Perhaps you’ve just started learning Mandarin Chinese.
Or maybe you already have some experience with it and are looking to improve further.
Inevitably, there comes a time when you’ll tear your hair out in frustration over one of the central features of the Chinese language — tones.
Yes, those pesky little diācrítìc mǎrks.
No matter how hard you try, they just seem like a black box you can’t ever crack.
Did I just accidentally call my mom (mā) a horse (mǎ)?
Was that Chinese person talking about being hurt (shāng hài) or going to Shanghai (shàng hǎi)?
After a series of repeated linguistic embarrassments, you might start to wonder:
Is there an app to practice Chinese tones?
The answer is a resounding yes!
An app for tone practice
I built Ka, an app that can help you learn and practice Mandarin Chinese tones. With Ka, you’ll learn to recognize the difference between tones, stop mixing up words and start speaking pitch-perfect Chinese.
The app is built to feel like a game. It has over a hundred levels, and you’ll find yourself swiping and breezing through bite-sized tone practice exercises whilst collecting fun things and upgrading your dragon mascot.
Use it for just a few minutes a day, but keep at it. By the time you reach the final stages of the app, you’ll have achieved completely mastery in tones. Very soon, all your pinyin-related struggles will feel like a thing of the past.
With its engaging games and exercises, Ka makes learning tones feel like a fun challenge rather than a tedious task.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve your existing skills, Ka is a fantastic tool for mastering Mandarin Chinese tones.
Best of all, Ka is free!
How is Ka free?
From the beginning, I knew it was important to keep the app free for folks who can’t afford to pay — such as students in school. It’s important to keep education as accessible as possible.
Thus, I stuck to a central premise — all the content in Ka, all 100+ levels of it, is completely free and not behind a paywall.
But of course, as an independent developer (this is my job), I needed a way to sustain my business.
The central way I make money from Ka is via a paid subscription. You start off with 5 lives, and lose one every time you get a card wrong. If you subscribe, you’ll get unlimited lives, as well as a bunch of other features — such as removing all ads from the app.
But even if you choose not to subscribe, you can still the app for free. You can simply wait a few hours for your lives to be restored, or start a practice session (practice doesn’t use up lives).
What about Android?
Many people have written to me asking when the app will be available on Android via the Google Play Store.
Unfortunately, I’m a team of just one person, so I can’t do everything right away!
I do plan to release an Android version, but the honest truth is, it’s quite a huge endeavor, and it’s probably going to take a while — making an app for a different platform is equivalent to re-writing all the code again!
If you would like to be notified when an Android version is released, please enter your email on this form. I promise you’ll be the first to know when I release an Android version :)