This free Chinese character learning app is developed by The Open University (UK).

This app contains the first 200 plus characters introduced in The Open University's Beginners' Chinese module第一步 Dì yī bù (L197). These are the most frequently used characters taught at beginners’ level and are also part of the GCSE Chinese syllabus. By combining them, you will learn a further 200+ useful words and phrases (e.g. 网 net + 球ball = 网 球tennis, which you will be asked to search for in one of the Word Search Activities).

There are 16 lessons which chronologically build upon each other with interactive activities to help you write, recognize visually and aurally, and memorise some of the most frequently used characters in a systematic, friendly and fun way. Most importantly you have the chance to form simple sentences with the limited characters learnt.

Each of the 16 lessons has five interactive activities with audio embedded: Writing, Reading, Listening, Rearranging, and Identifying or Word Search.

Writing: In this activity you can watch the animation of stroke-by-stroke drawing of each character, hear the pronunciation, learn Pinyin and its English meaning, and most importantly draw the character with or without the model.

Reading: Here you can test yourself on recognising the characters you have learnt in the Writing Activity. Match the character with Pinyin or English, and you will get instant feedback.

Listening: Here you can test your understanding of i) some characters you have learnt in the current lesson which are single character word (e.g. 早: early); and ii) words consisting of two or more characters, which are made up of characters you have learnt in the current and previous lessons (e.g. 早上: morning). Instant feedback is provided.

Rearranging: Here you get the opportunity to practise forming a sentence based on the audio you hear, using the characters provided, which you have already learnt. Instant feedback is provided.

Identifying: Here you are presented with five groups of characters. Each group consists of four similar looking characters. You will need to choose the character that matches the English. The feedback provides a word/phrase that contains this character.

Word Search: Here you have the opportunity to search for words/phrases that consist of the characters you have learnt up till that point. This activity not only helps to develop your character recognition skills but also to remember characters in context, and it is fun to play!

What’s New

Version 1.03

Lessons 12 – 16 included
All lessons free to download


The Open University
1.1 GB
Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© The Open University 2018
In-App Purchases
  1. Lessons 7-11 $0.99


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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