Microsoft Research Releases Tip Tap Tones for Learning Mandarin on Windows Phones
Interesting training app for Windows Phones which could set the ground work for doing this in other languages as well (but Chinese is notoriously difficult for it’s subtleties).
Tip Tap Tones for Windows Phone 7 helps language learners to identify the sounds and tones of Mandarin Chinese in a way that is fast, fun, and effective. In the game, you listen to a Mandarin sound before tapping the button representing the tone and syllable you thought you heard. The game begins with just a single syllable and four tone options, but as you progress by giving correct responses, the sounds get faster and the number of confusable syllables increases. By making you pay close attention to small differences between similar sounds, Tip Tap Tones gets you learning to listen just like a native speaker. The game ends after 60 seconds, in which time you need to complete as many game screens as you can by giving fast and accurate responses. The game also shows you how often you get each tone correct as well as how often you confuse it with other tones, giving you the information you need to increase your accuracy, your game scores, and your real-world listening skills. Overall, Tip Tap Tones represents a new way to “sharpen your ears” and retrain your brain to identify the foreign sounds of Mandarin Chinese, in a game format that is challenging and enjoyable for learners of all levels.
Great app! I wish I had this last year when I started taking Mandarin classess. My instructor is going to love this app!