Archive for ‘Tools’

October 29, 2016

Add Pinyin on Top of Characters

As teachers, when we use authentic input, we want to put Pinyin on top of characters for students to read the text easily and practice their pronunciation.

As students, when you type up your speech script, you may want to put Pinyin to help you practice.

Putting Pinyin on top of characters is easily done in Microsoft Word. See this tutorial (5min) and all is clearly explained.

December 25, 2014

Etymology of Chinese characters– three best search sites

1. The famous Uncle Hanzi: 

2. 汉典 

3. 说文

Tags: ,
April 27, 2014

Useful Tools within Google Translate

For a Chinese language teacher, it is essential to have tools that can create Pinyin annotation and create simplified vs. traditional style character versions of texts to suit different student needs. While other websites (such as which provides a “pinyin editor” and conversion tools) and tools (such as the very useful dimsum software) have been very helpful, I now rely more on google translate. It’s very convenient and easy to use. The audio provided by google translate is also of good quality. Here is an annotation for these useful tools in case you’ve not yet discovered them.

Google Translate tools

Google Translate tools

April 27, 2014

Characterize –a Firefox Add-on

This is quite a clever idea. Add this to your firefox browser and it gives you a Chinese/kanji character for the first letter of any word with meaning corresponding to that of the English word. Meant for Japanese or Chinese characters-apparently traditional style Chinese characters.


Characterize add-on for firefox


July 10, 2012

Ever seen a weird-looking Chinese character, wanting to know how to pronounce it, or what it means?

Like this one?

or these twins?

饕 餮


When I find myself in such a situation, and have an ipod/ipad at hand, I use the “Kanjidic” application. It’s free and very easy to use. It’s developed by Rakudoor, copyright 2010. Search for “Kangjidic” in Itunes store and it will come up. This is an app for Chinese, not Japanese, in spite of the name. See the screenshots below

Usage for students of various levels:

  • Students can practice hand-writing using the ” 手写查询” function. Only by following the correct stroke order will the character prompts show.
  • Demonstrate this use in class and students if motivated to practice, will likely download it and have fun with it.
  • This app should help students who want to develop reading proficiencies and read extra materials.
June 19, 2012

Corpus tool : Taiwan Mandarin Spoken Wordlist

Taiwan Mandarin Spoken Wordlist
Link is:

May 21, 2012

Online file converter

Have you ever been in a situation where you need to convert files for language classroom? (audio to video, different video formats, documents, etc.)

A convenent online tool which is free:

March 13, 2012

Tools for digital story-telling

1. photostory3 (easy to use; need to download; free)

2.  qwips  (free, account needed,  embedding in social networking sites)

3. voicethread (free, account needed)

4. See this site of examples of digital story-telling and more software recommendations.