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Kickstarter: The Last Chinese Dictionary App You'll Ever Need, No matter your level! Support Outlier Dictionary of Chinese Characters

-Let's get this one funded!
Learn characters more efficiently with this revolutionary, easy-to-use dictionary. Discover how Chinese characters actually work!

Rather than just telling you all about it, we've put together an interactive demo — you can actually use it for yourself! Note that the formatting isn't set in stone — it's just intended to show some of the features that will be included in the final product. We're working on how to lay out the information in the most useful way possible. Click the image above to check out the demo on our website!

Note: The dictionary will be released through Pleco, so the demo is designed to look and feel like Pleco. However, since it's just a demo and not the full app, there is some functionality normally available in Pleco that doesn't work here. Rest assured that all the usual Pleco functionality will be available in the official release!


There's a lot of info on this page, so here's a handy list of what's here:

1. About the Dictionary
2. For Beginners
3. How it Works — All About Functional Components
4. Two Flavors
5. Who is this dictionary for?
6. Which version is right for me?
7. The Poster
8. What people are saying about it
9. Who are we?
10. Rewards
11. Timeline
12. Stretch Goals

About the Dictionary

  • How do you teach Chinese characters in a way that is as efficient as possible while minimizing the burden on the learner?
  • How do you teach them in a way that helps students to be able to recall them in the long term rather than just long enough to pass next week's dictation test?
  • How do you foster an ability to predict possible meanings and pronunciations of unfamiliar characters encountered in context?
These are the problems that we're trying to solve, and we've spent years developing a new framework for learning Chinese characters based on sound paleographic principles and the principles of effective memorization. In the process, we've studied under some of the world's foremost experts in Chinese language and pedagogy, and we're now ready to distill all that academic training and expertise into an easy-to-use dictionary that will make your character learning more efficient.
With learning anything, the more you understand it, the easier it is to learn. Our dictionary explains how Chinese characters actually work, based on the most cutting-edge research. This is information that simply isn't available in English right now, and even if you already read Chinese, you'll only find it in very specialized books that take a great deal of academic training to make sense of. We're taking ivory tower knowledge and distilling it into something that will be truly useful to learners at all levels!

Read more:

Outlier Linguistic Solutions — David Moser Endorsement from Outlier Linguistic Solutions on Vimeo.
We spent some time chatting with Dr. Moser, Academic Director at CET Beijing, about our project and showing him the demo. Here's what he had to say about it afterward.


Bizarre: A “Backwards” Walking Tour of Shanghai Played in Reverse


Walk in Shanghai from JT Singh on Vimeo.
With its futuristic skyline and sprawling network of streets, subway lines, and highways, Shanghai represents not just China’s unbridled dynamism, but also the rapidly maturing global economy. The bustling city of Shanghai, however, holds a further, complex and equally exhilarating narrative nestled at the feet of its towering skyscrapers. ‘Walk in Shanghai’ tells the story of the lively, multifaceted and above all else, very human experience unfolding at the street level of this massive city.

To guide you through the streetscape is JT Singh. As he leads the viewer on his curious adventure through central Shanghai, he glances around corners, weaves through crowds, and with a barely perceptible pause here or an impulsive turn there, stumbles into the unhinged entropy that flows through the hidden alleys, accidental views, and captivating scenes embedded in the city’s vibrant street life. The peculiar reversal of the city’s movement against his own distinguishes his story from that of the other 24 million people taking 24 million walks in Shanghai. It’s through a heightened focus on one man’s seemingly unstructured journey that we discover the ultimate protagonist of this story: the transcendent power of using your legs for discovering a city.

‘Walk in Shanghai’ is only an introductory tour of Shanghai's urban streets. The remaining story of Shanghai’s suspense and beauty can only be experienced in person, and through using your legs as the main mode of transport. Shanghai in particular is a great city for walking as its downtown maintains its extensive walkable neighborhoods through the historic preservation of its urban fabric. Above all, JT Singh’s playful artistry is a celebration of the beauty of walking in cities. A visceral pleasure made possible by walkable and human scale urban environments. Walk on!

Watch also JT Singh's previous co-directed short film of Shanghai: "This is Shanghai"

Music: 392203-Rimsky-Korsakov-Scheherazade,-Symphonic-Suite-after-1001-Nights,-Op.-35-_-Festival-at-Bagdhad-The-Sea-The-Shipwreck-(Allegro-molto)

Sound Design: Slava Pogorelsky / /

Shanghai Tourism:

JT Singh Labs: / /

About JT Singh

JT Singh is a globally renowned media artist and expert on emerging cities at JT Singh Labs (, a unique design and technology studio specialized in city branding. His team executes experimental digital technologies + Economic strategy + Art initiatives to help cities engage with their global context. JT Singh and team employs many strategies in its work for cities and regions, including enhancing local cultural economies, tourism and trade, developing international presence, and attracting foreign investment.

JT has advised official city leaders in North America, Asia, and Europe, including Toronto, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Fuzhou. His creative work and intellectual contributions have appeared in numerous international publications, including BBC, Time, National Geographic, CNN, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Quartz, Mashable, China Daily, The Guardian, etc.

JT Singh Labs is based in Hong Kong/Shanghai and originally from Toronto, Canada.

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