In this post I am sharing three reading apps for kids with touch audio feature. I have selected Little Chinese Readers, Storyworld, and Joyreader because they specifically offer the touch audio feature in their stories. At our current reading level we can keep reading the free stories on Joyreader. I have a free subscription for Little Chinese Readers from a promotion last year. Storyworld is offering 40% off all yearly packages as a Chinese New Year promotion so I will subscribe at the discounted rate. I use all 3 apps as learning tools for our family, along with traditional printed books, flashcards, activities, etc. Please take advantage of the free trials to determine if these are good options for your family.
What is touch Audio?
Touch Audio is a feature that allows you to click on a Chinese character to hear the Mandarin translation. Some apps call this feature “touch dictionary”.
Why I like the Touch Audio Feature
The touch audio feature is a nice alternative to pinyin and zhuyin. Hearing the translation allows the reader to focus on the Chinese Character without the distraction of phonetic symbols. I find this helpful for character recognition and learning proper pronunciation. I realized that when there’s pinyin or zhuyin, I automatically focus on the letters/symbols rather than the Chinese Character, even for characters that I already know.
My Chinese reading vocabulary is very limited. Storytime requires the assistance Google Translate to help with characters I can’t read. This process is tedious, often because Google Translate doesn’t recognize the text. With the touch audio feature replaces the translation app. This is especially useful for non-native speakers learning Chinese with their children.
This chart compares the similar features and yearly cost of Little Chinese Readers, Storyworld, and Joyreader.
Little Chinese Readers
Little Chinese Readers is a web app that provides “a comprehensive system that integrates leveled lessons/resources with companion storybooks for each level, so that kids can build up Chinese vocabulary step by step, while developing a good reading habit to keep up with the language through adulthood.”
The touch audio feature provides an instant Mandarin translation when you click on the character. You can also toggle between Simplified and Traditional Chinese Characters, and display pinyin, zhuyin, and/or English.
Storyworld “is an interactive learning-through-stories language tool for children two years old and up.” What’s exciting about Storyworld is their upcoming mobile app scheduled to launch March 2019. They currently offer more than 55 bilingual stories and a new story is added each month. Each subscription includes access to English, Chinese, and Spanish stories.
The touch audio feature provides an instant Mandarin translation upon clicking on the Chinese Character. There is also a small pop up displaying the character’s pinyin. Click again to hear the English translation. You can toggle between English, Chinese, and Spanish.
Get 40% off for Chinese New Year with promo code MM40CNY. The 40% discount is valid from 1/30/2019 – 2/05/2019 for any yearly subscription package . Once the promotion ends, please enjoy 20% off with code MM20YR.
WaWaYaYa JoyReader “is a library of high-quality children’s content that will satisfy the reading needs of all children aged 3 to 12.”
This app offers both Chinese and English books for young readers. There are over 2000 books available and several you can read for free. While Joyreader boasts the most features, their touch audio feature needs improvement. The audio translation is not instant and often freezes while loading. The pop-up window covers most of the page. This is a good option for people seeking a dictionary feature vs Mandarin audio. Bonus, some of the books show stroke order for the characters when you use the touch dictionary feature.
Do you have a favorite app for learning Chinese? Please share in a comment!