How do I learn to write Chinese? Answer, nommoc. What is nommoc? Nommoc is an app to learn to write Chinese. Get nommoc in the app store here. Why is nommoc unique? Nommoc contains the stroke by stroke animation of a native Chinese person’s hand writing of the most common Chinese characters along with a free-hand writing area for the learner. With nommoc you can learn to write Chinese stroke by stroke on your iPad, iPhone or iTouch.
What is nommoc?
Let’s start by explaining what nommoc is not.
It is not a dictionary… Pleco is great for that.
It is not a flashcard system… Anki is great for that.
It is not a Skritter ‘wanna be’… Skritter is Skritter.
nommoc is an app built by Chinese learners for Chinese learners.
Nommoc is unique because it contains the hand-written animations of the most common Chinese characters, all of which were written by a native Chinese person. In addition it contains a free-hand writing area so that the learner can write the characters. It does not simply “replace” what you write with a pre-built animation. We wanted nommoc to be like a “mobile” pen and paper, with the added bonus of all the most common Chinese characters stroke by stroke animations.
To learn to write Chinese, it is essential to write each character stroke by stroke in proper order and proportion. Nommoc lets you do this. It is like having a Chinese teacher teach you stroke by stroke the most common Chinese characters.
Our goal was to “mobilize” the learning process, especially for busy expats and students. Before nommoc, we had to carry a pen, character writing paper, an electronic device or book containing our character list and stroke order information. This was not convenient and wasted a lot of time and writing opportunities. Now, we just need to carry our iPad/iPhone/iTouch and we can easily learn to write Chinese. Get nommoc in the app store here.
How nommoc works?
The first time you open nommoc, you will need to select a character list:
We recommend you start by selecting the list entitled: “2500 Most Common Chinese Characters”.
Then, as the example below shows, nommoc will begin to play a stroke by stroke animation for the first character in the list of 2500 most common Chinese characters. Next to the animation is a free-hand writing area. Simply follow along with the animation and write the character with its pinyin.
Once you are finished writing the character, simply swipe to flip to the next character in the list.
Stroke by stroke you will learn to write Chinese! Get nommoc in the app store here.
What does nommoc include?
Nommoc comes preloaded with:
- Stroke by stroke animation of a native Chinese person’s hand writing of the most common Chinese characters*
- The most common Chinese words which each of the most common Chinese characters appears in
- The CC-CEDICT English dictionary definition for the most common Chinese characters
- Supplementary list of the 1,000 less Common Chinese Characters*
- Supplementary list of the 7,000 General Use Chinese Characters*
Why learn the most common Chinese characters?
It is the best return on your time investment.
The 2,500 most common Chinese characters covers almost 98% of commonly used Chinese*.
That means no matter what “vocabulary” list you need to learn, be it for the HSK or other, like the “ABC’s” of English, if you learn to write the most common Chinese characters you can write those vocabulary words.
By far, learning to write the most common Chinese characters is the best use of your time!
Why is nommoc only $0.99?
Put simply, we hope the $0.99 price tag makes this app very affordable. We want as many people as possible to learn to write Chinese.
Of course, we believe it is worth way more than $0.99! ; )
Believe it or not, it took about two years to develop nommoc. From the software development to the countless hours it took a native Chinese person to hand write the most common Chinese characters, stroke by stroke. Get nommoc in the app store here.
What are the “1,000 Less Common Chinese Characters” and the “7,000 General Use Chinese Characters” lists?
If you learn to write Chinese, it is best to start by learning the most common Chinese characters. In China, that has been defined as the 2500 most common Chinese characters. According to the Chinese researchers, these 2500 characters cover almost 98% of commonly used Chinese*.
What about the other 2+%?
That’s where the supplementary lists come in.
The 1,000 Less Common Chinese Characters are less frequently used Chinese characters, yet still considered “common”. They cover an additional 1.5% of commonly used Chinese*.
The 7,000 General Use Chinese Characters list includes the 2,500 most common Chinese characters, the 1,000 less common Chinese characters, plus an additional 3,500 characters. They represent the Chinese characters in general use today throughout China.
Conclusion, nommoc was designed to maximize your effort.
We recommend learning to write Chinese by mastering the most common Chinese characters, that is the 2,500 characters.
Who’s following nommoc?
Here’s the latest press nommoc has received:
- ChengDu Living: http://www.chengduliving.com/combatting-expat-illiteracy/
- Mr. Kenneth Tan, Editor of the Shanghaiist.com: The Shanghaiist
- Learn Chinese Business: The case for learning Chinese characters – on your smartphone or tablet!
- Quinn Cash, Founder of HSK Tests
Many thanks to Charlie, Kenneth, Learn Chinese Business and Quinn for their support!
Nommoc tweets via @nommoc_app and #commonchinesecharacters
What is the “Nommoc 100,000″?
The “Nommoc 100,000″ are 100,000 people who will learn to write Chinese together using nommoc. Ready to join in?
The “Nommoc 100,000″ will tweet daily via #commonchinesecharacters about their learning experience, including photos, links and comments about who/what/where/when they encounter the most common Chinese characters.
The “Nommoc 100,000″ will raise awareness on the business/social/financial ramifications of “expat illiteracy in China”.
Get nommoc in the app store here.
If you need support with nommoc, please use our contact form.
What is “commonly used Chinese” and what is the basis for these coverage percentages?
Between 1986 and 1988 China’s National Linguistics Work Committee developed the “Chart of Common Characters of Modern Chinese”. In order to test the validity of this chart, they commissioned the ShanXi University Department of Computer Science to perform an analysis on the selected characters.
In order to perform their analysis they collected 2,000,000 characters of text from sources that would be considered a fair cross-section of the modern chinese language used at the time of analysis. In other words, this is a cross-section of “commonly used chinese”. Their sources were as follows:
- From the “People’s Daily Newspaper” (July 1987), 1,500,000 characters.
- From the “Beijing Science and Technology News” (July 1987), 200,000 characters.
- From the “Contemporary” journal (1987, 3rd period), 300,000 characters.
Their analysis involved calculating how much of the 2,000,000 characters of text would be covered by the 2,500 “Common” characters and the 1000 “Less-Common” characters. The results of their analysis were as follows:
- The 2,500 “common” characters covered 97.97% of the 2,000,000 characters of source material.
- The 1,000 “less-common” characters covered 1.51% of the 2,000,000 characters of source material.
These results are therefore the basis for the statements:
- The 2,500 Most Common Chinese Characters cover almost 98% of commonly used Chinese.
- The 1,000 Less Common Chinese Characters cover another 1.5% of commonly used Chinese.