The app was inspired by our trip to China to adopt. So inspired that I started working on it while I was still there.
Here is the story in short --
We were recently in China to adopt our 5 year old daughter. I had learned a little mandarin and figured that google translate and other such apps would get me by. I was wrong. Some times you just need to ask a screaming child simple things like "are you hungry", "do you need to go to the bathroom", etc. Or give a simple command like "please give that back". Google voice translate does not work so well with a screaming child in the background. It also does not work very well without a data connection and, though everyone says to get a VPN and your all set, you really are not all set. The VPN works when it wants to and there are many places where mobile data is not available.
You know what they say "Necessity is the mother of invention". This app is fairly simple, it consists of audio clips recorded by a native mandarin speaker, who also happens to be a mother of young children. The clips were all professionally recorded with the instructions "Speak as if you were talking to a 2-6 year old child". She did an amazing job as you will find out when your child responds appropriately to the intended phrase. Contrast that with my experience trying to use a phrase book "printed text", which mostly received strange looks or giggles from our little girl. Fun, but not helpful.
I guess details are important, so here they are.
~140 phrases professionally recorded by a native mandarin speaker (and mother) phrased and spoken for a 2 - 6 year old child.
Much easier to use than a translator - Mandarin Phrases are ready to go, no desperately trying to type while you child is screaming, no trying to translate with an app that requires a data connection. It does not cover everything, but it covers most of the things you need to be able to communicate right then. For everything else, and when you have data access, use a traditional translator.
Clean and easy to navigate UI, broken down into a simple structure. The first level of navigation is options like (Ask a question, Give a command, Comfort, Praise), from there it quickly drills down into the actual phrases.
Audio and text translations including both Mandarin and Pinyin versions.
No data connection required.
I searched for this app while there, and found nothing at all. I tried searching things like "Mandarin for adoptive families", "Chinese for adopted children", "mandarin phrases for kids", "Chinese for adoption", "Mandarin for Adoption", etc but found nothing. I have played several of the audio clips for our little girl who is quickly gaining english, and she seems to understand them all very well. My favorite is "Can I have a kiss", and "Can I hold you", both of which she responds to with giggles... and also complete understanding.