Feature request: “accept answer anyway”

I’m a busy individual. I make typos. Sometimes I make them on iOS, in which case the keyboard may aggressively oppose me. This sometimes leads me to mistype something hilariously obvious at the platinum stage, e.g. “shoue” (just an example, but shou5e5 is technically also valid pinyin) instead of shou3, because I never hit the shift button. Sometimes I’ll hit “I” instead of “O”, and so on.

Another case is the (built-in) ambiguity of characters. I see 末 and I remember it means “end, final, …”. There’s even an item with 末日, “final days” (if I recall correctly). However in this case “end” was not added as a synonym to 末. I usually try to add as many synonyms as I can think of to avoid “near misses” when the meaning is fuzzy, but every now and then I’ll have forgotten one.

So my suggestion is simply an “accept anyway”, possibly behind an “are you sure?” to avoid being set back literal months by typos and wrong synonyms.


Thanks for the feedback.

This or an undo button is something we have been thinking about for a while. The main rationale for not having it (other than a large backlog of other items we are working on) is the idea that people will use it to “cheat”, making the SRS work against them in the long run. At least, I know I would abuse such a feature.

So the main thing we are trying to figure out is how to add that in such a way that it won’t as easily be abused. There are a couple of ones we’ve been thinking thinking about:

First is to hide any undo/force-correct feature by default, and only have it enabled as an advance setting. Enabling that setting would have the disclaimer/warnings about the potential downfalls of it.

Second is similar to what you mention with the pop-up. Effectively have a somewhat annoying pop-up that shows each time, along with other aspects that make this route “less satisfying”. Mark the answer as “yellow” instead of “green”, or play a less-satisfying “correct” sound.

The third, which I just thought of now, is to have this sort of force-correct behavior behave in a way that makes it more “neutral” in terms of progress. I.e., have it make it so that the item will STAY at the same stage instead of going up a stage as normal (provided the other answer is answered correctly with no mistakes). This way “progress” is not “lost”, but also not “gained”. This could also be combined with some of the stuff in option #2 outlined above. I like that this third option encourages user to also add the synonyms at the same time if it was a synonym-error and not a typo, since that will allow them to truly pass it next time around and continue to make progress.

The fourth is to have a button to “reset” the question status(es) for the item, effectively making it a “this doesn’t count, quiz me again within this same session, and preferably a good period of time later” sort of option. This could also be combined with the “no progress” aspect I outline above. I like that this one still requires the correct answer to be typed in, and the delay makes it so that one still needs to dig in their memory for it.

I’d be happy to hear your or any other users feedback about the options listed above, or other solutions for the “cheating” problem.

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The fourth option sounds good to me.

The first and second options sound, to be honest, more annoying than helpful. We’re all adults and if a user wants to click a button (for genuine typos etc), then why should the website get in the way of the user’s choice? Someone who wants to cheat will always cheat (and they have to bear any consequences!). On the other hand, someone who clicks on the button by mistake isn’t adversely affected because it’ll come up for testing again soon.


I’m personally in favor of the second option. Allow correction but make it less satisfying.

It would also make it very unsatisfying if you just got a “try again tomorrow”.

So perhaps a combination of 2 and 4, giving you a nagging dissatisfaction that you “cheated”, but without ruining your progress due to an honest mistake.

By extension, this might even improve retention of things you retried, because it carries along additional work.


I agree this feature would be quite nice, even considering its potential abuses.

In the end, if you want to cheat you always can. In some occasions in which I’m not been 100% sure of the wording of a hanzi’s meaning but I perfectly know the hanzi and related words (e.g: not being sure if 歡 is “joyous” or “joyful”) I have even resorted to opening a second window and looking up the character, because it’s really frustrating to lose months on a hanzi you know well, and this would prevent that.

I like the options that require you to write the answer again, whether it’s in the same session or next day, so more of an “ignore answer” than an “accept anyway”.


I like 1 + 2 + 4. Stay at the same level could still mean the review still isn’t coming for weeks or months.

The main point of these enhancements for me is not having items I know appear over and over because I fat fingered a tone or used a synonym that I learned elsewhere.


I like that fourth option. I don’t like pop ups.

Also, I think their should be more lax restrictions on the components. We all came to learn characters, tones, and pronunciations but the components are a secondary device to learn the characters, so I think being able to undo or correct those is a no brainer.

I’m very self-competitive, so when my score gets under 90% it drives me nuts when it’s because I didn’t use the exact wording of a component.

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Also, I think their should be more lax restrictions on the components. We all came to learn characters, tones, and pronunciations but the components are a secondary device to learn the characters, so I think being able to undo or correct those is a no brainer.

If you completely don’t care about components, you can just add a “skip synonym”, e.g. “s”. I’m at 605 characters and never once used the mnemonics.

