In 2011 Geoffrey Prewett moved to Beijing from the U.S. to work with Happylatte, which develops mobile games like HighNoon, Days of Crime and PeeMonkey. Frustrated with the Chinese dictionaries available at that time, he decided to develop a dictionary that would really help expats find the words they need in the conversation they are having at any point and thus Eight Brains Studios was born. The startup has been beta testing the app on iTunes for some time now and is officially launching the app this week.

“When I came to China, I had a dictionary on my iPhone, but I found that if I needed to go from English to Chinese, I got about 10 words and had no idea which one I should be using. Randomly selecting one did not work well!” says Geoffrey on difficulties he faced while using Chinese language dictionary apps. “The other difficulty was that the definitions did not give me the confidence to learn words.  I discovered that just because the definition for ‘石 shi2’ said ‘rock / stone / stone inscription / an ancient musical instrument’ does not mean that you could actually say ‘shi2’ to mean a stone (like what you might see on the ground), for that you say “shi2tou” (石头).  So I wanted to create a dictionary app that an English speaker could use to confidently learn and use new words without needing to consult a native speaker to verify their understanding of the particular definition.”

Geoffrey adds that Eight Brains Chinese Dictionary has a number of unique features for the expat in China:

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Vallabh Rao

Beijing based Contributor at TechNode. Email: raovallab AT technode DOT com