I finally took some time to read through the word-wide reviews of JSQ’s iPhone applications for the first time in a few months and noticed a few users taking issue with the number of entries in the DianHua Dictionary Audio Module. My main goal in the initial release was to cover as much common language as I could given practical constraints with accurate pronunciations of words in Mandarin. Each word you hear in the Audio Module was recorded by my friend Noah the way you might hear it in normal conversation.
During the time I was developing the Audio Module, several other developers released applications with Mandarin audio. Of those I’ve seen, excluding ChinesePod’s new application, they use individual syllables to cover the entire dictionary. Not only does this not let you hear words at a normal speaking pace, but some of these products are not applying basic pronunciation rules. For instance, “yi1ban4” should be pronounced as “yi2ban4”, “ni3 hao3” should be pronounced as “ni2 hao3”. With the DianHua Dictionary Audio Module, not only are all of the available words recorded as full words, but the tone change rules are honored.
Admittedly, when you see products touting audio for the full CC-CEDICT (or other) dictionary for $3 or $4, I can see how you would feel like you wasted money by buying the DianHua Dictionary Audio Module. However, this is my starting point. I am going to continue recording audio for the Audio Module now that it has shown some potential, and as an owner, you will continue to receive free updates for the life of the product. I can also easily write the code to let the software combine syllables like other products. In fact, I may do that in the interim while we keep recording audio, but my goal will be to cover as much of CC-CEDICT as possible without resorting to software solutions.
As always, if you have any comments, positive or negative, please feel free to contact me. I love hearing from users so I know if what I’m doing is beneficial to you. And keep posting those reviews. I enjoy reading and learning from them.