Colorized pinyin and smarter MCQ in new version of Easy Hanzi

Three improvements in this new version of Easy Hanzi, all of them were kindly suggested by Marjolein Hoekstra from Cleverclogs:

  1. There is now an option to colorize the pinyin depending on the tone. This a useful improvement to make it easier to remember pinyin and to see at a glance what tone(s) a word is using. The option is turned on by default but you can switch it off in the options.
  2. The MCQ session now offers slightly smarter choices for pinyin and simplified/traditional characters. For pinyin, the software will propose answers that use the same pinyin but with different tones, thus “forcing” you to think through what tone should be used.
  3. For simplified/traditional characters, Easy Hanzi will show characters that share the same radical or that share the same non-radical part. This change also make the MCQ more challenging since it makes you think about the exact shape of the character.

A few more changes are included in this release, including keyboard shortcuts (A, B, C) for the MCQ session and a few bug fixes. The full changelog is available there:

Easy Hanzi latest changes

And the latest version of Easy Hanzi can be downloaded there, as usual:

Download Easy Hanzi

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MCQ, import, export and print cards in new version of Easy Hanzi

Version 3.1 of Easy Hanzi has just been released. This version includes lots of new features and improvements over version 2:

MCQ and Type-in questions

Easy Hanzi now includes three types of session: beside the default session type (now renamed “self-assessment”), there are now multiple-choice questions and type-in questions.

During an MCQ session, you are shown a card where the pinyin, Chinese characters or definition is missing. You then need to choose, among the proposed options, which one is the correct answer.

A “type-in” session is similar, except that your directly write down the answer – either the Chinese characters or pinyin, or the definition. Since most words and Chinese characters have more than one definition, the software will count as a good answer if you provide one correct definition.

Share and print your Chinese flashcards

Easy Hanzi now lets import and export flashcards so that you can share them easily. The Chinese flashcards themselves can be shared but also the spaced repetition score data, which is useful to transfer the decks from one computer to another, or simply to backup the decks.

Another new feature is the possibility to print a deck of Chinese flashcards. Simply right-click on a deck and select “Print”. A convenient dialog box will let you choose how many Chinese flashcards per sheet should be printed. The cards are clearly delimited so that you can easily cut them out.

New tree view to display the decks of Chinese flashcards

The decks are now displayed in a tree view so that you can more easily organize them, and group related decks together. Decks can be dragged and dropped and you can also drag an drop flashcards onto them.

Audio playback, Chinese character stroke animations and example sentences in dictionary

Plenty of improvements have also been done on the dictionary. The most obvious one is the new popup that shows up when you move the mouse over Chinese characters or pinyin. In there you can choose the listen to the word or sentence, or display Chinese character stroke animations. You can also display example sentences to show how the character or word should be used.

The new version is available from the download page: Download Easy Hanzi

Pinyin audio playback in new Easy Hanzi version

The latest version of Easy Hanzi now includes audio playback. You can select a card, click on the “Listen” icon and you’ll hear how the word or sentence should be pronounced.

This was one of the most asked-for feature. The difficulty was not so much in implementing it but rather in producing each of the 2000+ syllable audio files. Thankfully, Ya Li Cheng kindly released and open sourced a complete pinyin audio set, which I could use in Easy Hanzi.

Have a look at this new pinyin pronunciation feature in Easy Hanzi 2.3. As always, feedback is welcome!

Radical lookup in new version of Easy Hanzi

A new minor version of Easy Hanzi has just been released. It mostly includes improvements to the way radicals are handled in the dictionary. In particular, it is now possible to do a “radical:” search to show all the characters that include the given radical. As always the results are sorted by relevance, so you’ll see the most common characters first. For example, here is what you will get for a “radical:水” search:

The character box for radicals is also slightly different than for a regular character. In particular, the radical (Kangxi) number is indicated as well as the variants (if any).

Finally, in a regular character box, you can now click on the radical part to directly do a “radical:” search.

Other improvements in this version include:

  • Dictionary lookup from the practice screen – you can click on this button to search for the characters in the current flashcard.
  • Minor cosmetic improvements on the bottom bar icons
  • Various minor bug fixes and improvements.

Get the application now in the download page:

Download Easy Hanzi

Chinese character stroke order, and Chinese-English dictionary in Easy Hanzi 2.1

A new major version of Easy Hanzi has just been released! This version includes two major new features – the stroke animations and the Chinese-English dictionary.

As the name say, this new feature allows viewing the stroke order of a given character. Two views are available – one that shows the character being drawn, and another one showing the steps to draw a character, one stroke at a time.

Moreover, next to each character, the various components that make up this characters is displayed to better visualize the structure of a character. For instance, “京” is composed of “亠”, “口” and “小”. Each component can then be clicked on to view the stroke order.

Easy Hanzi now includes a Chinese-English dictionary. You can input words in pinyin, Chinese characters (simplified and traditional) or English. The dictionary will detect the input and displays the results accordingly.

If you typed in a single Chinese character, an information box is going to be displayed with details about the character, such as its radical, HSK level or its traditional or simplified form.

  • HSK words and other improvements

Finally, Easy Hanzi now includes by default the HSK words for level 1 to 6 as well as a list of Chinese radicals. Along with the list of common characters, this allows practicing Chinese vocabulary without having to manually input lists of characters. Other minor improvements and optimizations have been made, among other it’s now possible to change the font used to display Chinese characters.

Download the latest version of Easy Hanzi now and try it by yourself!