Talk Dim Sum
A downloadable project for macOS and Android
Love dim sum, but don't know what or how to order? Bring this app on your iPhone or Android phone (the Mac build sort of works), find what you like, and tap the speaker icon to hear the dish pronounced in Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin) using text-to-speech.
I made this app after visiting Hong Kong and trying to crash course learn Cantonese in the food courts. The app started out primarily with dim sum but has expanded to Hong Kong and other Chinese cuisine and includes both Cantonese and Mandarin pronunciations, plus other (often user-requested features) like search filters and restaurant maps.
Pro users on iOS can save and view favorite dishes (tap on the heart button) and practice saying the Chinese names using iOS speech recognition!
The app supports landscape orientation on iPads, but to see full dish descriptions you have to rotate to portrait mode.
For the speech-to-text practice feature to work on Android, you have to have the Google app installed and enabled.
If you don't hear the Chinese speech
- Check the mute switch on your iPhone and make sure it isn't on.
- Check the volume level on you device.
- Sometimes a device will have trouble accessing the text-to-speech voice (on iOS, Cantonese is the Hong Kong Chinese voice used for Accessibility in Settings), so try turning your device off and on.
- Availability of Cantonese text-to-speech may vary on Android devices.
- The speech plays by default at half speed for learners. You can increase (or decrease) the speed in Settings or the speech practice page.
- The app uses the native text-to-speech functionality, which utters one character (i.e. one syllable) at a time, which may not match how an entire compound word or phrase is normallyl pronounced (you can hear this effect when using Siri).
The speech plays at half speed to help you learn. The practice screen (tap the microphone) lets you adjust the playback speed, switch between Cantonese, Mandarin with traditional characters, and Mandarin with simplified characters (Cantonese is the default), and practice saying the words.
Filter and Search
Over two hundred dishes are listed (dim sum and related food, such as can be found in Cantonese restaurants and Hong Kong bakeries), and you can filter the listing by selecting from categories (tags) in the top right menu.
You can also search for dishes on the Search screen, and the individual dish pages have a tags menu that directs you to related dishes.
Learn about Dishes
Dish pages also have links to more information and recipes on various web sites, including China Sichuan Food, Dim Sum Central, Dim Sum Guide, Dimsumptuous, Panda Cheffy, Unfamiliar China, Wikipedia, The Woks of Life....
A growing list of dim sum restaurants, over fifteen hundred so far (at first just onesthat I've personally visited, then others recommended by users, and now any place I see on the web that appears to have real Cantonese dim sum) , along with web sites, Yelp links, and regional maps. If you live in an area not covered or know of a restaurant I missed, just let me know and I'll add it!
Related Cantonese vocabulary and links to dim sum and Cantonese resources also listed.
Stay tuned for more dishes in updates. Missing your favorite dish or want to recommend a restaurant or have other comments/suggestions/corrections? Please drop a review or send feedback using one of the links in the top left Technicat menu.
Talk Dim Sum is developed with:
The dim sum icon from Stock Image Folio on Iconfinder.com.
The technicat logo designed by Dakota Snow.
Photos from many dim sum excursions.
The iOS version is built with the Swift programming language and the following open source packages: QGrid, Siren, SnapKit, SQLite.swift, SwiftyBeaver, SwiftyJSON, SwiftyStoreKit, SwiftyUserDefaults, SwiftUIMenu, SwiftUIPager.
The Android version is built with Flutter and the following open source packages: flutter_tts, flutter_launch_icons, text_to_speech, bubble, material_search. The source is on GitHub.
Click download now to get access to the following files:
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