Introduction to words

Words are items in HanziHero that correspond to a single Chinese word. They always consist of multiple characters.

Viewing words

The list of words in the HanziHero application can be viewed at any time by clicking on the Words link in the application navbar, or by directly navigating to the words page.

Learned words

If you have already learned a word in your lessons, it will show up as a dark purple color, as pictured below.

Unlearned words

However, if you have not yet covered a character in your lessons, it will have an overlay graphic, as pictured below.

Word page

You can navigate to a word by clicking on its purple tile. Doing so will take you to the word page, which covers all aspects of that word. For example, the picture below depicts the word page for 五月 May.

Character composition

The Character composition section shows all characters contained within that word. These characters are used within the word mnemonic to help you remember the meaning of the word.


The Meaning section shows the primary meaning of the word. It will also show any alternate meanings if the word has any.

All word meanings are selected by consulting multiple dictionaries (both Chinese-Chinese and Chinese-English ones) in addition to viewing how the word is viewed in the wild by looking at some example sentences as well. Chinese-English dictionaries are often imprecise, and your dictionary’s meaning differing from ours is not necessarily an indication that our provided meaning is incorrect. A given word, especially if translated across languages, can have multiple similar meanings.

If you have a meaning similar to the meanings of the word that you want to be able to use as an answer in your reviews, you can add it as a word user synonym here as well.


The Mnemonic section shows the mnemonic for the word.

In Mandarin Chinese, the tones of a character are nearly always the same, so if you can remember the tone of the characters within the word, you can know how to pronounce the word.

Similarly each word typically uses the meanings of the characters within it to make the new compound meaning. The mnemonic will illustrate this at work to help you remember the meaning.

Character tone differences within word

Sometimes the tone of a character when by itself and within a word may be slightly different. Most commonly, this the second character within a two-character word will be silent. In that case, the mnemonic will mention the word “silent” to remind you of the difference.