Why Is Pinyin Important for Learning Chinese?
Pinyin ( 拼音, pīnyīn) is the foundation of learning Chinese if you are not a native Chinese speaker.
Pinyin helps you pronounce the Chinese words accurately and fluently because with the pinyin knowledge, you speak with higher precision when you know the difference among the 23 initial consonants and the 23 vowels. Your Chinese listening ability will improve also because again, with precision, you will be able to distinguish and recognize Chinese words better.
Having said so, how do you improve your pinyin? Learning doesn't need to be boring! Here are some interesting online games that you can train and improve your pinyin:
Digital Dialects provides you with games to learn Chinese pinyin easily.
You will find different games challenging your knowledge in elementary level Chinese language including Chinese greeting phrases, numbers, colours, animals, days and months, fruits and vegetables and other daily elementary vocabulary. For example, for the colour pinyin game, you will be provided with the pinyin of the colour: they will show you the pinyin "hóng sè" (red) and you will have to choose the colour it means. You could also switch to practise your listening by choosing the colour only by listening to the recordings.
As the games are designed in Flash, they would not be the prettiest or most modern among the current online games. You will also need to make sure your browser support Flash Player. Also, not all the games come with audios. Only those with a speaker icon shown on the top right hand corner provide audio recordings.
Pinyin game for recognizing numbers : You have to add up the two numbers given and find out the solutions, all in pinyin in the given limited time.
In some of the other games, e.g. the fruit and vegetable game, you can learn the vocabulary first and practise the pinyin, listening and recognition separately.You can choose to start by learning the characters, pinyin, and the pronunciations. Then, according to your need, you can choose to practise separately by pinyin, listening or the Chinese characters. In some of the games, you can practise both your Chinese pinyin and your listening.
Games Learn Chinese is another resource for learning your Chinese.
This website has a more modern layout and more interactive game interface, which makes learning more pleasant. The colour and design are easy to look at and to operate. You can choose the topics and test yourself in Pinyin or in Chinese characters.
Another good point of this Chinese learning online game is that they also rank their games according to the difficulty levels in the Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK) (Chinese: 汉语水平考试). For those who are aiming at completing the test, this would help you test your level knowledge.
The drawback is that some of the games are categorized 'premium', meaning that you would have to pay to get access to.
This page is very useful for Chinese learners who have started learning Chinese characters and pronunciation already. The exercises here can strengthen your pinyin knowledge and provide you with practice opportunities.
The design of the page is very basic. Do not expect any fancy designs or drawings here. Another drawback is that it does not provide audio recordings. The Chinese online game collections here are not suitable for real beginners.
Among the games available, I would recommend to you the tone practice exercise. It helps you revise your tone knowledge, which could increase your pronunciation accuracy. You have to recognize the Chinese characters (e.g. 你好 in the picture), then choose the correct pinyin and tones.
Another game that is suitable for revising your pinyin is the Wordmatch game. All you have to do is to match the Chinese characters with the correct Pinyin. You can check your answers and know your scores at the end of the practice. Drag the correct pinyin and tone to the corresponding Chinese characters. Click "Check" after you have finished.
Chinese In Flow provides audio recordings together with the Chinese characters for learners to match the pinyin and the meanings in English. Another good point of this is that you can adjust the combination of how you would like to test yourself in the settings. You can choose to show the pinyin and listen to the audio, then match it with the English meaning. This can easily be done in the setting interface.
When choosing the pinyin and meanings, the incorrect ones you attempted will disappear to help you.
Moreover, the vocabulary are sorted according to the Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì (HSK) (Chinese: 汉语水平考试) (level 1 to 5 in this game). You can choose your suitable levels accordingly. After the test, there is a 'sudden death' session that you have to recognize as many pinyin as possible in the given time. Have some fun and enjoy learning!
Not a lot of varieties in their games.
You wil like the modern platform and the smooth and bright design. It has also an interactive interface. It is suitable for beginners as the games involve teaching and practice sessions. You will first learn the Chinese characters and pinyin, then correlate them with the pinyin and English meanings. Your progress of the game will be recorded and you can check them every time you visit the main interface.
Learners need to login to play the games. You will have to create an account in order to gain access to the game. Higher level games are locked for premium users only, which means you have to pay to play higher level games.
How to Make the Most Out of the Games?
Practice makes perfect! With good resources, tools and teachers, you can definitely make a great progress in your Chinese! Here are some online resources you can use to assist you when playing these online games:
This online pinyin method website can help you recognize the pinyin and type Chinese.
You can always revise the 23 initial consonants and 23 vowels and how the pinyin system works before you start the games.
More From Us on How to Speak Chinese?
Pay a visit to How to Speak Chinese – The Ultimate Guide to Chinese pronunciation for more insights.
Or look at The Best Speech Techniques to Avoid Sounding Like a Foreigner in Chinese if you are ready for more.