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Full access for 30 days.     No credit card needed.

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Hack Chinese is a professional tool for dedicated students. We aren't distracted with multiple languages or excessive gamification. Experience the difference.
Hack Chinese is a professional tool for dedicated students. We aren't distracted with multiple languages or excessive gamification. Experience the difference.
Prices listed are in USD.

Frequently asked questions

What will you do with my email address?

Handle it with care. We will never sell or give away your email address. We will send you high-value emails based on your in-app activity that we think will enhance your results, but you can turn these off.

Can I really learn 500 words each month?

Absolutely! In 2019, users who spent 20 minutes per day studying with Hack Chinese learned ~400-600 words each month on average. And, because every study session tests knowledge of words learned before, students are confident that they really know these words.

Of course, results vary. If you spend less time each day, or study less than once per day, you will learn less. If you spend more time, you will learn more.

The most number of words we've seen learned in one month so far is 2142.

Can I become fluent in Mandarin using only Hack Chinese?


Fluency is the result of knowledge and practice.

Hack Chinese will prepare you for high-quality practice by giving you high-quality knowledge.

With a strong vocabulary, you can enjoy higher-quality learning in class, reading books, watching TV, and speaking with others, without needing to constantly learn new words.

Is Hack Chinese suitable for me at my current level?

Students need prior knowledge of Pinyin pronunciation to get the most out of Hack Chinese. (Typically, students learn Pinyin during the first few days in a classroom.)

Regardless of your current level, Hack Chinese is suitable for you if your ultimate goal is to progress to upper intermediate or beyond.

Will I learn to hand-write Chinese characters?


Hack Chinese focuses on recognition (of characters) and knowledge (of Pinyin). While learning to handwrite characters is unquestionably fun, it takes considerably more time to memorize each new word.

By focusing on recognition (instead of hand-writing), you can expand your vocabulary at a faster rate, which lets you read more advanced texts sooner, understand more conversations earlier, etc.

When deciding if you want to spend time learning to hand-write characters, consider that on smartphones and computers, typing in Pinyin results in automatic conversion to characters. For example, if you type the Pinyin ni hao on your device, 你好 will appear. Even when taking the HSK (China's official language proficiency exam) in China, students are asked to type in Pinyin and then choose (by recognizing) the correct character, not hand-write them.

Can I learn traditional Chinese characters?

At this time, Hack Chinese is available for simplified characters only.

If you're interested in learning when we add traditional characters, send us an email:

Why should I choose Hack Chinese instead of Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, or other apps designed to teach Chinese?

Learning a foreign language to the point of real proficiency is a long-term project that will take several years. You should choose those apps to find out if you are interested enough to commit to such a long-term goal.

Despite the titles of their course packages (intermediate, advanced, etc.) most apps only bring students to an "advanced beginner" stage. They teach the curriculum they created, but cannot incorporate anything learned elsewhere (i.e., words/concepts looked up on your own or acquired with a teacher).

Virtually all students who commit to learning Chinese eventually learn from a variety of sources: they may take classes in a school, study from several textbooks, hire 1-on-1 tutors in person or online, listen to podcasts, and prepare for proficiency exams.

These are the ideal students for Hack Chinese. Our open-curriculum platform allows you to study any material you choose. As you are exposed to new concepts, you can immediately incorporate them into your long-term learning framework.

Why should I choose Hack Chinese instead of Anki, Quizlet, Memrise, or other "general-purpose" spaced-repetition apps?

General purpose spaced repetition apps are designed to be generic enough to accommodate all types of knowledge, from history to science to foreign languages.

Hack Chinese is built from the ground up for a single knowledge domain: Mandarin Chinese. As a result, our platform is highly specialized and offers significant benefits to Mandarin learners that generic platforms will never be able to accommodate.

For example, our built-in dictionary lets you add new words to your study plan without manually creating flashcards.

Why should I choose Hack Chinese instead of Skritter or Pleco?

Choose Skritter if you want to learn how to hand-write Chinese characters. Choose Pleco if you are reading difficult texts and need their extensive collection of dictionaries.

Hack Chinese teaches vocabulary... That's it?

Vocabulary is the most fundamental unit of language. Without it, you cannot read, write, speak, or comprehend what is being said.

Too often, students attempt to learn Chinese and then practice at the same time. With this approach, practice time is often hijacked with simply learning new words -- something you could have done on your own.

Using spaced repetition, you will efficiently learn vocabulary on your own. When you are ready to practice (by reading, watching TV, attending class, conversing with a teacher, etc.), you won't be distracted by knowledge gaps that slow your momentum and leave you frustrated.

Have you ever tried to read a book where you needed to look up a word in every sentence? How fun was that?

I've already used another spaced repetition app to study Chinese. Will I lose my progress if I start over with Hack Chinese?

No. Many students are in this situation, so the first thing we do is estimate your current vocabulary, so we can immediately teach you words that are probably new to you.

Over time, we will go back and double-check everything we assumed you knew, to make sure you don't have any gaps in your knowledge.

Is Hack Chinese available on the Apple or Android app stores?

No. Hack Chinese is a web application, meaning it runs in your browser on desktop and mobile devices.

We plan to introduce native iOS and Android apps in the future.

Are there special offers for academic institutions?
There sure are! Contact us for more details:
Get in touch!
Of all the tools I use to learn Mandarin, Hack Chinese is the most effective.
Of all the tools I use to learn Mandarin,
Hack Chinese is the most effective.
Christine Brendle
Founding Partner, Kids Dailies, Hong Kong
Testimonial christine
Testimonial christine small

No love, no pay.

We're not in the business of making money from unhappy users. If you're unhappy with Hack Chinese at any point, we'll refund your most-recent payment.