Today’s Killer Startup: Amanda
Amanda is an iOS app that helps people learn Mandarin Chinese via trending social media stories.
Why It’s A Killer Startup:
Let’s get one thing out of the way, right off the bat: Chinese is a bitch of a language. I studied for eight years, from sixth grade until my sophomore year of college, and I still could barely have a conversation. I spent hours upon hours studying flashcards and working on my tones and watching Hero with no subtitles, and what do I have to show for it today? Not a helluva lot, but that’s my fault for not keeping up on my studies after I left school.
I finished college in 2008, less than a year after the first iPhone was released. So, obviously, no awesome apps were available to help me keep my Chinese ship shape. A student graduating this month (or anyone learning Chinese in 2015), however, could turn to Amanda for help.
Amanda disposes of those boring old flashcards for good, and instead utilizes trending stories on social media to help foreigners learn Chinese. Every day, users get eight stories that are currently making the rounds in China. The stories are presented in English, with a word written out in Chinese characters. You can see the word in context, then check what it means, and then hear it said out loud.
For more advanced users, just click on the “zhōng” symbol (it looks like a square with a line going through it) for the entire article to be instantly translated back to Chinese. It’s a great way to add new words to your vocabulary, brush up on rusty language skills, and keep up with what’s going on in China today.
Ready to learn some Chinese, minus those pesky flashcards? Check out @AmandaTheApp for a fun new way!