[Discussion & Feedback] 5K Chinese - HSK Vocab Set

5 Thousand Chinese cards based off the complete HSK level 1 to 6 vocabulary set

Update 10/22/2020: Added example sentences into study! New format: Sentence (No input); includes sentence audio, image, and text. If you see any empty cards, please let me know!

Update 9/11/2020: You can now input either type of Pinyin formatting. Both wǒ and wo3 are acceptable answers. For the English → Pinyin cards only, you can also directly input the Hanzi.

This set assumes that you understand how to read with Pinyin. If you aren’t familiar with Hanzi, I’ll be releasing a set later on to help with that.

It is highly recommend to activate Deck Settings → Study Session → Autoplay Back Audio

Get the set here
Get the 3k Hanzi Set Here

Why study this set?
This set has all the information for each card you’ll need, including:

  • Both Simplified & Traditional Hanzi* with equal representation*, so you can easily remember one or the other, or both!
  • Example Sentences in both scripts + pinyin
  • Images to go along with an example sentence
  • Audio provided for the above!
  • English translations provided for the above
  • IPA for Hanzi/Vocab!
  • Homophones
  • Classifiers w/ Pinyin
  • Parts of Speech

This set is based off Timo’s All-In-One Deck, which itself is based of an unknown deck previously on Anki. Thank you Timo and anonymous language learners for all your hard work!!!

This ended up being a lot of work to set up! I really wanted to make a format that worked out with showing all the useful information that the original set provided but seemed to not actually show. I’m especially hype about the IPA + Audio. :heart_eyes: I hope people enjoy, and that it brings more Chinese learners to the website!

Planned Updates/Changes:

  • Style and interface improvements if needed
  • Inclusion of cards to practice each word in two example sentences, with audio, hanzi, and pinyin transcriptions.

Thanks for sharing! Looks like a quality deck :smiley:

As a bit of initial feedback I noticed that the layout styling seems to cram the input/hanzi space a bit and give priority to the first two boxes, as seen in the screenshot below:

I think this does not occur on desktop because the screen is large enough to fit everything, but I did not test it there yet.

Another problem with the audio button happening there, on both desktop and mobile if I recall correctly.

Hmm, I have a pretty big monitor so it would make sense why I wouldn’t see these issues. That’s a shame, it’s something that I thought of halfway through, that mobile phones aren’t really good on the horizontal space. Do you have any ideas on what I could do to fix the problem? What I’m thinking is maybe move the blue boxes on the top down to the meaning + pinyin, but that might be a problem when the amount of meanings expand.

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Are you using css grid for the styling?

For the default layouts I went back to just using flex rather than grid because grid would often squash the contents in order to fit on the page.

I think it’s usually no problem for the backside to become larger than the view (so making it scrollable).

Perhaps you could also maybe make the boxes smaller for mobile? I think the actual values in those boxes are quite short right?

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Is there a way to have two different size/layouts for mobile and PC?

Anyway, I changed it from grid to flex, and while it’s meant changing most of the layout, it more or less worked with showing what I wanted to show! Pretty sure it’s all good on phones as well, though the box might get tall when phrases get pretty long (which is pretty rare).

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You can use mediaqueries to disable/hide sections, which means you can also hide the desktop layout (display: none on the wrapping div) when on mobile and vice versa.

This is how it looks for me now, looking great!


Thank you for the info, nice to know!

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How do you write with the tones on top of the pinyin? I found a website, but that’s egregiously annoying to have to copy and paste over and over. It’s would be so much easier to just right the number next to the pinyin. Unless you have a solution.


I must have skipped over your suggestion when reading it, but that’s a great idea! I have a keyboard that lets me type it, but I don’t think that everyone can get it, and some quirk in websites like these makes it not work perfectly. I’m not going to replace the symbol pinyin with the number pinyin in the display, but I’ll add it anyways. So once I republish the deck in a bit, it will work by inputting numbers, which hopefully should be easier for everyone.

Updated: Done and published, thanks for the suggestions!


I have another suggestion. Whenever the cards show the English definition, we are asked to input the pinyin. Could another option be inputting the character themselves? I guess if you are typing you would need to write the pinyin anyway, but I just thought, visually, having to input the character would help with memorization. Saw we could input the pinyin with numbers and I could actually finish a set successfully. THANK YOU!!

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Did you mean to make it so that we can no longer use actual pinyin and only the numbers to indicate tone? It would be great if both worked but only the numbers to indicate the tone do now.
Anyway, excellent deck design and thank you so much for including IPA (probably the best feature of the deck); it’s much more useful and accurate than pinyin and yet isn’t all that hard to learn (especially for native romance speakers like me).

