Thinknao Releases New Chinese Learning iPhone App

Beijing-based, international mobile education software maker thinknao offers a fun, innovative way to learn idioms on your Apple iPhone / iPod touch and iPad.

We all have memories of childhood that stay with us the rest of our lives. In our family father or mother would put us to bed with century-old tales that could be condensed into four character expressions called Cheng Yu. Before we fell asleep, my sister and I would hear about the hard-working and diligent firefly Ying Xue, whose extra community work led to people around him enjoying a fuller life. Or about the story of Lu Zheng. His story reminds us that rules and standards should be followed, but we should also be flexible if the situation warrants it.

In later life, instructors would give us a list of ChengYu to memorise before the exam. It was then that learning ChengYu became a chore for me and my sister. We knew that the ChengYu were deep in historical context and meaning and that one's understanding of ChengYu was (and is) indicative of one's level of education. But to be honest, we learned just enough to pass the test and missed much of the rich traditional learning from the past. And today the situation is worse for our kids: rote memorisation has replaced understanding and today's distractions - instant messaging, the Internet, etc - has led to history being lost. It has became too boring to study thousand year-old idioms. That is, until now.

Thinknao, a leading developer of educational fun mobile apps based in Beijing, China, has come up with a way to make learning ChengYu fun by turning the exercise into a competitive crossword game. thinknao has created a clueless crossword puzzle for the iPhone / iPod touch and iPad platforms and the result is that learning ChengYu is now a great hobby for all ages. In fact the app name, loosely translated, means, 'it is cool to play with idioms.'

ChengYu Ku Wan lets individuals or teams play against a stopwatch to find all the ChengYu. The faster a player discovers all the ChengYu, the better the score. If the player is really strong they can play the advanced level, where only one ChengYu appears or if they are just starting to learn, they have the option to play with more clues embedded into the puzzle.
The game has many features to entice the player to learn more and have fun. For instance, if one were to get a particularly good time they can easily remind their friend by sending an email. They can also email a particularly interesting idioms as well. The design is compelling too: a blackboard motif and subtle music guides the player along.

But the enduring value to players is the idiom lookup functions embedded into the game. Players can see the detailed definitions of individual idioms, their historcal context as well as how to pronounce the characters. What's more, over 90% of the ChengYu KuWan's idioms have English definitions to further add to the learning experience.

It is refreshing, now that many childhood memories have dimmed, that we have a chance to relax during the weekday hustle and lose oneself in a logic and learning game simultaneously for a few moments of time. Sometimes, we only need a small game to take us back, to when listening to Mom or Dad's pleasant voice telling us stories before we slept was the greatest gift of all. ChengYu KuWan lets you teach your self and your children these stories again. Isn't that too much to ask from an iPhone game?

About thinknao: thinʞnao is an emerging player in mobile education applications in Asia. Based in Beijing with offices in Hong Kong and Canada, thinknao is known for its distinctive brand (the upside down reversed "k" and its absolute focus on bringing creativity-building educational applications to Greater China and Japan.

Visit us at or email dm ( @ ) thinknao dot com for more information.


Contact Details

Company Name: Thinknao
Issued By: Stella Xu
Phone: 2005452
Website: Visit the website

by Stella Xu (few years ago!)

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