Microsoft Research has released an interesting application designed to make it slightly easier to learn Mandarin.
Tip Tap Tones represents a new way to â€œsharpen your earsâ€ and retrain your brain to identify the foreign sounds of Mandarin Chinese, in a game format that is challenging and enjoyable for learners of all levels.
Tip Tap Tones helps one to identify the sounds and tones of Mandarin Chinese. In the game, you listen to a Mandarin sound before tapping the button representing the tone and syllable you thought you heard. The game begins with just a single syllable and four tone options, but as you progress by giving correct responses, the sounds get faster and the number of confusable syllables increases. By making you pay close attention to small differences between similar sounds, Tip Tap Tones gets you learning to listen just like a native speaker.
The game should be an invaluable tool for anyone learning the Chinese Language.
Tip Tap Tones is free and can be found in Marketplace here.