Please post your Comments about the game.
I gotta say, every time something new like this comes out I just say to myself: “Where was this stuff when I started studying Chinese?!”
This app is absolutely wonderful. It’s Words With Friends- with a twist! The anagrammar feature is great and I don’t feel bad about snuggling up with my iPad all day since I’m actually learning!
I’ve always wanted to learn Chinese! This app is not only fun but very educational. What I think is another amazing aspect of the app is that players get to earn extra points with the amount of correct chinese characters they can identify.
Of course I don’t speak Manderain, but I should check this out!
As a Mandarin learner, the sidebar with definitions is very cool and I would be happy to stop playing English word games and play this instead
Android and desktop applications, please! I’d love to try it out
Some of my concerns/thoughts after messing with this game:
Logistically, many starters for pinyin are not also enders. If I play “zhuang”, you can bet there will never be a tile played in front of the z, locking up the entire board. Tone aside, two-character words really do need to be implemented. Not only would this be much better for learning, it unlocks new possibilities for word extensions: now “zhuang” could be used in “qiangzhuang”.
The idea is there, but just like any other first steps it needs a lot of polish.
In Scrabble, the S tile is very valuable for adding plurals to common words. Chinese pinyin has no such alternative. This makes the Z C S N G tiles some of the only “hook” tiles available, and only in limited cases. (hu into hua into huan into huang into shuang chuang or zhuang, etc.)
Then we have the problem with vowels. Not many pinyin words begin with vowels, and it structurally makes the board really cramped. Almost all my games (Pass and Play with myself since there’s no big community yet) end up being very heavy toward the bottom right half of the board.
Lastly, there must be a way of introducing new vocabulary instead of me picking the same definition for something every time I play it.
I think this idea is in the back of the mind for every Scrabble player who wants to learn a foreign language. However, pinyin is a very difficult way to pull this off. I kind of feel like radical anagrams would be another way of approaching a game, kind of like the Scrabble variant Clabbers.
EDIT: Sneaking in an edit regarding the “magic spacer” tile. It’s a decent fix, but geometrically is still not the best solution. Better would probably just be changing the board layout to fit the natural tile geometry.
Make this for the iPhone
I can’t wait til the android version comes out!! HOPEFULLY SOON.
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