Chinese in Flow

Updated August 2016

I’ve combined all the different HSK games together into this version. While it may look pretty much the same, this version is preferable as it is made with HTML5 instead of flash. I’ve also got removed all the links to the other games and now just show this one on the front page. The other games are still there, but now there is no link to them. I did this partly because they all use flash, but also because I don’t think they are very good and I think that it’s better to just have this one decent game showing. One decent game is better than a dozen mediocre ones. What’s more, the other games were really only ever copies of the games from this site with a few minor alterations.

I made a few other changes to this version. The content should load faster as it doesn’t wait for the audio to be loaded before proceeding. The scores have also been rejigged somewhat and also the timings should adjust more to the player rather than just being really fast all the time. If you find the timer is running down too quickly for you please let me know, although, bear in mind that it’s probably because you know all the characters and so the game is trying to challenge you.

Please leave any comments you like. All the commenting for this site should now be condensed onto this page and so be more likely to get a response.

Original text from 2013

This is a resource for practicing Chinese characters. Specifically the characters for the HSK 1 test.
It is a simple click and match game that I hope can be useful for reviewing characters.

You can adjust things in anyway you like by clicking on the settings button. You can be presented with the 汉字, pinyin, English or audio and the match that to the characters, pinyin, English or any combination.

The idea is that you can study characters in a way that is mildly interesting and can hold your attention while also being rapid and repetitive. It’s also a little bit adaptive in that it repeats characters that you don’t know while shelving characters you know first time.

The 150 characters are split into sets of 30 and you choose which set you want to study at the second screen.

If you know most of the characters already and can match them easily then you eventually enter ‘sudden death’ mode where you quickly match the 30 character but then a single mistake ends the game.

The focus is completely on recognition rather than production. As I talk about in the “about” section the key idea is to re-enforce the instant of initial recognition. For example, concentrating on the same character for 30 seconds would be useful but in doing so you don’t practice the initial recognition of the character as you’re constantly thinking about it. Instead, if you have a few different characters and repeatedly have to recognize them in quick succession then the recognition is strengthened a lot more.

When learning English learners typically have to meet a word 6-9 times (ideally in different contexts and separated by different time spans) in order to comfortably know the word. With this in mind I set this to repeat characters that you don’t initially know again and again until you can correctly identify them 6 times.

I hope you can enjoy or find this stimulating and that you can improve your Chinese.

Leave any comments that you’d like.

14 thoughts on “HSK

  1. Congratulations, I’ve always loved this program and now I think it is even better.
    (Have you considered adding HSK4 and other levels words ?)

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment.

      I would like to add HSK 4, but I don’t have anyone to do the audio recording. It really needs a native speaker, with a clear voice, who knows to focus on the tones.

      1. I hope you find someone….. these flashcards have already helped me a lot……

      2. Please do it without the audio. The audio is a nice bonus, but the app is great without it anyway.

        And, by the way, thanks for your great job!

  2. Oh, I really enjoyed all the other games you had! It was such a fun way to learn Chinese. It saves me making tons of flashcards to learn everyday vocab. It’s such a shame you got rid of it. I’m really disappointed, I was hoping to use this fun resource.

  3. The app is very well done. Congratulations!! It’s just a pity that words are not in the same order of official hsk books so is possible find advanced words in the 1-30 section. It will be very nice having hsk4 too. I suggest you to buy the official hsk books, inside you can find cd with native speaker 😉
    It would be a pleasure pay the app with suggested changes because it would become the best app to study Chinese.

  4. If you add all hsk levels, I’m ready to pay for the app. It is fantastic and better than any other app like it.

  5. Hi, I love the site.

    Have you considered trying a kickstarter campaign to get HSK5 and 6?

    Also i was wondering, could you add an option so in deadman mode when you fail it says what the word actually was? I think it would help with learning 🙂

  6. Your app is very useful and learning a joy.
    The only problem is that hsk 4-6 is missing, completely.
    Please complete your app, the audio doesn’t matter, i explain: your app could use the built-in voice engine (together with a Mandarin language pack) to fill the gap.
    Please ! Please !

  7. Great games. I’m missing the setting option the previous versions had to turn off the timer and or adjust it. I note you mention that if we are having trouble with the timer being too quick the game may be “challenging” us. I don’t really want a “game challenge,” my goal is to learn the HSK vocabularies as quickely and efficeintly as possible. I know the first set, however, the clock as accelerated so fast on the last 8 characters that I’ve been “failed” to the game over screen four times on what I had intended to be a quick review of HSK 1 before studying HSK 2.

    While I appreicate the overall more rapid game response, the fact that the “submit” scores button finally works, and the accessability of all the HSK 1, 2, and 3, on this layout, unless there is some way to find the settings button to turn off the timer it looks like I’ll have to go back to one of the older versions that seem to be scatter all over the place.

    One other suggestion for improvements. A “Dashboard” or personal record history that allowed us an overview on all of our scores at all three levels would be helpful. I’m also starting to study Level 3 even though I still have quite a few words yet to master in Level 2. My preferred study style is to get a big picture overview of where I stand first and then zero in on problem areas rather than march in a linear way mastering one little chunk at a time.

    So anything you could add that helps us see this big picture and our progress would be quite helpful. For example, some of my flashcard programs will list all vocab words with the record of how many times I’ve got them correct, or in one of five categories such as hard, poor, medium, good, and easy, or Mastered.

    Please do not think I’m being too critical. This is an outstanding game and contribution to the HSK learning resources, and probably the one vocab trainer I would rank as “most effective” of the two dozen or so that I’ve been using since April. And the fact this is free is awesome. You have a better product than many sites charging fees.

    Perhaps, you might put up a “Paypal” donations button on your home page. It might enable you to spend more time developing such effective resources as well as allow you to hire a native speaker to read the HSK 4, 5, and 6 levels. You might want to put up some links asking for volunteers. I can think of at least a dozen sites that should be honored to volunteer to help you record a native speaker for Levels 4, 5, and 6. Like try the Confucious Institute Universities as a start.

    1. Hi,

      thanks for your comment.

      You can turn the timer off by clicking on the settings button in the top left of the screen. This button only appears when the game begins – perhaps I should think about changing this.

      I’ll see if I can contact a Confucious Institute at my university.

  8. I can not stress enough how much this app has been a joy and learning tool for me. Please! Please! Continue forth on this app!
    If I may, I really enjoy the learning part associated with learning the new set of words. Yet after completion it only allows me to review them. Would it be possible to allow that learning process to just be available as well? I find that even after the learning process I would like to go back and do it again as it’s fun and can help the words I’ve learn stick.
    Again, please consider furthering this project as many have shown this is a effective method of learning. We look forward to future releases! Thank you!!

  9. Great game, very useful and enjoyable! I know there is android app for this game, can you please make one for Windows 10 (mobile) too?

  10. I agree with the previous comments about the audio not being necessary. Adding HSK 4-6 without the audio would be wonderful!

    I would also like to donate or pay for the app if you put a PayPal link up. Great job!

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