"Idiom Zoo" chosen as a healthy website winner

Grace Ho

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Can learning Chinese idioms be fun? The answer is a resounding yes. Check out the "Idiom Zoo" website, a winner in the Ten Healthy Websites Contest 2004. The website was developed by LangComp Company Ltd, which was affiliated with City University of Hong Kong.



The Ten Healthy Websites Contest 2004 was jointly organised by the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority and the Salvation Army to motivate Internet content providers to create healthy websites for young people. The "Ten Healthy Websites" were selected from 50 nominees and 40,000 people voted.

"Idiom Zoo" aims at helping students understand 90 animal-related Chinese idioms via interesting animation, interactive multimedia and edutainment games. When you enter the site, you find attractive cartoons. You can choose an animal on a list and then pick an idiom that includes your chosen animal. The website offers you the chance to view an animated movie introducing the background of the idiom you pick, or to read a short passage about the idiom – for either option, you can choose to learn in Cantonese or Putonghua. For even more excitement, try out the interactive computer games designed to help you learn about the meaning and application of your chosen idiom. "Idiom Zoo" facilitates you to learn Chinese idioms more effectively.



"Idiom Zoo" is hosted by the Education and Manpower Bureau, HKSAR. LangComp was in charge of the second phase of the project and devoted to data research, content compilation, animation production, subtitling, voice-over production and computer programming.



Founded in 1997, LangComp aims at providing language-related educational products, application software and services to schools and the public. Dr Caesar Lun, Assistant Professor in CityU's Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, is a founding director of the company. Besides "Idiom Zoo", LangComp has also developed a series of computer-assisted language learning software packages for the Education and Manpower Bureau, such as "Dianhualiuxing" and "Congjianrufan". In addition, the company contributes to research and development of "Jyutping Bat Naan", "Practical Jyutping Input Method" and "Biaoyinyi".


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