Hey smart! Though now I gotta add S to all the components.

hmm…Cheating? Maybe that’s a good thing. Let me explain.

The main goal here is to learn Chinese. Since each person is different the learning style may be somewhat tweaked. We all are here to learn through the mnemonic system or how the site was constructed, or for the algorithm of the flash cards, but there still is variation per person to some extent. It was noted that some people might “cheat” but since it is a singular experience, the “cheat” might actually just be a useful variation for the person. Ultimately they need to find the way that works for them, though it might “look like cheating.” As long as it works for their learning style, it’s not cheating. There is no grade. They aren’t ruining the grading curve for anyone else. There isn’t a moral issue attached to this. The point is to learn. If they get very far along and realize they don’t like how they were doing it, they have the ability to do it as the website was designed.
To expound: I read a book (referred by a polyglot youtuber) “The Talent Code” on learning skills. It explained how we can learn ANYTHING but the best, fastest, most accurate way to learn something is to do it “correctly,” ALL THE TIME. You go as slow as is required for you to reproduce that skill perfectly. (it’s painstakingly slow initially!) The brain’s neuron pathways need to be laid down perfectly for the most accurate execution of the skill. That’s the whole point. It takes many hours to get to a “professional” skill level as these neuron pathways are laid. If you make mistakes, you lay the wrong neurons down in your brain (not good!).
This is why I go through the Hanzi Hero reviews with 4 tabs open: the review, and the 3 comprehensive item pages for each of the words, characters, and components. I don’t type anything if I’m not pretty sure what it is. I never wildly guess. I look things up ALL THE TIME. I don’t let my brain waste more than 5 seconds thinking about an item. If it doesn’t come right away, I look it up. When I get pretty familiar with an item and think that I can produce the correct information without looking it up, and I make a mistake, this is where the flash cards algorithm proves invaluable. It alerts me to the fact that I didn’t lay the pathway down well enough or thick enough in my brain and to do it over, which is where I am always looking things up before I move on. I always review the pronunciation and meaning at the same time as the mnemonic to help reinforce each other, every time. It takes time initially as I go through the newer review items, but after a few times, it gets much quicker (which is where my fingers start knocking the wrong keys -my little pinky really has to stretch to reach that #1 that is so often used in Chinese! I would love that “accept answer anyway” feature or something similar for its correction ability.)


Yeah I agree it isn’t really a moral issue, which is why I put “cheat” in quotes. :slight_smile: I agree that everyone has their own learning style and that some sort of undo/reset/whatever functionality would remove a BIG friction point in the application. We plan to add this soon, just trying to hash out some trickier parts of it as it requires reworking large parts of our quiz UI code.

lol! You probably didn’t need that long post! Oh well, maybe someone else will find it helpful enough. :wink:

Somewhat related to the thread:
BACK BUTTON-Very often, as I go through the reviews, just as I click the “next” button and get on to the next item, my mind will think of a note or synonym for the word I just left. It would be so nice to have a back button that I could go back and put in that note instead of trying to remember it for the next time the word/character comes around. I would love that.

Kind of related to the thread:
POP UP REMINDER-During reviews, when it asks you for a meaning and you write the pronunciation instead, a note pops up that reminds you it is asking for the meaning. I love this feature. I often am whipping through the reviews and don’t always register the color (differentiating the different parts being reviewed) or catch the specific word “pronunciation, meaning, or character.” I am focused on the characters. It would be nice to have the correcting/ reminding pop-up feature possible on each review page, for everything. As it is, when that happens and I realize I “got it wrong” I’ll go into the details below the page and double check that what I did put in was correct even though that wasn’t what was being asked. I am always double checking myself it seems.

I feel like this is a bit of an over generalization though, and this is highly domain dependent. For example in music, playing a song at tempo but missing all the notes is not nearly as useful as trying to play at half tempo well. On the other hand, in skateboarding, people will fail the same trick over and over again until they get it right. So I think it’s highly subjective what the “right” way is.

I don’t let my brain waste more than 5 seconds thinking about an item. If it doesn’t come right away, I look it up

You’re assuming that writing the correct thing as a habit is more important than trying to recall something with effort. It could be that successfully recalling something borderline is better for long term memory than being reminded of something.

I was gonna say the say thing. I had the same mindset as @Chris about not thinking about an item for a long time, but I noticed the times I have been trying to recall something for 30 seconds and I finally get it, it will cement this item on my memory much better.

I guess not giving it a long time might still be good advice for high SRS items: if you need to think about it for 30 seconds it’s clearly not ready to move on to 4 months later.

personally, I’m not a big fan of limiting functionality to “protect” the user from themselves. I know OPs frustration and I wouldn’t abuse such a feature. I like the first option.

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