The selection of free Chinese Dictionaries available for Google’s Android mobile phone platform isn’t as plentiful as the iPhone, but there are a few out there worth checking out. One of those is Hanping Chinese-English Dictionary, although not as feature-packed as the also free Dian Hua on the iPhone, Hanping is fast and easy to use.
You can find the app in the Android Market Place by scanning the barcode to the right with your Android phone and Barcode Scanner app:
The Android Market Place lists the features of the free version of Hanping as:
- Search Hanzi, Pinyin or English
- Simplified or Traditional Chinese chars
- Voice Recognition (Android OS 2.1+)
- Custom Search
- No Internet Connection required (but will use one if required for ad support)
- Dictionary installed to SD card
The pay version (available for £4.49UK, about $6.49US) has the following extra features:
- Mandarin audio
- Favorites, Chinese Idioms
- Useful links to websites
- No ads!
Back to the free version – after launching Hanping, you simply get a search box, within which can be entered either Chinese characters, English and also Pinyin. Text entry works fine, and there is only one small issue of the buttons to choose whether you are entering Pinyin or English becomes obscured by the word suggestion list that is built into android (see images below).
The search results consist of one page – a list of Chinese words with Pinyin pronunciations, and below each word the English definition, there’s no way to view a word alone, you can only view the search results as a list.
The adverts appear above the keyboard or at the bottom of the search results list, they are unobtrusive and never cause any problems with the interface.
Pressing the phone’s menu button brings up the in-app options, which are ‘Traditional <-> Simplified’ display, Help and About.
It is a shame that the free version doesn’t have a favourites/bookmarks option, but for free it’s hard to complain. As of yet I have not tried the pay version of Hanping, but judging by the feature list of above, it should meet the requirements of most Chinese learners.
Not a bad dictionary at all and definitely worth checking out if you using an Android phone. After asking the developer about the pro version on twitter, I got the following response regarding a new version with UI updates:
@ChineseHacks BTW, in one or two weeks time there will be a new version with an overhaul of the UI and UX, plus some nice new touches.
So check back in a few weeks for an updated review after the new version is released!
Know of any other Android Chinese dictionaries or software for learning Chinese? Let us know below: