HanziHero is a web application for learning Chinese characters. You can use our app to learn covers over 3,000 characters, along with their components, pinyin, and words. We leverage the power of mnemonics and spaced repetition to make learning Chinese characters as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

The HanziHero story

HanziHero was created by us, Kevin and Phil, two brothers from Tampa, Florida.

Hey, I’m the writer of this page here—Kevin! Perhaps like you, I’m also an ardent learner and lover of the Chinese language. I started learning Chinese during at the beginning of COVID, honestly not knowing what I was getting myself into. Eventually my interest in Chinese lead me to Taiwan, where I currently live.

Through intensive immersion over the course of a year and change, I eventually got to the point where I could understand most of what I hear on TV shows or on the street, but still struggled with reading Harry Potter. I tried pretty much every method, app, course, Anki deck—you name it—to try to get the characters to stick, all to no avail. After a bunch of research I found a new method that combines the best from a couple of different approaches and asked my brother, Phil, to help me build it out. While he worked on meticulously building and designing the app, I slowly added new characters, components, and words to our curriculum.

The result is what you see here today. We currently cover over 3,000 characters and aim to eventually cover around 6,000 words as well. I’ve used the app to learn thousands of Chinese characters, and can proudly say that I’ve finally achieved a level of basic literacy that improves each day. In other words, I’m the guinea pig that proves this thing works!

Our principles

HanziHero is entirely owned and operated by just us two brothers. We don’t have any advertising budget. Our modest plan is to grow slowly and surely by helping learners like you. We operate by a couple of simple principles that we’d like to share with you.

Put the learner, you, first

At HanziHero, our aim is to help you first and foremost.

If we can’t help you learn Chinese characters, then we don’t want to take your money. That’s why we have a generous free tier that teaches you around 100 characters along with a good amount of components and words for free. You can try out HanziHero over the course of a couple weeks and try our approach to teaching Chinese characters, and subscribe to the paid version when you are confident it works for you. That way you don’t have to spend a dime until you know our method works for you and your way of learning.

We love what we’ve built, and we strive to always make it better. That’s why we have a chat widget in the bottom right of each page. It won’t bother you or send you any annoying notifications. It is only there for you to easily contact us if you have any questions or feedback. We hope you use it!

Do one thing, do it well

There are many aspects of Chinese that we don’t cover at all. We won’t teach you how to speak or write Chinese. And while we have audio for each character and word, we are certainly not the place to go to to practice listening!

Our entire focus is on teaching the Chinese characters. We teach some words too, but that is mainly to help you really understand those 3,000+ Chinese characters. We know that by laser-focusing on this one goal, we can make a beautiful streamlined app that can help everyone with this one essential part of the Chinese language.

Our goal is to be the recommended resource for learning Chinese characters. A turn-key complete solution.

Make learning Chinese characters more enjoyable

We want to make learning Chinese characters more enjoyable. It is such a long journey to learn them all, and the best way to help others reach the end is to make that journey as pleasant as possible, lest they give it up.

We do this by making the app as streamlined as possible. All you need to do is show up each day and do your lessons and reviews, and you will eventually learn all the characters you need to learn. No need to make your own flashcards or to look things up in dictionaries here.

Help increase cross-cultural understanding, appreciation, and communication

Living in Taiwan, I’ve been able to see first-hand the rich culture of Taiwan and China. Here there is a rich history of cinema, literature, cuisine and more that is really quite beautiful. Unfortunately, many books lack translation, and many TV shows lack English subtitles. We hope to help you learn Chinese so you can see, understand, and experience yourself this different cultural sphere.

Additionally, we hope that by making learning Chinese characters easier we can allow more people to learn the language and to better understand the different perspectives in China, Taiwan, or even the local Chinatown. As tensions between the West and China grows, we think that this sort of cross-cultural understanding becomes more crucial with each passing day.