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In the set, the two aren’t part of the same category (accent Pinyin is Pinyin.1 and number Pinyin is Pinyin.2), so unless I could do something like “spellcheck:Pinyin.2, Pinyin.1” I have to choose one or the other. While I still like the accent system, I’m choosing the the number system because it’s more accessible to most users, and I don’t have a good guide for how most people might get the accents working.

Something I’m considering is adding a separate layout for accent input, but I don’t want it to be on by default as I don’t want people having to go through and manually changing the layout before they’ve even started the set. @Neicudi, is it possible for me to set which layouts are activated/disactivated by default?

And thank you, I tried my best! I was also very excited for the IPA because really helps to solve the shortcomings of our own perception of the phonemes and pinyin’s shortcomings in transcribing them.

Similar problem to what’s mentioned above, which is that the Hanzi are a separate category, and I’m not thinking it’s possible to include both (though someone please correct me if I’m wrong). If you’re looking for a better way to memorize the characters themselves, hopefully a Hanzi character set is coming soon!

No problem! Hope you are enjoying studying the set, and I appreciate the suggestions! :smile:

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I just believe if we are learning vocabulary we should see the characters associated with them as much as possible. By inputting only the pinyin and not converting it to and accepting the characters as valid answers when we are asked for the English definition, there is no indication of the associated characters, and since there can be multiple characters with similar pronunciations that are only clear by seeing the character, then we aren’t really learning the words. Especially if we have to read them on the test. That’s just my take on it.

I’m assuming you mean “when we are asked for the pinyin, given the English definition.”

That’s a strong statement which I don’t agree with. Words have similar pronunciations and some maybe even the same, but they are relatively few and far between, especially in the context of the set. You’d be correct saying in that case you are not learning the characters with that specific flashcard, but you are still learning the pronunciation of the word alongside the English meanings, so you’re still definitely learning the words. When you’re typing wo3men5 in response to “we, us,” the idea is that you’ll remember “wǒmen” pronounced as meaning “we, us.” Of course, there are still the other cards meant to help with learning the characters regardless. :slight_smile:

Beyond that, there’s still the problem of whether I’d be able to do it, which AFIK isn’t possible.

On a sidenote, I might not want to do it bc it would make it easier to unintentionally cheat. Essentially, if you remember the Hanzi but not the pronunciation, you would be able to tell you’re not going with the right pronunciation if said Hanzi doesn’t appear. Without thinking about how it might be cheating, you could fix the pronunciation.

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This gave me an idea which I don’t know why I didn’t have before tho. Soon, I’ll be trying to add in a card for word audio → English & word audio → pinyin. I have all the audio, and it would be a great way to practice listening by hearing.
I also haven’t forgotten about the example sentences! I just have hardly had any time to work on the set because of school being a bit messy right now, barely getting in my Japanese studies lol. :upside_down_face: But once things get a bit more regular, I should have more time.

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Being that the majority of the written test requires you to recognize the characters and their pronunciations and not just the pinyin/sounds (speaking test is entirely separate), I believe that both the deck’s current English -> pinyin cards AND my suggestion English -> characters by inputting the pinyin are necessary and important. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

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Well, the point still holds about the other formats still existing, which do show the symbols and make you distinguish between different sets of characters and their pronunciations and meaning. As someone who has been learning these symbols (albeit in another language) and seen many other learn these symbols for a while, I’m confident you can come to sufficiently read Hanzi especially in context just by the methods already provided in the set.

But it’s also important to recognize this is not a Hanzi set as much as it is a vocab set. I plan on publishing one once something gets fixed, which I think will be soon. A dedicated Hanzi set is the best way to learn how to write the symbols and learn individual meanings and pronunciations. TBC, you can still learn to write the symbols with the 5k deck, it’s just not as optimized or focused on that.

But yeah, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. If I can provide the option to type using the IME, I might.

Not right now, but not a bad idea at all. I’ll put it on the list (I remember some other user also asking for it before :slight_smile: )

Should get fixed this weekend :smile: Will be dedicating time to bugfixes and feature requests for the website this week (rather than working on the mobile apps).


I think it would be pretty cool to allow community deck creators to set a structure of layouts by default for users of that deck. I can imagine that a lot of people don’t wanna do ENG -> JP for example, and seeing it there can be a bother for most (“ugh I have to do ENG -> JP?!”), so not having it by default but having it available to activate is always nice.