恭喜发财! / Happy Lunar New Year!

4 February 2023

gōng xǐ fā cái

Thank you to everyone who registered their interest in Polyvox over the last 8 weeks or so, your support is sincerely appreciated!

With Chinese New Year/Spring Festival celebrations winding up, I wanted to share a little more about the app.

Polyvox is an app for learning Mandarin Chinese with a virtual teacher. I introduced the first teacher, Guo Liyuan, at the end of last year. Now, say hello to our second teacher, Xu Zhi!

Both Xu Zhi and Liyuan will teach you Chinese grammar and vocabulary through a series of handcrafted lessons. Initially, these use English to explain concepts, gradually transitioning into pure Chinese once you have reached a base level of competence.

All content is spoken aloud by the teacher for that lesson, so you can practice listening to clear, native spoken Chinese at a cadence appropriate to your level.

You are then prompted to respond by speaking aloud a response into the microphone. When I was learning Chinese, I found that vocalizing words, sentences and grammar patterns was the best method for building long-term competence.

The app uses very tolerant speech recognition, so even if this is your first time speaking Chinese, the teachers should be able to understand you. Of course, you can also manually tap your chosen response, but I want to design the app to encourage you to interact verbally.

In the meantime, we're conducting a very short survey to help prioritize the lesson content we will incorporate in the first release.

On the landing page, after clicking the signup button, you'll be asked about your current level of Mandarin. This information is purely anonymous, it is not linked with your e-mail address and is solely to help decide how many lessons we should have ready at what level. In turn, this will get a pre-release version out to early access users as soon as possible.