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  • sallyintaiwan 4:14 am on December 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: app, , , , ,   


    I call my itouch—specifically the Pleco App—最好的朋友 (best friend.) My Taiwanese friends think this is funny, but truly I don’t know what I would do with out this dictionary app where I can look up and translations in English, Chinese characters, or even using Pinyin, a phonetic guide to Chinese (and I can use traditional characters, the writing system used in Taiwan, instead of simplified which is used on the Mainland.) It’s useful in language exchange, almost all the homework I do, chatting with Taiwanese friends, or when I am alone and a word pops into my head I’d like to look up. It can sometimes be difficult to get correct translations from English to Chinese on certain apps or sites but Pleco, while it occasionally steers me wrong, usually gives me the most colloquial words, including noting which word are more appropriate in Taiwan, instead of Mainland China. I’ve actually been somewhat of a walking advertisement for the app as most of my friends, unless they already had the app, quickly added it upon seeing just how essential, not merely useful, it can be. Thank you Pleco! You’ve saved many a conversation.

  • kimuchee 1:12 pm on December 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: app, , , ,   

    Challenge 8! 

    The one application that I know I could not live with out at this point is MIDORI.


    Midori is a Japanese-English library application. It costs $9.99. Why should you buy this particular $10 application you ask? It is the best out there so far that I have tried out. Not only does this application let you search for a word in English and Japanese (hiragana, kanji, and romaji) this application allows you to draw the kanji in order to find out its meaning!!!


    I literally can’t even begin to describe how 便利 (convenient) and life saving this application is! It has saved me countless times when I was talking with my host family and friends or simply trying to order something at a restaurant. (It’s all in kanji I can’t read!) It is a MUST for every student studying Japanese. Seriously.

    And on top of all of this it also gives you the stroke order of the kanji, flash cards to test your kanji with AND the conjugation of verbs. As a student of Japanese conjugation is one part of the grammar that I have a lot of trouble with so it was very reassuring to know that I could just go on my i-pod real quick to check that I conjugated the verb correctly. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I was to find out that there was even such an app that existed! I did none of my homework without it and had my i-pod on me at all times.

    Another really cool aspect of this app is that it also provides example sentences in which the word you are searching for appears.

    And last but not least it: this app requires no internet connection! I know your minds are absolutely blown right?! Don’t worry I understand. Mine was too.

    For anyone going abroad to Japan next year:  Before buying a suitcase, before getting a plane ticket, BUY THIS APP!!! I could go on and on about how awesome this app is, but please, rather than listening to me babble, go get it!


  • at5203 4:17 pm on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: app, , , ,   

    Challenge eight 

    Before coming to Vietnam I tried to find videos on youtube that could help me say basic phrases.  At first it took me an hour just to say simple things like, “thank you, no problem, your welcome, and where is the bathroom”. However, once I came to Vietnam I realized that there are at least three different Vietnamese dialects, the northern, southern, and central accents. I was watching a youtuber named “Learn Vietnamese” and she does a great job in pronouncing words, slowly.  She teaches her subscribers the Northern dialect which is considered “the original” accent and it was also the dialect that I learned in class.

    An app that I found useful was “Vietnamese dictionary box- Tu Dien“.  This particular application is great because it has pictures and clear definitions.  In addition, Vietnamese is a tonal language that has 6 different tones that are extremely hard to type in your ipod.  There are many words that are spelled the same but have different accents that change the definition.  For example, ban can mean friend, table, busy, or dirty depending on your pronunciation.  This app does a good job incorporating the different tones without confusing the reader.  Once, this app helped me communicate with a lady across the street my guesthouse and I managed to have a decent conversation about her kids and husband.

    • Judy 11:34 am on December 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      TAylor I have enjoyed reading your posts. This particular entry is beautiful. It made me smile. Judy.

  • DougReilly 6:21 pm on December 3, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: app, , ,   

    Challenge Eight: Favorite App 

    What’s your favorite iTouch App, and how did it help you this semester?

    One of the primary goals of the Asiapod initiative is to explore the usefulness (or not!) of mobile technologies to facilitate language learning while students are on the move.

    Asiapod bloggers: your challenge this week is to share one application or “app” that you have found particularly helpful in the five months(can you believe it?) that you’ve carried the iTouch. A particular dictionary? Virtual flashcards? Videos via Youtube? The summer period is specifically included, as we are equally interested in stories of travel preparations as navigations of your new environs. Imagine your potential readership as students planning to follow in your footsteps next semester; a few sentences summarizing the app’s functionality and value will do the trick.

    Has the iTouch been irrelevant? If so, any particular reason? These stories are important as well.

  • DougReilly 5:56 pm on October 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: app, ,   

    Challenge Five: Listen Up! 

    Go out and turn on your ears. Not those ears. Well, those. But also your iTouch ears.

    The book Listen, Listen by Phillis Gershator and Alison Jay(Barefoot Books 2007) is a favorite in our family right now. 🙂 The detailed illustrations charm my daughter but it’s the narrated text that captivates. When we read it aloud, she leans in and tilts her head, signaling full attention. Below is an example from the book that nicely reflects the quintessential fall weather we are experiencing this week here in the Finger Lakes:

    Honk, honk, geese call. Swish, swish, leaves fall. Whoosh, whoosh, hats fly. Whoo, whoo, owls cry.

