Hello everyone! Welcome back to my Youtube channel!
It’s me with studying Chinese again ^^
After the previous video, some people shared with me that they are very busy with work,
they cannot afford to take Chinese classes at language centers
Therefore they want to explore ways that they can self-study Chinese at home
through mobile apps or websites
When I heard this, I thought that the most important thing that you need when you self study at home
is a Chinese dictionary app!
Therefore, the topic of today’s video is about my review of 4 most popular Chinese apps
They are: Pleco, TrainChinese, CVEDict, and Google Translate
These are the apps that with the most downloads
and I also have personally used a few apps during my process of learning Chinese
I hope through this video, you can decide which dictionary app is the most suitable for yourself
so you can self study more efficiently!
Okay, let’s go into my Learning Chinese folder
As I said, we are just going to review 4 dictionary apps here: Pleco, TrainChinese, CVEDict and Google Translate
Let’s open Pleco first
This is the app that I’ve been using since I started learning Chinese 8 years ago
The reason why it stays so popular is because of the user interface – super simple and easy to use!
As you can see here, you can look up in both English and Chinese
Let’s try English first – I’ll look up the word “predict”
As you can see, there are a lot of synonyms here – 语言,预见,预报,预测,预计
These words are pretty accurate too. Their meanings are very close to “predict”/ “prediction”
Let’s check out 1 word – 预见 (yujian)
预 /yu/ means to foresee, and 见/jian/ means to see
Here you can see both Traditional and Simplified Chinese
There’s also pinyin and instructions on how to say it
Let’s press here – ya you can hear the pronunciation right?
When you scroll down, you can see that 预见/yujian/ can also be a noun and a verb
and the context to use the word for both cases
It’s really easy and simple
I can just skim through and understand how to use the word immediately
That’s the best thing that I like about this app
Let’s go to the second tab – Stroke
You can learn how to write the word
On the third tab – Character
They split the word into what 预/yu/ means and what 见/jian/ means
You can go into each single word to see how it is used in another context
For example, 见/jian/ can be in
意见/yijian/ – opinion,
or 再见/zaijian/- see you again
You can understand better the meaning of each single word right?
Fourth tab – Words
This includes longer words/phrases that contains the word you look up
For example, 预见性 /yujianxing/ means foresight
Last tab – sentence
It’s the same as first tab
Again, I love this app so much since it’s really easy to use
Whenever I look up something, I can just immediately understand how to use the word
You can also bookmark the word
Let’s go back and check out other functions of this app
History – all the words that you have looked up
Add-ons are the extra features like OCR, Flashcards, Order of the strokes
Back then I also used this basic bundle
but I think it used to be free, or cheaper (I dont remember haha)
Now it’s 44USD, not too expensive if you want to invest in a good dictionary app with all different features
and you feel that Pleco is a suitable one, then I think it’s really worth it
Let’s go to the next one – Clipboard reader
This feature is SUPER helpful
Let’s take an example
Let’s copy a paragraph from the song Caihong by Jaychou
If you have not watched my video on learning Chinese through this song, remember to check out ok!!! haha
I literally just copied and now it appeared on this page immediately
You can just touch the word and the translation will appear
This is super useful especially when you need to read a long paragraph with a lot of words you don’t understand
With this function, you can just touch on any word you don’t understand and the meaning will pop up right away
Next, let’s go to Bookmark
This is a good way for you to organize all the words that you have looked up
These are all the words that I bookmarked in the past hour
Once you bookmarked it, you can open it and study again later
Overall, I think Pleco is a great app
At this point, I don’t have the need to create flashcards or learn the order of strokes
Now whenever I see words that I don’t know, I just need to quickly look up that word
Pleco fulfills that need for me nicely
At this moment, I still rate Pleco 5 out of 5
Highly recommend it!
