chinese

For those who travel around the world, Bing Translator is an indispensable app for not feeling lost amongst the crowd. The useful app is perfect for translating foreign text to your native tongue, either by typing, scanning the text with your camera or speaking directly into the app.

Today, version 3.0 of Bing Translator is now available, and although it is a big version-number update, the changes in the app itself are singular: Voice translation for Chinese.

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Learning a new language isn’t easy – especially Asian languages. Of course you want to immerse yourself in the language you’re learning as much as possible. It also helps to make the learning process fun somehow. After that, it’s up to your personal dedication and interest in the idiom.

Indie game developer MNE Creations (located in Shangai, China) has taken all that into account when creating their Windows Phone 8 exclusive game, Tawkable Chinese. They aim to get users started on the road to learning Mandarin Chinese by wrapping language lessons up in an adventure game. The main game is free, with language drills sold as a single In-App Purchase.

Head past the break for our full impressions and hands-on video!

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Despite high expectations, the internet is not a place where you can say whatever you want. There are etiquettes to make sure everyone could have reasonably enjoyable online experience. That's why there are moderators and administrators everywhere to have personal assaults in discussion threads removed, and to have user who spam banned.

The same applies to Windows Phone Store, and Windows Store. The app review you submitted don't just appear immediately. Instead, there is someone (or some bot) at Microsoft having a quick look at it first, and have it published if nothing particularly naught is found. You guys should have been used to it already, after so long time.

However, according to Chinese site WPDang, online etiquette does not exist in the Chinese Windows Phone Store, which is causing a growing problem for user experience.

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China to finally get Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone?

China is not the most gamer-friendly place on this planet. Once upon a time, all was well and merry. But right upon entering the 21st century, some looney in the Chinese government suddenly decided video games are somehow harmful to the country, and made a law which banned the sales of all gaming consoles.

Sony took the blow right in the crown jewels. The game giant (ruler of the entire console gaming industry back then) prepared a whole batch of “specifically for China” Playstation 2 consoles, and opened up for pre-orders. The new law went live immediately after the Chinese Playstation 2 launch, sinking Sony’s new ship in one elegant hit.

According to urban legends and mythologies, some units were shipped to lucky Chinese gamers. But alas, I have to personally witness a genuine Chinese Playstation 2 yet.

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The official MSN Messenger app is Chinese-only

In what is an unusual surprise for users on Windows Phone, Microsoft (MSN China) has released an official standalone MSN Messenger app for Windows Phone.

The app is now available in the Marketplace and it seems to have world-wide availability although you’ll be hard pressed to read it since there is no language-localization to be found.

The app is actually very well done—it’s fast and fluid and behaves like how you would expect. You can set your away messages, chat with others and login from different accounts. And really, that’s the big deal here—as many users do have multiple Messenger aliases which they want to use.

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ZTE is slowly growing to be an important partner with Microsoft and Windows Phone as they're one of the largest OEMs in the world (that you never heard of). Their "Tania" has been around for some time now but it surprisingly hasn't launched yet in China, which received its big Windows Phone push last month with Nokia and HTC leading the way.

Now it looks like the device will finally be out within days though no specific carrier has been announced. According to Wei Xiaodong, ZTE sales director, the phone will be released by the end of this month and will get a CPU bump from 1GHz to 1.4Ghz--a trend we're seeing with the more premium Windows Phones like the 710 and Focus 2. Everything else will stay the same though: 4.3" screen, 4GB storage, 512MB RAM and a 5MP camera. Of course the OS is expected to be "Tango" for the Chinese localization.

We played with the Tania back at CES and actually like the little guy. While perhaps not amazing by certain standards, for a premium Windows Phone it's actually well done. ZTE has also announced plans to make a push here in the United States and it will be curious to see how that pans out.

See our hands-on video on the ZTE Tania from CES 2012 here.

Source: CNMO; via Unwired View

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Look what just popped up on Nokia's Care Suite servers. Why it's Windows Phone 7.5 Consumer Release (CR) 3 aka "Tango" for the Nokia Lumia 710 in China. Specifically the ROM build is 1600.3029.8773.12111 where the "8773" denotes the OS version and the "12111" is the firmware build.

Windows Phone OS 8773 is the "gold" version of Tango which adds support for 256 MB devices, MMS enhancements and other smaller, under the hood changes. A lot of phones today are sporting Mango CR1 (8107) or Mango CR2 (8112) and AT&T is expected to rollout CR3 (8773+) for its devices in the future.

With the addition of this ROM on Nokia's servers it's a safe bet that those with a Lumia 710 in China will be seeing an update notification from Zune Desktop in the next few days.