    What’s the relevance to Asiapod? Listening is a critical component of learning. Asiapod bloggers, for Challenge Five, we want you to take a “snapshot” of your current audio world. Something short: thirty seconds or so. Perhaps you’ll share your own voice, a phrase or a saying in the language you are learning from your daily life; or, it’s something from your environment,  such as the hum of the traffic that you hear outside your window every morning. If you aren’t up for actual audio recording, please do feel free to share reflections on your audio world via whatever medium/means you are inspired!  See, for example,  Taylor Anderson’s prescient posting this past week on rain or others from Asiapod 1.0.

    If you don’t already have a preferred way to capture audio, check out the app Audioboo. Use Audioboo to capture and then copy the link for inclusion in your WordPress posting.

    We’re listening…

  • sallyintaiwan 3:31 pm on August 20, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: app, , , ,   


    Though I’m not yet in Taipei, I’ve already experienced the first challenge of my semester aboard: Packing! In my 6 years of leaving home to go to school, I must say, I seem to bring less and less each year—but nothing comes close to what I’ve packed for this semester!
    I hate to admit it, but packing like this wasn’t that easy… I can’t help but wonder what I’m missing or if my clothes are appropriate (culturally, and for the hot & humid weather of Taiwan!) Packing was most difficult for me because (having only traveled overseas twice, and for a short period of time) I don’t know what I will be like abroad—essentially, I worry about my flexibility, simply because I realize how little I have been pushed outside my comfort zone in the “travel abroad arena.” Maybe, I feel like bringing all the “right stuff” from home will keep me from straying from my comfort zone? Maybe, I feel like if I forget something “important” it will throw me off in an already unfamiliar environment…
    Of course, that’s not true. None of the material things I bring will really matter when it comes to feeling comfortable in Taiwan. AND I don’t want to comfortable! I want to be challenged, and I want to become more flexible! So, I am at a point now that if I think of anything else to bring, I simply won’t bring it. I stuffed my most recent “great idea” (bug spray) in my bag today, and that’s it! Be assured, I WILL think of a handful of other “must haves” but they will have to become “can’t haves.” Especially since my ONE(!) checked bag is 49 lbs, 50 lbs being the limit…

    So, what else have packed?—metaphorically, of course! I’ve done my best to arrive in Taipei prepared for the language component. I understand that a major part of any abroad experience is to explore a culture and something different from one’s own “norm.” But my first priority for this trip to solidify my Chinese language skills—so it would be great if I could get to Taiwan and not have to spend time doing an ineffective, stressful review of last year’s material. In a super busy summer with an internship in DC and a swim coaching job it wasn’t always easy to find time and motivation to brush up—but I mainly did my studying during my commute in and out of DC on the Metro. This mainly included reading and listening to recordings from the textbook I used last year; and also an app called Mind Snacks, for Mandarin, which I found to help with keeping up vocabulary. Reading a couple of guide books, and of course “googleing” Taiwan whenever I got the chance help to explain general cultural standards and politics, as well the best beaches to travel to!
    With the research I’ve done, I have surprised myself in that I have very few specific expectations about my time abroad (about the people, the place, etc.) This is not to say expectations are low, just generally absent. I expect to become better at Chinese, make some friends, experience a place unlike any I’ve ever been… but these are relatively general expectations. I am extremely pleased with my lack of expectations; with no expectations during an opportunity as fortunate as this, in a place I am so excited about I’m sure to be amazed every day—what’s better than that?!

  • Hannah 7:53 pm on May 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: app,   

    Before you go! Apps for your consideration 

    Hey everyone! A special welcome to the new Asiapod class~hopefully you are all getting the hang of our itouches and enjoying them! As promised, I’m just going to introduce some apps that I found useful. Some of them are specific to China, but there is no reason for you not to download it and try it out. Usually there are equivalents in multiple languages so if you try it and like it, you can find one that might actually apply to you.

    This first app I highly recommend you download immediately. Like right now. It is the Find iPhone app. To use it, you will have to create an account at me.com and set everything up. The directions in the app store will make this process really clear. Now, although this might seem like a hassle it is completely worth it. Because this app will allow you to locate your iTouch and control it if you lose it. You will be able to lock the screen remotely and display messages on the screen, or even make it beep so you can locate it even if you lose it in your own room. The one downside is that the app will only work if your iTouch is connected to recognized wifi, but that is still a useful thing to have.

    Dianhua is the app that I keep talking about, and that I used daily in my classes. It is a Chinese dictionary app that allows for multiple inputs (English, PinYin, handwriting) and displays everything you could want in an organized way. If you are going to a different country, I recommend trying out a number of the free dictionaries available until you find one that you like- there are plenty available. Look for ones that have translations that you recognize as correct, and are able to be used offline.

    This list of apps can be used for studying Chinese. Explore them, look at them, check to see if the developer has one available in your language.


    WN Mandarin- the World Nomad developer has many languages available to study

    ChinesePad – a chinese study game

    Trainchinese- a developer with many free chinese apps (including pinyintrainer, a very useul pinyin game


    Google translate- Useful, but only useable with wifi. Translations can occasionally be a little iffy

    Skype- use to make video calls or instant messaging! The cool thing with your new iTouch model is the two cameras, so you can video chat with the camera facing you or use the back camera to show your friends what you’re looking at

    WordPress- use the wordpress app to blog on the go! Play with the available tools to see what you can do

    Survival phrases podcast- this, and other podcasts are completely free to download. There are so many available that can teach survival phrases, grammar, advanced vocabulary, and more. Look around the iTunes store to try some out. Blog about your discoveries!

    Lastly, just have fun with it. If an app looks interesting and is free, download it.


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