However, there is 1 challenge – you need to be quite good at English to be able to use the app because it’s English – Chinese. No Vietnamese 😀
The second app I want to review is TrainChinese
I only discovered this app recently
I was quite surprised because it’s pretty much as good as Pleco
For example, let’s look up the word “Predict” again
You can see quite a few words here
预报/yubao/, 预料/yuliao/,预估/yugu/
I actually feel that Pleco is still more accurate and comprehensive
It suggests more words that are closer to the meaning of the word I looked up
For example, in here I don’t see 预见/yujian/ or 预测/yuce/ which in my opinion is closer to “predict”
Let’s check out 预报/yubao/
This page looks quite good actually
There’s pinyin, meaning, and also can listen to the pronunciation
Sorry my Internet is not connected hahahaa
Then there’s also the stroke function
This is actually the feature that you have to pay in Pleco, while it’s free here!
I think this app is more suitable for people who are at Elementary or Intermediate level who needs to learn the order of the strokes
You can also share the word with your friend, or set reminder so it sends you notifications to study again (let’s say) tomorrow
However, there’s one thing I don’t like about this app
It sometimes pops up random advertisement
I don’t see it here now, but sometimes random ads just appear
I think it’s really disruptive and troublesome
Pleco, on the other hand, never has advertisment
There’s another function that Pleco does not have for free – which is create flashcards
You can try adding to the list like I do here
Haha my Internet is so slow, sorry!
Let’s check out the sentences
预报/yubao/ in this sentence – Have you read today’s weather forecast
It’s correct, but overall I still prefer the word use in Pleco
It only gives phrases, but more accurate and applicable to daily life
However, this app has more FREE features like Flashcards, Stroke Orders etc
It’s more suitable for people at Elementary and Intermediate Chinese
which you have to pay for those in Pleco
There’s another interesting part here
which is learning Chinese by topics
like HSK, TOCFL, and things like Taxi, Travel in China etc etc
Let’s take a look
The orange part is the ones you have to pay
Those without the orange mark is for free
These are the vocabs you need for HSK1
It’s better than Pleco in this aspect because you can diversify ways to study vocabularies
It’s not just for you to look up
It also gives you different ways to study vocabs in different contexts
and especially for these 2 popular Chinese proficiency tests: HSK and TOCFL
The third app is the one I see a lot of Vietnamese people use
It’s CVEDict
I personally don’t like this app at all
It doesnt have much features
let’s try one word first
I’m looking up the word “predict” in Vietnamese
It has a few words here
But first of all, I can’t see the pinyin here
Also, the words that are suggested are not very accurate
For example, 估计/guji/ is more like estimate
It’s not really to predict, though
When I get onto this page, there is no pinyin for me to pronounce
How are we supposed to know how to pronounce the word correctly?!
It also does not have any other features apart from this
预后/yuhou/ is fine but it does not even have more basic words like yujian, yuce, yubao etc
So if I have to rate this app, it’s probably 2 out of 5! Or even lower than that
The finall app on the list is Google Translate
I think this app is suitable for people who want to look up in Vietnamese
Google translate is quite a good option
much better than CVEDict
As you know, Google technology is super good
Recently, the accuracy of translation has improved significantly
I think the accuracy rate is around 80-90%
Let’s look up the word “predict” in Vietnamese again
actually they only have 1 word – 猜测/caice/
It’s not as comprehensive as Pleco or TrainChinese
but it’s better than CVEDict
because it has pinyin and the speaker so you can hear the pronunciation
There’s handwriting option – where you can write the word by hand
when you see a word, don’t know how to spell, you can handwrite it and look up
The voice recognition is quite good actually
For google translate, you can copy and paste a long paragraph or an essay into here
It can immediately churn out the translation
and as I said just now, it’s surprisingly quite acccurate!
Overall, I’d rate this app around 3 to 3.5 out of 5
It’s not as good as Pleco and TrainChinese, but much better than CVEDict
Overall, my rating is as follows:
(You can read here haha)
Those are my reviews for the most popular Chinese dictionary apps on App Store currently
This is just based on my personal experiences
If you know of any better app, please comment here and let me know ok?:D
If you like my video, then hit LIKE and SUBSCRIBE here ^^
That’s it for today. Goodbye!!!!

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