Bihua is a tool to assist in teaching and learning the Chinese language.
The web application has been developed, for now, independently and voluntarily.
August 2023 marks the first public tests of the project.
We are open to suggestions, collaborations, sponsorships, and partnerships.
For students, Bihua presents the animated writing of Chinese characters in a clear manner, encouraging interactive engagement with the language. Beyond simply copying the character, students can also use the tool to annotate meanings, analyze the components of the hanzi, draw, and do anything their imagination dictates. Students can save their drawings to generate study flashcards, share them with peers and teachers, and post them on social media.
For teachers, Bihua allows searching and consulting thousands of characters, with their animated writing, which can be used in class to analyze and compare hanzi. Teachers can use different color and stroke options to illustrate the various parts that make up the characters—and even save and send explanations to students. Additionally, teachers can suggest practicing writing the characters as they are taught, facilitating familiarity with radicals and components that have not yet been studied.
This project arose from love for the Chinese language and culture and gained momentum through a process of continuous study. The developer Vitor Butkus started studying Mandarin in 2020 at the Confucius Institute of Unesp in São Paulo. From the very beginning, encouraged by his teachers, he has cultivated the daily practice of manual writing of Chinese characters. Believing that this practice plays a fundamental role in his learning, he decided to use his programming skills to provide everyone with a playful, interactive, and engaging way to keep learning.
Vitor Butkus holds a degree in Visual Arts from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He completed a master's degree in Visual Arts at the same university, co-supervised by Professor Mario Ramiro (ECA/USP). He has been researching Chinese culture for over 7 years. He is a specialist in Acupuncture from ABACO and Advanced Clinical Acupuncture from Ebramec College. He studied Mandarin at the Confucius Institute of Unesp and the Confucius Institute of UFRGS. He works with web development and creative programming in projects focused on the areas of arts, culture, education and health. He lives in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
吴量 (Wu Liang) graduated in Economics during his university studies, but he has always had a passion for learning foreign languages, especially Portuguese and English. He was born in the city of Anqing (Anhui province), the birthplace of Peking Opera and Huangmei Opera. Currently, he resides in Suzhou city (Jiangsu province), a famous water town known as the 'Venice of the East' in southern China. For him, languages have the power to break down barriers between people and bridge distances. For this reason, he decided to take the national translation qualification exam and successfully obtained the CATTI-2 certificate. During the exam preparation process, he gained knowledge of different translation theories, which he has applied to his work.
Even though living thousands of kilometers apart, 吴量 (Wu Liang) and Vitor are friends who have maintained a conversation since 2020. Their conversation ranges from sharing life events to explanations about words and grammatical doubts in their native languages. The translator was deeply impressed by the developer's enthusiasm and vision, prompting him to join the team and participate in translating the Chinese version. For 吴量, conveying information from one language to another is an incredibly fascinating process, and he thoroughly enjoys it. He loves reading, particularly books that enhance his language skills, including Brazilian literature and Portuguese reference books. He believes that a competent translator not only needs proficiency in foreign languages but also a deep understanding of their mother tongue. Thus, he is committed to expanding his knowledge and hopes to have the opportunity to translate excellent Brazilian literary works into Chinese in the future, introducing them to a wider Chinese audience.
Development: Vitor Butkus
Translation: 吴量 (Wu Liang)