Of course the big question is can you flash this to your Lumia 710 if you're using Nokia Care Suite (much like the 8107 update)? Technically, yes, you can but seeing as this is a ROM for China we're not too sure on what language packs are on board. It's very likely English is there but if you'll be taking a risk as downgrading a ROM can be difficult.

We'll keep an ear out if this ROM starts to pushed out to user or if you're a risk-taker, whether you can flash it yourself (and void your warranty).

Thanks, @Arktronic, for the tip

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Today is March 21st which means Microsoft took the big step in growing the Windows Phone ecosystem by releasing the mobile OS in mainland China.

Launching on numerous devices, including the HTC Triumph (aka TITAN), the Nokia Lumia 800c and offerings from ZTE (including the Orbit/Mimosa), Microsoft looks to regain some ground in the smartphone war by offering a variety of hardware running the refresh of Windows Phone 7.5 "Tango" (build 8773) in one of the largest emerging markets in the world.

The press conference was held in Beijing in a makeshift warehouse with HTC, Nokia, ZTE, Qualcomm and Samsung all in attendance. In addition, Simon Leung Corporate Vice President, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region was also there to introduce the operating system to the audience. The press conference involved a demonstration of the OS, new hardware, Skydrive, Office as well as mention the more than 2,000 Chinese applications already in the Marketplace, including 50 top tier apps.

Overall, it looks to have been a successful launch though of course, it remains to be seen how keen on Windows Phone China is in the next few months as these devices go on sale around the massive country.

See more photos and coverage at WinP.cn; Thanks, Lucas, for the tip!

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China is set to finally launch Windows Phone in the coming weeks and while Nokia will be doing that at the end of March, HTC has beat them to the punch with the HTC Triumph.

New HTC phone you say? Not really. The Triumph is just the TITAN with a rebranding and Windows Phone Tango thrown on board (officially launching on the 21st). Still, with it's 4.7" screen, 8MP rear and 1.3MP front cameras and 1.5GHz CPU, China is kicking it off big with this device. The Triumph went on sale yesterday, hence the above unboxing video.

No word on official carrier support though, meaning folks in China may have to pay out of pocket for the full-experience of Windows Phone. Still, it's nice to see the device with localized-Chinese features on board.

via: Unwired View

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For those of you near China/Hong Kong (or like ourselves, in New York City) Chinese New Year is a pretty big deal and tends to be a lot of fun. So it's very cool to see Microsoft getting into the mix by distributing traditional Chinese "Red Envelopes" to the media as a New Year's gift. In case you're unfamiliar with the ritual, here you go from MIC Gadget:

"Traditionally, the married Chinese will give a red envelope with certain amount of money inside as a monetary gift to children and unmarried adults during the Lunar New Year. The red color of the envelope symbolizes good luck and the money was known as “ya sui qian”, meaning “money warding off evil spirits”. It was believed to protect the elderly from sickness and death too. In modern day, the envelopes are not just in red color, some will used gold color. Gold represents good luck and wealthy, that is another favorite color for the Chinese. "

As noted though, there was sadly no money in those envelopes meaning the press had to find other means for cash. We're not going to lie though, we'd like to get our hands on one of these for a souvenir!

Source: ePrice (HK); via MIC Gadget; Thanks, Norman M., for the tip!

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File this under: very interesting

For those of you who used Windows Mobile 6.x, you'll remember a neat little Chinese browser called UCWeb. It was similar to Opera where it used servers to compress and reformat websites that were then passed to the phone. The design was pretty sharp, offering an all "black" theme that was great for reading and photos looked great on it. Plus it was free.

Surprisingly, in their help forum, the company has announced plans for a closed beta testing. They're taking applications via the forum, but since it's Chinese you may have a tough time registering and getting a spot. From the Google-translated post:

UC browser Wp7 platform closed beta began recruiting friends

"The UC long-awaited platform for closed beta browser Wp7 recruit friends, are welcome to join closed beta.

The recruitment only accept Windows Phone 7 platform Friends of Friends applications for Friends of Friends in the following format for replies, we will follow all mobile phone technology in the customer service area and the level of activity in the sector assessment, the results we will be a forum SMS notification to you.

Application requirements: Be sure the phone is unlocked, the deployment process on their own Friends of Friends"

This raises all sorts of interesting questions, like will this be allowed in the Marketplace? Will they localize the language for English (they've done it before, obviously)? When can we see it? We'll try to find out more and we'll keep an eye out for this one.

Source: bbc.uc.cn; via @Chassit

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