"I just wanted to thank you for writing such a wonderful program. I've found it immensely useful so far. I especially like how easy it is to copy and paste text from the internet directly into the reader. I also like the audio and the ability to convert between traditional and simplified. Keep up the good work! Great program!"
"The very best thing about the program is the instant translation feature. It is fabulous being able to zap through a text and look up all the words you don't know instantly. It's the equivalent of an earthbound snail learning to fly."
—Gesa Walker, Edinburgh
"I am thrilled with the program. It is a new and powerful tool in my study of Chinese."
Flashcards are a tried and true method for mastering new vocabulary in any foreign language. They are especially important for students of Chinese, given the amount of visual memorization required to master even a basic set of characters. Creating and maintaining a good set of paper flashcards, however, requires a lot of time and effort, especially in fast-paced courses where students are asked to learn dozens of new characters each week.
The Chinese Flashcards tool provides an efficient and convenient way for you to improve your knowledge of the top 800 most commonly used characters and all 189 of the standard Xinhua radicals. A simple version of the tool is provided on this website as a free Java applet that you can use as often as you like. A more powerful version, which also allows you to drill yourself on unfamiliar words and characters from any Chinese text, is included with the Clavis Sinica program.
When you use the web-based flashcards, you'll first be asked which of three card sets you wish to use, the range of cards within that set you want to work on, and whether you prefer simplified or traditional characters. You'll then be presented with a series of characters or radicals, selected at random from your deck, and asked to select the correct pinyin and English definition for each one from two multiple-choice lists. If you select the correct answers, the card is removed from the deck. If either the pinyin or definition you choose is incorrect, you'll be shown the correct answer and the card will be reinserted in the deck. Once you've identified all the items in your deck correctly, the program will calculate and display your overall score, which you can use to keep track of your progress in mastering each group of characters or radicals.
The Chinese Flashcards program is designed to be used together with the Chinese Character Test, which enables you to determine how many characters you know overall at any given time. The "Class I" and "Class II" characters in the flashcards correspond to the "Beginner" and "Low intermediate" skill levels, respectively, in the Chinese Character Test. This means that you can drill yourself on the characters in either of these groups using the flashcards in order to improve your score on the test and systematically improve your recognition of the most commonly used 800 characters.
The Chinese Flashcards and Chinese Character Test are based on the Clavis Sinica dictionary. You can use the Clavis Sinica software to study the structure and usage of any of the characters or radicals you encounter here. For example, you can display a list of all of the characters that use a particular radical, or a list of all the multi-character words or phrases that use a particular character. In addition, Clavis Sinica provides a Chinese text reader which allows you to display any digitized Chinese text and to bring up the pinyin and meaning of any unfamiliar word or character it contains with a single click of the mouse.
Please send comments or questions about the Chinese Flashcards to firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information about the Clavis Sinica software, please see Product Information or send email to email@example.com.