciation.

Now that we’ve covered how to explain Chinese characters to kids and why the written Chinese character system is not an alphabet, let’s take a look at a true alphabet that can be used for learning Chinese — the Pinyin alphabet.

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Explaining Chinese Writing to Kids: It’s Not an Alphabet

Cover page of the Shuo wen zhen ben, a dictionary dedicated to etymological descriptions of Chinese characters.

Author’s Note: If you’re looking for a Chinese alphabet that resembles English, check out our article explaining Pinyin.

Many parents who visit our website are looking for a guide to help explain written Chinese to kids, often searching for information about a “Chinese Alphabet.” But while English speakers are used to writing using a phonetic system, written Chinese is not an alphabet, but instead a vast set of distinct characters that have an assigned pronunciation (or sometimes more than one pronunciations, based on usage and meaning).

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Sneak Peak of Dim Sum Chinese Fridge Game App

Who’s hungry for some dim sum? Our next Chinese game app is in development and the topic is mouth watering!

Xia Jiao

To give you a little “taste” of what’s to come, check out this prototype art for shrimp dumplings, or 蝦餃 (xia jiao) in Chinese. We hope this next set of vocabulary will help kids learn Chinese characters and words for dim sum, but we can’t guarantee it won’t make them hungry, too!

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Apple Settles Lawsuit Over In-App Purchases by Kids

A lot of people have suggested to us that we add in-app purchases to our app to generate money from our users, but the recent settlement between Apple and users whose kids racked up hefty bills via in-app purchases shows exactly why we refuse to use these features in our Chinese game app for kids.

From the outset, we knew we had a responsibility to parents and kids to not dangle purchases in front of children playing our apps the way so many “free” apps these day do constantly during use.

The Apple settlement, filed February 22, is clear evidence that families think this is an unfair practice and a deceptive way to make money. The fact that Apple is now giving $5 iTunes credit to each afflicted party also shows the tech giant is facing growing resentment towards in-app purchases.

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Free Learning Games for Kids Online

We recently discovered a useful website that features more than 272 educational games that are available online called Spree Games.

The games we tested out were all free to play online, and can be browsed by subject covering everything from Foreign Language (although nothing for learning Chinese as far as we can tell) to English, Science, Math, and much more.

The site is geared towards K-12 students, and also allows you to view games by age level and create lists of games by logging in and saving customized preferences.

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