Latest Updates

December 30, 2020
Hack Chinese has partnered with The Fluency Project!

Learning a foreign language is challenging. And having the support of helpful, like-minded learners can make the journey easier and more enjoyable.

To that end, we've partnered with The Fluency Project, a not-for-profit online community of Chinese learners. Read more about it in our Collaborations page.

November 22, 2020

Hack Chinese has partnered with Domino Chinese!

With Hack Chinese, many students are learning over a thousand words per month, and we couldn't be more excited about that.

But expanding your vocabulary is only one part of a complete study plan. To that end, today we're proud to announce a partnership with Domino Chinese.

Domino Chinese is a well-regarded video course with hundreds of hours of curated content and corresponding exercises. Read more about them (and get a free 1-month trial for being a Hack Chinese user) here: Collaborations.

September 13, 2020

Study Sessions 2.0

We're super excited to announce a total redesign of the study sessions.


Check out the video for a walkthrough. Here are the highlights:

  • A completely redesigned study experience: familiar yet new, with increased functionality but the same clean style.
  • Example Sentences inside your study sessions for HSK words up through HSK 4. Seeing the words you are learning in context helps you better understand how they are used, and remember them more easily.
  • Back Button: When you move too fast, you can now 'undo' your last action.
  • Performance Pixels: Get real time feedback for how you are doing to increase motivation.
  • Advanced Responses: Boost, hide, or block any word from within a study session.
  • New Layouts: Find a more comfortable UI when using a phone, tablet, or desktop.
  • Audio Toggle: Turn audio on and off during a study session.
  • Dark Mode Toggle: Turn dark mode on and off during a study session.
August 17, 2020

Custom Voices for Audio Playback

You can now choose the voice speed and voice gender for playback of words and sentences in study sessions and throughout the app. Head to study options to adjust your preferences.

To sound most natural, we recommend you choose your own gender for audio playback.

July 26, 2020

Multiple Personal Lists!

Users have been asking for this one for a while, so we are super excited to announce that as of today, users can have unlimited Personal Lists.

Now you can have one list for the Chinese novel you are reading, another for the TV show you're watching, and as many others as you require.

The basics:

  • You can have unlimited personal lists, and name them anything you want.
  • You may add words to any list straight from the dictionary.
  • Once you learn a word, your knowledge of it will be reflected in every list (personal or official) that contains that word. No duplicate learning!

To see it in action, check out Daniel's quick walkthrough video here:


Have any questions, or notice any issues? Drop me an email at

July 6, 2020

Word control within Lists

Last week we introduced enhanced control (reset, hide, block) of words from the dashboard and statistics.

With that change, we temporarily disabled the existing control of words within vocabulary lists. But as of today, you can now right click words within Lists to get the same options from last week, plus two more:

  • Assume Known any individual word you've studied before using Hack Chinese. Words we assume you know get boosted intervals when you remember them the first time we check during a study session. This is the same functionality that has existed for entire Lists before, but now is available for individual words as well. If you are browsing a List and recognize many of the 'unstudied' words, you may want to 'Assume Known' those words individually, instead of 'Assuming Known' the entire List.
  • Removing is only available in your Personal List. If you remove a word you've already studied, you'll continue to review it according to it's SRS schedule. If you haven't learned it yet, you won't... unless you have another List queued that also contains the same word.

Previously, learned words in List view were displayed in Chinese, while unlearned words were displayed in English (but could be toggled to Chinese). Now, you can toggle between seeing English and Chinese in both the learned & unlearned sections of every List.

June 24, 2020

Right-click your way to enhanced word control

Individual words appear in several places in Hack Chinese: On your dashboard, in lists, and in several places under 'Statistics'.

On a desktop, you can now right click any word to reveal a few powerful options:

  • Reset a word if you are sure you don't know it, and don't want to wait for the next session to mark it as forgotten. Resetting a word will set the interval to 0 and put it in your next study session. You can also use this option on any words we 'assumed' you knew, to make sure you learn them in a study session soon.
  • Hide will temporarily hide a word for 2 weeks. We suggest hiding any words that are giving you frustration. While you can turn on hide really hard words to automatically hide your most challenging words, now you can hide words at your discretion, and potentially before you experience much frustration.
  • Block is for those times when, for whatever reason, you never want to see a word again. Maybe you're 100% confident you'll never need to be tested on it again (我,他,这, anyone?), or maybe you added it to your study plan but have since realized it's not important to you. Whatever the reason - we won't judge. Block it, and you'll never see it again.

Along with these options, the 'Statistics' page has been given a facelift, and two new categories have been added: hidden, and blocked. Check it out!

NOTE! These options are now available on the Dashboard, and in Statistics, and are coming soon to words within vocabulary lists. Words in vocabulary lists will get additional control: i.e. assume an individual word is known, remove a word from a list, etc.

