A New iPad App for Learning Pinyin

I’m very happy to finally announce that AllSet Learning has just released its first iOS app for the iPad, called AllSet Learning Pinyin. It’s a simple app, designed to take the typical pinyin chart we all start learning Chinese with and adapt it to the iPad. So that means supporting multiple orientations, as well as zooming and panning. And, of course, tapping for audio.

Last year AllSet Learning’s clients started buying up iPads at surprising rates, and all the beginners had the same request: I want a pinyin chart designed for my iPad. So that’s what we built.

More screenshots available on the product page

The app is free, and comes with not only audio for all pinyin syllables in all four tones, but also support for non-pinyin phonetic representations. So you can switch from pinyin to IPA, and even to other systems like Wade-Giles and zhuyin if you purchase the (very inexpensive) addons.

More addons for the app are coming. In the meantime, please try it out, tell your friends about it, and rate it in the App Store. Thanks!

Related Links:

AllSet Learning Pinyin on the App Store
AllSet Learning Pinyin on the AllSet Learning website


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. John this is awesome! I’m working for an App Developer now as well, so I know how much of a project this is..Congrats!! Looks great! Will be cool to see how your students can jump into this, and share it w classmates, etc around the world.
    Looking forward to your future plans for the app 🙂

  2. I’m gonna try it out right away! Also, I’m gonna show it to me fiancee who is a graduate student in Instructional Psychology and technology.

  3. Hi John, I unfortunately don’t have an iPad and can’t check out the app to provide feedback–nevertheless kudos for continuing to develop useful learning tools.
    I’m curious how you handled the audio of third tones. As a teacher, I’m more and more convinced that initially presenting third tones in their full form (2-1-4 or some close variation) is more harmful than helpful. My sense is that there is a growing awareness in the field that the 3rd tone is better handled initially as simply ‘low’ (2-1 or even just 1-1, i.e. the ‘half-third tone’), saving the falling-rising version for (a very little bit) later. On the other hand, it’s true that native speakers will produce it as falling-rising when asked to say single syllables in isolation, i.e. a Pinyin chart. Do you have any thoughts on this? (I know you’ve discussed it a bit previously.)

  4. Fantastic, although I’m a bit past needing a pinyin chart it’s good to see new useful products people are asking for being developed. Looking forward to seeing what else rolls out of your office.

  5. Just downloaded it to my ipad. I’m sure I will get a lot of use out of it. Nice job!

  6. is this one good for young children such as 6 or 7 years old?

  7. […] is pronounced kind of like ‘dsao’. Good news is, if you have an iPad, there is a great free app for learning Pinyin. Check it out! You can also have a look at this online Pinyin table with audio (which you can […]

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