First character lessons

Once you have done a sufficient number of reviews for the components and sounds you learned in your lessons, you will begin to have characters show up in your lesson queue.

When character lessons show up

Character lessons show up once all of the sound and component items that are contained within it all become familiar items. An item becomes a familiar item when you successfully answer its review questions a couple of times in a row.

We do it this way to ensure that you are not given characters to learn when you do not sufficiently know the elements within it. By knowing the elements within a character before the lesson, you greatly increase your ability to learn and remember the character.

Character lessons

When you first encounter a character lesson in the lesson carousel, it’ll have a red background and some different information than the sound and component lessons you encountered before.

lesson character top

The top section of the carousel for a character will show the character. Above the character will be its pinyin. Below the character will be the primary meaning of the character.


The Composition tab shows the various components and sounds that make up the character.

lesson character composition

Both the components and sounds you have already learned in your lessons, but you can further review any of them if you like by clicking on their icon. Doing so will open the sound or the component in a new tab.

While on this tab, it helps to make sure you can see how the component fits into the character. It also helps to take note of all of the sound items used to construct the pinyin for the character.


The Mnemonic tab is perhaps the most important one of the bunch. Here you can see the mnemonic for remembering the character. The mnemonic will incorporate the components, sounds, and character meaning into one story.

The sound mnemonics within the story will be highlighted a teal color. The component names will be highlighted a blue color. Lastly, the meaning of the character will be highlighted in red.

This tab also reveals additional data worth knowing, like the alternate meanings.

You can also add some character user synonyms. It allows you to include different meanings you feel should be accepted as an answer within the quiz.

You can also update your notes for this character item. For more information, checkout the documentation on user notes.


The Examples tab shows future words you will learn that include that character. Think of it as a little preview of what’s to come!

If you want to learn more about any of them, you can click on any of the purple word icons. Doing so will open the word page in a new tab.

Character lesson quiz

Once you have finished reviewing the character in the lesson, you can start the lesson quiz to review what you have just learned.

Unlike components and sounds which have a single question each, all characters will consist of two questions. In order to “pass” the character, both questions must be answered correctly.

Meaning question

One of the questions you will be asked is the meaning of the character.

This is the English meaning of the character you learned. Type that in the input and press ENTER to answer the question. So, for example, a correct meaning to type in would be eight.

Pronunciation question

The other question you will be asked is for the pronunciation, or reading, of the character.

This is the pinyin pronunciation of the character you learned. Type that in the input and press ENTER to answer the question. So, for example, the correct meaning for the above character would be ba1.

Character reviews

Once you finish the lesson for a character, it will begin to show up in your reviews. As you continue to review your characters, you will begin to have some words show up in your lesson queue. At that point, you will be ready to do your first word lessons.