Right now there are no immediate plans to include different readings as part of the curriculum.
The main purpose of HanziHero, as we see it, is to get users familiar with the main meaning and pronunciation of each character. The components we teach, the sound mnemonics we have, and the vocabulary we add is all towards that end. While the vocabulary we choose is from the HSK to maximize its usefulness, there is no intent on our end to teach all vocabulary in the HSK (~10k) as doing so would detract from the purpose of the application.
For 都 specifically, I was mulling over changing it to dou1 as that is the more common pronunciation/usage.
Teach more than one pronunciation per character?
Now, to play devil’s advocate, let’s assume we do add this to the application. Once we do, the line becomes blurred as to when we teach it and don’t.
For something like 都, do we teach both du1 and dou1 and the related meanings? Now when we do, the user would need to remember both (and their divergent meanings) when seeing any new or existing vocabulary that includes that character.
Additionally, the way the application works currently would have to be changed, as there is no way of being able to reliably quiz a user on both possible meanings/pronunciations without some sort of indicator as to which is what.
But what about the case of 沒 mei2 which actually can also be mo4 with a different meaning? Should that not be taught as well? I believe it is buried in the HSK somewhere, after all.
Here’s a particularly devilish case: 著 is mostly zhe5 but can also be: zhao2 zhuo2 zhu4 zhao1 depending on context.
So we can see that teaching multiple meanings/pronunciation is not great for individual characters. But what if we just do it within our vocabulary instead?
One character pronunciation, but vocabulary contains exceptions?
As in the case you point out in 睡覺/睡觉, we could teach this word and thus the different pronunciation/meaning of this character as well. But I don’t think this helps as much as one would think.
To begin with, each vocabulary word in HanziHero currently:
- Has a meaning that is mnemonically-related to the meaning of the character.
- Has pinyin that contains the pinyin of each individual character learned, with the exception of when it is neutralized.
- The mnemonic included relies on both of these facts to make understanding and remembering the vocabulary easy.
- The system relies on this fact to make it possible to remember the pronunciation of the character if one can remember the pronunciation of a word that contains a non-neutralized form of it (I rely on a similar method when reading Chinese every day).
Once we also include exceptions as well, all of these nice attributes are removed. Which is why we do not teach words that are exceptions to the rule.
Shouldn’t everything be taught, though?
We would certainly like to teach everything, but simply can’t. In fact, earlier versions of HanziHero we scoped out the idea of being able to add custom vocabulary, have custom prioritization lists, etc. But we found that the more we expanded the scope of HanziHero, the more complicated and thus less useful it became.
Learning Chinese characters is the most laborious aspect of learning Chinese, and we take great care to make it as easy as possible - even enjoyable - and remove avoidable diversions along the way.
Any language curriculum or application will always only be able to cover a subset of the language it teaches. The depth of any language is nearly infinite, after all. At HanziHero, we are intentional about that subset we teach to maximize the value provided for what we do teach. We do not include some common vocabulary, but on the flip side we plan to include nearly 5k characters in the final scope of things (for traditional we currently “only” have 3.8k) whereas nearly every structured curriculum I’m aware of almost never goes beyond the ballpark of 3k (despite the average literate Chinese knowing 4-5k).