What is HanziHero?

HanziHero is a Chinese character learning application that leverages spaced repetition and mnemonics to make learning Chinese characters as easy and efficient as possible.

How it works

HanziHero breaks down thousands of characters into their components and sounds and teaches them from the bottom-up. For example, the character 好 hǎo which means “good” can be broken down as follows:

  • component: 女 woman
  • component: 子 child
  • pinyin initial: h-
  • pinyin final: -ao
  • pinyin tone: 3 (low/third tone)

HanziHero will teach you each of these elements one by one, giving a mnemonic to each. Afterwards, we will regularly quiz you on them via our space repetition review system. Once you have learned all of elements of a character we will teach you the character itself. Each character has a mnemonic that weaves together all of its elements, to help you remember its meaning and pronunciation.

Lastly, when you learn the character itself, we will teach you a couple of vocabulary words that use it. Similarly, each word has a mnemonic as well, to help you remember its meaning and pronunciation. In the case of 好 hǎo , here are two simple words we will teach you as way of example:

  • 你好 nǐhǎo which means “hello”
  • 好吃 hǎochī which means “tasty”

By teaching everything in this bottom-up manner, we increase the depth of your understanding for each character. This is important, because in order to become fluent in Chinese you need to remember - very well - over 3,000 of them!

Who’s it for?

HanziHero is for anyone who is learning Chinese, regardless of their proficiency level. In other words, it does not require any advance knowledge of Chinese.

We have learners on the platform who have just started, and others who have been learning Chinese for years but need to brush up on their character knowledge. Similarly, many of our learners are self-taught, but we also have university students who use it to supplement their formal Chinese foreign language education.

You can see this same breadth of learning level among us, the two creators of this app, as well. One of us, Kevin, lives in Taiwan where he uses Chinese daily and uses the app to help remember over 3,000 characters. Phil, on the other hand, just started learning Chinese months ago, and uses the app to build up basic knowledge on the most essential characters.

How it’s used

HanziHero is a very simple app to use. Simply log in each day and do all of your pending reviews, and afterwards all of your lessons. Rinse and repeat everyday and before you know it you will have learned thousands of characters and words.

While it is simple, we would be lying if we said it is easy. We’ve made learning through HanziHero as easy as possible, but the fact is that learning Chinese is a long and difficult journey. There are no shortcuts, and beware those who try to tell you otherwise. However we do guarantee this: if you show up and do your reviews and lessons each day, you will learn all the Chinese characters needed for basic literacy.

Get started

Now that you have a good idea on what HanziHero is all about, let’s move onto registering an account.