So you’re learning Mandarin Chinese?

First off, kudos for starting — Chinese is no walk in the park. The US State Department rates it as a Category IV language, which means it’s “exceptionally difficult for English speakers.”

This is the highest classification available for languages, and Chinese shares this notorious label with Arabic, Japanese and Korean.

(The easiest languages to learn? Spanish, French and Italian — now you understand why so many English speakers claim to speak those languages — they’re just way easier to learn.)

One reason why Chinese, Arabic, Japanese and Korean all share the most difficult label is that their writing systems are pretty much incomprehensible to any native English speaker.

But you know what makes Chinese even harder than Arabic, Japanese and Korean?


Chinese is unique in that depending on what pitch you use to say a word, you might mispronounce it as a completely different word. No such problem exists in other languages.

For example, the word for mother is 妈 (mā). If you say it with the wrong tone, you might end up referring to your mom as a horse 马 (mǎ)!

Chinese Characters + Tones = a HUGE barrier to many learners.

There are already a variety of mobile apps available to help you memorize characters, but not a ton for helping you with tones.

This is where the Ka app shines: we’re simply the best pinyin trainer app to help you master the tone system.



Pinyin is the standard romanization system for Mandarin Chinese. If you want to learn Chinese, you’ll have to master pinyin, and Ka is perfect for helping you do that.

When you use Ka, you’ll gain exposure to a wide variety of sounds and syllables in Chinese. The app contains thousands of audio recordings and features a fun, gamified interface. You’ll find yourself tapping and swiping cards and breezing through levels while getting repeated listening and recognition practice in.

Best of all, you can use the app for free.

(Disclaimer: The app contains an optional in-app purchase and I’d be thrilled if you decide to support me by making a purchase. But even if you don’t, you can still access all the content for free.)

Don’t wait any longer — give Ka a spin today!