Chinese courses require definitions to be in a specific order

There’s this thing when going through the character levels in Memrise Chinese courses that keeps driving me crazy.

Look at this screen:
Google Photos

For the record, this is the answer it’s looking for:
Google Photos

The problem is that it isn’t enough to remember what the character actually means, you also have to remember the order. eg. if instead of “small table; almost; how many” you answer “small table; how many; almost”, that isn’t correct. This means that you either have to memorize the order for literally every character you learn (at least the ones that have more than 1 meaning) or you keep getting them marked as difficult.


That must drive you crazy!

But there is a solution: someone from the memrise team needs to add the various possible word sequences as alternatives, so, no matter which order you choose, if you choose the right translations, your answer will be correct.

I will see if I can find out whether there is a Chinese language specialist active on the memrise team and tag them.

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Yeah that should do it. Or alternatively a Memrise developer could make the algorithm split the correct answer into substrings along semicolons and accept these substrings in any order. This would be easier to implement since editing all the cards one by one could take a while but there could also be some unforeseen consequences if this is applied to all cards… I’m not sure what would be the best way to fix it but there are ways to handle this better than the way things are right now


Oh BTW you seem to know your way around these things, do you think I should submit a bug report through that Google docs survey thing? I’m really not sure if this constitutes a bug so I posted it here instead but I guess there’s no harm in doing both right?

Thanks for the compliment!

I wish I was a bit more tech savvy, though, so, because I am not, I will tag a couple of people who might be able to respond with a more knowledgeable reply.


I hope one of these guys will be able to say something about the best plac for your post and what the best solution might be.


I think this is an intended behaviour of ‘tapping tests’ rather than a bug as such, although I don’t see why you should have to get the ‘alts’ in precisely the same order to get a correct answer.

I have tagged @yi.liu (who is the Memrise Mandarin Chinese Language Specialist) into this thread so that she can provide some expert advice. In the meantime, I would suggest turning off ‘tapping tests’ in your Android app settings in order to protect your sanity.

Hope this helps a bit!


Great suggestion, @alanh!

I hate these types of questions too. I’ve only seen them in community courses though. Consequently, I’d really treat them as a bug and would report them in the respective course thread.

Hi @alanh,

Thanks for tagging me here!

I can’t agree with you guys more about how painful it is to go through the Chinese character tapping tests now and the current setting is definitely not the most efficient way to test your knowledge of those characters.

We are actually working on a fix as we speak! It should be implemented in a few days and we’ll announce once ready. Stay tuned!

Happy learning!


Thanks Liu! Great to know you guys are working on it

Hey Chinese learners!

You may have noticed that we’ve recently tweaked the setting of the Chinese character levels so you are no longer tested on spelling in your own language. Finally! :tada:

Who does this affect?
This affects learners on courses with Chinese character levels. If you are on a course that doesn’t have Chinese character levels, relax, bié dān xīn!

Sounds good, but any downside?
Your previous progress on the character levels would be lost. This is because the previous setting was tracking your progress in the wrong way. For example, if you were an English speaker learning Chinese character “好”, it asked you to tap/type the English definition “good;well”. To some extent you were tested on how good you were at spelling your own language, which wasn’t very efficient! Now that we’ve fixed it, you need to learn the character levels again if you want to regain the progress.

We understand it can be a bit frunstrating to lose the previous progress but we believe this is a positive change and makes it more efficient from a learning point of view. Don’t forget you can always skip a level if you don’t want to do it. And if you do want to brush up the character levels, qù ba!

Happy learning!
The Memrise Team


I’v had these issues with the main courses, not just community courses.

Here’s another user having the same problem.