See below for pictorial walkthrough
I should probably be revising for my test using Skritter, but instead I am writing a review about it, but hey, i’m a rebel.
This pictorial walk-through shall introduce you to the Skritter iOS app and give some hints and tips in the comments below each picture so I recommend viewing the galley if you intend trying Skritter.
In case you don’t know, Skritter is a website, and now an iOS suite for learning Chinese and Japanese, (no Android app yet sadly). It focuses on how to write these languages, but at the same time teaches the meaning, tone, and reading for each character/word using a spaced repetition algorithm (SRS) to ensure you that you remember around 90% of what you learn providing you use it. (Google the term SRS if you don’t know what it is, and chuck out/recycle those paper flashcards).
The service doesn’t come cheap, nor does it come expensive at around $15 p/month ($10 if you know where to look) but providing you don’t have that expensive frothy coffee from Starbucks, or that late night trip to 7/Eleven for chocolate and milk, then you should be able to afford it. (Seriously, track your expenses, find that something in your life that wastes all your money, cut it out, and divert the cash towards this for a few months).
The desktop browser version has been available for some time, but with the release of the iOS app you no longer need to get an expensive tablet and stylus for your computer. The app also happens to be one of the best looking ones on the App store, and even today I am impressed by how fluid and beautiful it is.
The app gives you a lengthy free trial period, and at the point of expiration still lets you review your learnt characters which is nice. To add new words you will have to part with some cash. If you’re new to chinese then I recommend studying the Skritter 101 course from the list menu. This will guide you through some basic words/phrases and introduce you to some common radicals to encourage you to think about how chinese is put together. The order in which you learn new characters in well thought out and builds complexity gradually.
Once you’re done with that list, you can then choose a new list to study. The text-book list is extensive, and contains most books. We learn a chapter’s worth of new words from our PAVC books every few days, and on Skritter I can selectively add new words each day, chapter by chapter so I’m not overcome by a chinese character overdose.
Try it out for free. If you like it, pay for a month as a trial. If you don’t use it, don’t renew it. However if you’re using it every day for an hour or two, regularly get high 90’s on your test results and hardly every write a character by route, thousands of times over, then it’s worth the price of 4 large Caffé Latte’s (which will only make you fat).
Click below to see pictorial walkthrough
N.B: For all spelling errors, please email my agent.