Enhanced rollovers

Everywhere you see a word, you can roll over your mouse to see the pinyin and definition. As of today, you can also see the first (of 3) example sentences for that word (if example sentences for that word exist in our database!), and a reminder that right-clicking will give you even more control.

Example Sentences

We are hard at work creating learner-friendly sentences for every word in the HSK. Right now, HSK 1-3 are done, and HSK 4 should be done in the next few weeks.

To see these example sentences (perhaps to help you remember your hard words?), just click in to their dictionary page. You can see the word highlighted in each sentence, as well as play back the audio to hear the sentences spoken aloud.

Mastery is now "Interval"

Until today, we've tried to use the term "mastery" to indicate how well a student understood a word. While our intentions were good, it goes against the nomenclature that most spaced repetitioners are familiar with for this concept: interval.

We feel it makes sense to simplify our naming conventions and refer to this metric by what it is: interval. (In case you forget, mastery interval indicates the number of days you are estimated to be able to remember a word. This number goes up when you successfully remember a word, and resets to zero when you forget (so you can build it back up again).

Please get in touch with us!

With larger updates such as this, there is always the possibility that we missed something. If you notice anything strange, please get in touch with us! Thanks!

June 14, 2020

Character popups in statistics

To save time, you can now reveal the Pinyin and definition of every word in your Statistics pages by hovering over them with your mouse, similar to how it works in List pages and on your dashboard.

May 29, 2020

New: Traditional Characters

Several users have asked for the ability to study traditional characters (instead of simplified characters). Well, now you can! Head to your Study Options and select your preferred character set.

April 17, 2020

New: Enhanced Study Session Stats

Hover over your 'Study Sessions' dashboard widget on desktop, and see a breakdown of how long your study sessions usually are.

April 14, 2020

New Learning Velocity ranges

Once you've been a student for 7, 30, and 90 days, toggles appear in the learning velocity widget to see your velocity for these rolling ranges.

Random word order when learning new words

Previously, you would learn unstudied words from unfinished lists in the order they were added to our database. This was usually fine, but particulary problematic for students learning HSK3, as they would see these words in a row: 一直, 一定, 一共, 一样, 一般, 一边. Thanks to feedback from several students, we realize this is needlessly difficult.

Now, words are now introduced in random order.

Note 1: Although the unstudied words will be randomized within each list, we still maintain the list priority order. So, if you have Textbook Chapter 3 and Textbook Chapter 4 in your study queue, you will be introduced to words in this order: Textbook Chapter 3 words (randomized), then Textbook Chapter 4 words (randomized).

Note 2: Personal and Teacher lists will still be introduced in the order words were added to the list.

April 13, 2020

New Dashboard Stats!

Dashboards have been enhanced with more juicy metrics that shine light into your study habits.

Bugs squashed: Visual glitches on dashboards

Fixed: Hard words no longer overflow outside of your 'vocabulary insights' box.

Fixed: Progress history bars should look a little smoother...

April 9, 2020

Bugfix: Dashboard progress widget

For students who joined us in the last week, your dashboard's historical progress widgets may not have been recording snapshots of your progress each day. This has been fixed, and you should start seeing your progress over time.

Study Interface

  • The study session timer bar now appears to "fill up" from left (empty) to right (full), instead of "draining" (also from left to right). The purpose of this subtle difference is to change the psychology from "I'm running out of time!" (negative) to "I'm making progress!" (positive).
  • Near the end of your study session, the timer bar no longer turns red (which might have produced a slightly negative psychological feeling).
  • You can now re-play the audio. On mobile, there is a new button you can press. On desktop, the hotkey is the UP arrow.
  • At the end of your study session, we now allow additional time for you to finish review of any words you've started.
  • We've increased the size of the pause button. While you should be using the spacebar hotkey to pause on desktops, people on mobile devices must touch the pause button, and it was too small for comfort.
  • The default number of 'assumed known' words to check has been increased from 6 to 15. This is still individually configurable by students in study options.

Custom timezones

Until today, everyone's accounts were stuck in the "Hong Kong" timezone (where Hack Chinese is based).

This affected two widgets on your dashboard(study consistency & progress history) and the time when your assumed-knowledge daily quota is refreshed.

For users anywhere in Asia, this was generally fine, but for those of you who live further away, this was a problem.

For example, if you live in Canada or the US, your represented "time spent studying on April 4" was actually the time you spent studying from noon on April 3 until noon on April 4. Nonsensical.

For new users, your timezones are now set automatically, but for everyone else: head to your Profile and set your timezone.

New Lists

We've added new lists for you to add to your study queue:

  • Textbook chapters from "Chinese Made Easier" (not to be confused with "Chinese Made Easy")
  • 18 new Topical vocabulary lists, including colors, shapes, sizes, the human body, weather, seasons, directions, and many more.

Many more coming soon!

A special thanks to Richard, a student from UK, for many of the above suggestions. As always, we are super appreciative for any user feedback that can drive the development of Hack Chinese. Thanks!