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One-A-Day Chinese Learning Aids

Life gets busy, and sometimes we all need reminders to do even the things we want to do. At work, for example, I have created “task” reminders that pop up every day at 10:20 A.M. and 2:20 P.M. telling me to “Get up and go take a walk or something," as I’m sometimes prone to working too long in one stretch without a break. (Sad, I know, but that’s how it is some days.)

If you’re learning Chinese, have you thought about setting reminders that say “Study new Chinese vocabulary”? If so, why not get a daily reminder that brings its own content along?

For instance:

Hungry for Words can send you an e-mail link to a different interactive Chinese e-Flashcard each day. Each of these interactive flashcards includes a character or phrase, with interactivity to show you the translation, definition, pronunciation (both romanization and sound file), and a sentence example and its translation. You can choose to receive up to three daily flashcards, choosing from the following vocabulary categories:

The Hungry for Words service also provides eFlashcards for those learning Japanese and English. Sign up at has the simplest Web site I’ve seen in a long time, but it’s purpose is clear: Every day, it features a different Chinese proverb on its home page, showing its characters, pronunciation, and English translation. You can toggle between Simplified and Traditional characters. There is an “About” page with just four brief sentences on it. There is a “Archive” page with the list of all proverbs featured in the past. And, and, no, well, that’s it. No ads, no commentary, no nothing.

Its simplicity is artful, in other words.

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