Chapter 9: Tools to learn Mandarin 拼音/普通話 學習工具

These are mobile tools to learn Mandarin. They can be used when traveling (if your phone has a mobile data connection).


First choice for native Cantonese speakers learning Mandarin

Microsoft Translator APP
(simple to install and easy to use):
You can speak in Cantonese and it translates to Mandarin and outputs simplified characters, Mandarin sounds 普通話 and Pinyin 拼音.
It also transcribes Cantonese dialect into more formal Mandarin e.g. 你識唔識 becomes 你懂不懂



App "RTHK On The Go" has two radio channels in Mandarin. 電台直播-第七台 is Mandarin mostly spoken by fully bilingual Mandarin-Cantonese speakers. Since the speakers have a Cantonese background, it is easier to listen to (by native Cantonese speakers), even when they speak Mandarin.



Google Translate APP:
Input can be English, Chinese (handwriting) or Mandarin voice.
(it is possible but geeky to add 廣東話 voice input for Google Translate)
Google Translate will output Mandarin Pinyin with tonal marks and produce Mandarin sounds. Unfortunately Google refused to produce Cantonese sounds.
To add 廣東話 voice input (called voice typing), the setup is a bit complex and confusing.
I'll add 廣東話 voice input procedures at a later time.
Assuming "廣東話 voice typing" is working:
Tap the microphone icon, speak in Cantonese, Google Translate will output Mandarin Pinyin with tonal marks and produce Mandarin sounds.

Pleco APP: (can be used completely offline, great for travel use)
Settings Audio Voice Recognition: Cantonese.
It accepts Cantonese voice input and outputs simplified characters, Pinyin with tonal marks and produce Mandarin sound with occasional tone errors.