The design of an app for learning Chinese idioms

Shan WANG, Yujia WU

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The effective use of Chinese idioms allows for effective communication and adds vigor to the language. However, due to the richness of idioms, foreign learners encounter many difficulties in grasping them. Unfortunately, existing resources provide limited help. First, existing printed and electronic dictionaries have a number drawbacks in showing the information of idioms: (i) they tend to list senses randomly; (ii) contain little or no information concerning the grammatical function (iii) they list synonyms or antonyms in isolation. To resolve this problem, the proposed App provides rich information concerning idiomatic language, including: (i) dynamic sense arrangements, (ii) the frequency of grammatical functions, and (iii) the lexical semantic network. Second, the App provides multimedia functions to enrich students' learning experience. Third, most Apps are for reference only and very few are designed for learning idioms. Our app is designed to have an interactive learning environment, including (i) the self-test system, (ii) peer assessment, and (iii) online games. In sum, the newly designed idiom-learning App can help students efficiently grasp idioms. Copyright © 2015 The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDictionaries and corpora: Innovations in reference science (Proceedings of ASIALEX 2015)
EditorsLan LI, Jamie MCKEOWN, Liming LIU
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherThe Hong Kong Polytechnic University
ISBN (Print)9789623677905
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Application programs


Wang, S., & Wu, Y. (2015). The design of an app for learning Chinese idioms. In L. Li, J. Mckeown, & L. Liu, Words (Eds.), Dictionaries and corpora: Innovations in reference science (Proceedings of ASIALEX 2015) (pp. 460-468). Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


  • App
  • Sense
  • Grammatical function
  • Lexical semantic network
  • Learning environment