Learn Chinese through visual stories

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One reason that Chinese is a difficult language to learn is that it doesn't have an alphabet -- it has characters. These characters were once pictures that represented their meaning, but as time passed and the language grew more complex this became less and less true. Now there are tens of thousands of different characters, and to read a newspaper with any fluency you must know at least 2,000. Zizzle aims to teach characters by associating them with story memory games. As a former Chinese learner, I was delighted with the app, and hope that others will enjoy it too.
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Hi ProductHunt! We launched Zizzle App because two of our founders have struggled through learning Chinese themselves. We discovered that by leveraging methods like visualizations, associations and linkwords, you could memorize Chinese characters in a tremendously more efficient way. China has become an important global player over the years and knowledge of the Chinese language can be game-changing in the future. With our app, we want to make this language accessible everybody. Please comment and feedback us! We are looking forward to it! Thanks Kevin
@kevin_3ck great stuff. I love visual learning. 40-50% of us find visual aids a big help in learning and great to see a language app doing that. I will give this a spin today! I agree with @dillisingh about forcing people to login with email. So last century! :) Good hunt @kikischirr
@rameshdot0 @dillisingh @kikischirr Thanks Ramesh for your feedback! Facebook, Twitter and Google Login is definitely a priority issue for us to fix! If you encounter any problems while using the app, please let us know!
@kevin_3ck First - great app. I went through few lessons in 101 deck and it is exactly what i was looking for. I saw in the promo video that the app also helps through HSK6 , but i cant find the relevant cards. Please enlighten me. Will Product hunt members get any Promo discount code ? Xie Xie
@tahatayyab We are gradually updating all characters up to HSK 6. This process will take a couple of months. Yes there indeed is a discount code for hunters ;-) It's PRODUCTHUNT2016. You can use it in the checkout process on our homepage: http://www.zizzle.io/#5
Hi ProductHunt! The idea for Zizzle was conceived when I and my co-founder were studying Mandarin in Nanjing, China, a few years ago. Back then, I struggled to remember the 3,000 Chinese characters required for fluency in reading because rote learning was repetitive and boring. So I began thinking of quirky visual stories to remember the characters. With this approach, I passed the highest Chinese exam (HSK 6) in under a year. I decided that I wanted to make this way of learning Chinese accessible to everybody through an app. The app features 5 heroes representing the 5 tones in Mandarin Chinese. These heroes are presented one by one as you start using the app. We look forward to getting your feedback and inspire you to tackle the world’s most popular language (in terms of number of native speakers). Thanks so much, Lukas
Wow, just finished the first lesson! Really interesting and easy to learn. I haven't had any experience in chinese, now I know 5 characters! Cool! :) Does the app give information about chinese grammar in next lessons?
@ekaterina_kharitonova Grammar information will be presented in small info boxes. It will come with one of the next updates!
@kevin_3ck @ekaterina_kharitonova I'm learning Chinese myself, and after too much time learning just the vocabulary on Memrise, I started to burn out a bit, until I combined it with grammar via HelloChinese. Obviously, reading is going to be important once you're in China or trying to make sense of written material, but I'd say the novelty factor of learning the characters will wear off pretty quickly if you don't get people speaking it. That's why I'm putting more time into learning to speak via pinyin than actually understanding all the characters right now.
@joostschuur thanks for the hint! Although I think that learning characters is good way to get people interested in chinese language, to make them want to learn more :)
@joostschuur @ekaterina_kharitonova I agree with you and thanks for your feedback! But learning to actually read Chinese gives you the possibility to really learn Chinese for yourself without being dependent on other people. You can just open your book and start learning. Also learning Chinese characters benefits your speaking too, especially with a language like Chinese were things sound the same, but have different meanings.
Love the idea. Absolutely loving it. Reminds me of my childhood when graphical charts were used to teach us words. I just have a few quick feedback points. 1. Sign up - Please use google auth (what can I say, I'm spoilt, I think this was the only app, in months, in which I had to type my email to register). 2. First open - When you open the app for the first time, it looks daunting. 12 decks and some of them have 300+ characters. I think inspiration can be taken from games with shorter struggle -> reward cycles. 3. I also felt the guided tour in the 101 lesson was a bit too text heavy. 4. I may have missed it but I don’t think there was intro about tones. Like I said I’m loving it. I will have to come back to it tomorrow to see how much i’ve retained though.
@dillisingh yeah, I haven't see information about tones as well :(
@dillisingh Have you noticed that the intro for the tone is coming one by one? Would you rather like the tone introduction to come en bloque? And do you have a specific game in mind for making the app less intimidating?