Some suggestions

So I have a couple of ideas and feedback.
I think the first one was mentioned already somewhere, which is being able to ignore certain words. I think some words are just not useful at all for beginners even if they consist of easy characters like 个中 or 和中.
And a going back button would be good too for typos. I know you expressed your concerns about this one, but I am only 1 1/2 months in and already have 150 reviews everyday and idk how to manage that. I also think the SRS shows cards too often anyway.

my second request probably has not been made before. what do you think about putting the english word on the front of the card and the chinese character on the back. Yes you would not have to recognize the characrer but you can still draw them out on a sheet of paper. For me I don’t know if learning vocab lthe conventional way works. I did that for years with Korean and so many words never stuck, so since 3 days ago I started putting the english word on front of the card and put the Korean word on the back. So if you could change that in the settings I think that would be better for me personally.
I am curious anyway wether most people put the target word in front or the english word when they learn vocabulary. But active recall just seems more effective since it goes beyond simply recognizing a word or character.

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I can see the reasoning behind this :thinking: as the number of words increase, an ability to filter out the ones you don’t want to learn at the moment could be helpful in cutting down review time. We’ll give it some thought :slight_smile:

There’s a back button which allows you to visit the previous question if you accidentally hit a typo and proceeded to the next question too quickly to undo it.

You can view the Back Button announcement here.

In tandem with that, there’s also an Undo button now. So when you go back to the previous item, you can undo your typo answer :slight_smile: Here is the doc page that includes information on both the back button and undo button.

Is the above combination what you had in mind?

We could possibly introduce an alternative mode/setting for this. I guess the main reasoning is:

  1. it’s hard to isolate an answer for. We ideally always want a way to confirm your knowledge of something, whether that be typing something out or drawing the character.
  2. The best way to answer a question of English meaningChinese character is an ability draw out the character. Drawing out the character would make reviews significantly slower though :frowning:

I’m curious how your experiment with English wordKorean word will pane out – Let us know if it ends up working for you :slight_smile:

In terms of answering the question, “How do I get words to stick?” it seems the best way is exposure/immersion. Only through exposure and immersion do you grasp the nuance.

For example, in English there’s the word “content” which has many different usages and nuances. Some examples:

  • Where are the contents of the box?
  • He was content for a split-second.
  • Online content of substance may dwindle in the coming decades.
  • We had to content ourselves with clam chowder.

I actually forgot that “content” could be a verb, as in the last example :sweat_smile: – suppose it’s due to little exposure of anyone using “content” as a verb nowadays.


I remember that when I was using WaniKani, there were a couple of external apps to it that did that. You were able to link your WaniKani API key and they reversed the lessons in WaniKani to focus on kanji/vocabulary recall.

Practicing vocabulary recall is super useful to me too. One of the main problems though, which would happen in HanziHero too, is that one english word would frequently have several possible answers.
Also, vocabulary recall and recognition are different skills, so the SRS for both should be different I think.

Wouldn’t that simply be inputing a hanzi with a Chinese keyboard? I don’t plan on learning to draw hanzi, but learning to write in Chinese on the keyboard is pretty straightforward.

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I think this is the biggest trap in flashcard world. You want to do this, because you want to gain mastery of the vocab by simply doing SRS. That’s not going to happen. The flashcards are here to prime you for when you actually consume the language. Therefore the only important thing is to be able to read the characters and have a vague understanding of the meaning so that you can understand the sentence. The output direction should be the last level of mastery once you already have a good understanding.

I guess if you don’t want fluency/want to output early, I could see an argument for training English → Chinese.

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oh, I didnt realize that an undo button is already inpalce great.
I will definetly let you know how its going with English → Korean after a couple of months.
When it comes to making words stick immersion obviously is important. But I find deliberate contemplation about a word, how it sounds and how its different from words that are simialr is also important. I read abook on Marxism 3 years ago in Korean and came across ‘exploitation’ and ‘accumulation’ 2 dozen times or so and still couldnt remember these words until I looked at them and some other words that sound similar and now I won’t forget them.
I actually have not statrted immersing yet, i keep pushing it off, I thought I first want to know at least 500 words or so but I know I should have already started.

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I don’t aim to master my output before being good at reading and listening. But I have been using Korean–> English flashcards for the past 4 years and it did not do too much for me. I keep having to go over the same anki cards and when I see the word in the wild I often can’t remember it. So I think English —> Korean words prime me better for when I see them in the wild. I know hardly anyone in the language learning community learns like this but some things work for some and others don’t. And after 4 years I am quite sure that the conventional flashcard way does not work for me.

It seems that the most popular method for Chinese input for foreigners is usually pinyin input. So to answer the EnglishChinese character question would also require you to know the pinyin of it. So we can’t really isolate only the production of the character without also needing the pinyin :frowning:

It doesn’t help that we don’t have unique English words per character, which makes it difficult to figure out which character we’re asking for if we offer this method. For example, there are at least five characters with the primary meaning of “look at” in the both courses.

As for the Chinese keyboards that break down characters into components (shape based input), I’m not sure how demanding it would be for users to learn. There are a few rules you would have to familiarize yourself with, usually on-top of stroke order.

Some popular keyboards and their rules:

Here’s an interesting write up of someone trying to learn Cangjie.

The above is why I concluded that the least demanding of them all would be to write them through touch/mouse, though arguments could be made that with writing it you would then have to learn the stroke order anyway :sweat_smile:

I would guess that there is Chinese “handwriting” software out which allows flubs in the stroke order, but it’s a complete guess and I may be wrong :thinking:

Yeah, I was assuming known the pinyin as a must, maybe because I don’t see the point in doing english->hanzi if you don’t know the pronunciation. I simply view it as a way to practice vocabulary that can have its uses, but honestly probably out of the scope of this site since the focus is on learning hanzi.

That was indeed the main problem of the sites that were doing it with WK, as I mentioned.

Ultimately I agree that it might not be the most efficient way to fluency, but it is a good practice for speaking early. When I have conversations with my taiwanese in-laws it sucks to want to say a word the I would recognize easily and not be able to recall it, for example. :joy:

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