Being termed Banana all my life (Yellow on the outside and white on the inside), I always wished that I learned Chinese while I was growing up. I can get away with the basic mandarin but when it is time to carry out a full conversation or put it on paper; I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go any further than my name in Chinese characters.
I have come across non native speakers of the language and am always embarrass about the fact that I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even speak my mother tongue properly. Well, things are about to change with my discovery of Nciku.com! As an added bonus, the site has just recently been revamped with pioneering features in the age of Web 2.0 sites.
Nciku.com is a free online Chinese dictionary with a variety of features as follow:
1. Smart Dictionary Search
It works just like any regular search tool, set your learning language to Chinese and let Nciku do all the hard work of finding the equivalent word. If you type in Ã¢â‚¬Å“AppleÃ¢â‚¬?, all the relevant Chinese words will appear in the result.
2. Hand Writing Recognition
This is a very handy tool with a great accuracy and success rate after my personal testing. It allows users to search for the meaning of the characters that they scribble on screen. The drawing area now looks just like those notebooks for learning Chinese characters we are all used to. Also, putting your mouse over the character suggestions you selected triggers a pop up menu for simple identification.
3. Text To Speech
This is a totally new feature to Nciku.com. You no longer have to worry about pronouncing something wrong, all examples and conversations can be heard in proper pronunciation. Just click on the speaker button, and you can see and hear the pronunciation. Make a conversation and hear it come to life!
4. Keep Notes with Vocab Lists
Study notes were upgraded and renamed to vocab lists. No need to click to save a word now, as all words you view in the dictionary are automatically saved to your nciku page. You can move the words to other lists or edit them however much you want. Also, improve your language skills with memorization tests and more print options so you can study on the go!
5. Useful Conversations
Learn how to do everything, from opening an account at the bank to buying tickets for the movies, with ncikuÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s newest main section. Browse conversations by place and topic, or search for words you want to know how to use, then grab any ones you know you will need and they are saved to your personal nciku. Check them out again before you leave home so youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll never be at a loss for words again.
6. Tons of Other Cool Features
There are heaps of other cool learning aids to accelerate your learning to achieve mastery like a Q&A page, Theme Words and the handy Nciku mini. What are you waiting for! Start visiting the website now to learn more!
In a nutshell, Nciku.com has redefined online learning with the level of sophistication and tools provided. It is like having a learning companion that is always available.
I would like to take the chance to wish the whole team behind Nciku.com well done on their effort and keep up the excellent work!
I will frequent the site to buck up on my Chinese!!!!