Learn Chinese Characters
Update Sep 2022
Tidied things up a bit.
Update Oct 2020
The source code for this application is available on Github at the link below
The site has been simplified and remade as a static site; this means no more comments and no high-score function in the application.
Updated March 2017
Added HSK 4 and 5 - without audio. This, especially level 5, is quite beyond my Chinese ability, so I'm afraid that the translations may not be as accurate as those for HSK 1 to 3. Please let me know if you find any issues or think that any items should be altered.
I also removed the button for "Audio" as it was quite redundant. The same kind of play can easily be achieved by tapping on the settings button in game. Instead there is the "Options" button, which allows for the timer to be removed.
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.