[Course Forum] Mandarin Chinese 1-3 by Memrise

Hi @thomasrcwhite23. Chatbots are a Pro feature available in courses created by Memrise, but only on selected languages pairs. You can find a complete list at this link:

Web version:


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OK. Thanks for letting me know Mila.

  • So when will Chatbots be available for this course? Should be a feature by now as it looks useful to put learning into practice. Really needed for a language like Mandarin!

  • Grammarbot doesn’t have many new topics/levels to take either. When were they last updated?

  • An option to learn just by characters should be available too with more testing on characters.

I have a question about a word choice in Chinese 3 “out and about section”

It is said that “zǐjìnchéng” means Forbidden City. However, I have never seen any other reference teach it this way. In “Chinese for Beginners” by Yi Ren, the HelloChinese App and Chinese Class 101 all teach this word as “Gu Gong” 故宫 So I wonder if this is a mistake on Memrise or just not a very common way to say it?

I’ve finished Russian 1-7 and found that course largely great, and this course… is interesting. It has moments of brilliance, and yet so early in Chinese 1 you prioritise sentences that 99.999% of people would never need to say or hear in their life. Like, before you even teach numbers you’re asking people to use numbers, and then teaching completely random stuff.

In Chapter 7 you’re teaching “no wonder you’re single” and “I’m a terrible singer” before the user knows how to say “eat”, “drink”, “water”. 9 more chapters until you even teach day/month/year.

I would expect this kind of stuff from unit 6/7 not unit 1, how am I going to be insulting someone’s ability to find a partner when I don’t even know the word “who” or “why” yet? lol


Is it me or did the Chinese 1 and 2 change recently? Chinese 1 used to be ~300 words\phrases and Chinese 2 used to be ~700 words\phrases, now they’re both ~400 words\phrases.

Spot on Alex!

The Chinese course you are learning is the new course we published this year which has more phrases and sentences compared to the previous one. More details can be found in this announcement here (New Year, New Courses!).

We’ve been collecting user feedback and what you mentioned is exactly one of the things that we are fixing soon! We wanted to test the idea of having phrases only in some of the chapters to make our users able to speak a phrase or sentence without having to go through each of the component word six times, which is linked to some other user feedback about the progress being too slow. So some of the words you mentioned are introduced in phrases or sentences but not as single words. But we are aware that either way (too easy or too difficult) is not ideal so what we are doing now is experimenting and improving until we find the right level of difficulty.

Regarding “day/month/year”, we put them and some other vocabulary, such as numbers, days of week, food (again more details can be found in the announcement) in shorter levels between bigger chapters having in mind that not all users need to or want to learn those words. They are functional and useful but at the same time easily accessible from other sources. Since users tend to use multiple sources when leaning a language, we decided to put more focus on authentic phrases and sentences (something that can’t be found easily from dictionaries or translation tools) hence the creation of this new course. This is the idea behind it but we are not saying it’s right. We are learning from all of our users like you and your feedback is very important in the process of making our courses better!

It’s definitely one of our priorities this quarter to address the issues caused by the introduction of phrases/sentences early on and also the order of items so bear with us. We’ll try to make more moments of brilliance! :slight_smile:


Cool. Another thing, there’s a mistake in the course. For “shen-me shi-hou”, the accents on shén and shí use the wrong character set or for whatever reason don’t allow input properly.

They require me to type an acute accent with alt-gr, which does not happen throughout the rest of the course. If you type “shen-me shi-hou” or “shenme shihou” it rejects your answer.

Hey Alex. I’ve sort of started compiling a list of errors in the post called “New Years - New Lessons”. It might get some more attention of we compile everything in one place.

Thanks for raising this issue @Alexroseajr . We’ll look into it and get back to you soon.

Good idea @addohm, I’m sure the list will be useful for both the users and us course creators. Also, if you encounter any specific issues about the Chinese courses, please feel free to tag me here and I’ll reply as soon as possible.


I have the same problem in Mandarin 2, for the word last week, “shàng-ge xīng-qī”, it makes me type the accents.

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I started the new CN Level 1 and I’d like to go back to the old CN Level 1 as its more progressive and has more practically used phrases (when you get to the point of learning phrases) - for the most part without dialect. How do I do that?


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For all those interested - I figured out a way to get the old courses back into the course list. They will be placed back into the course list WITH the new course, so you don’t lose anything.

Go to your learning statistics here and scroll down to the bottom of the page. You will see a pie chart like the following:
Click “Learn” next to Mandarin Chinese. This assumes that mandarin Chinese is your most used course. If it’s not, you’ll have to deduce which one is the right one.

Not a bad deal for me really. I’ve had a strong desire to go back through the course and focus more on the Chinese characters. It’s a shame that it’s not character focused like Duolingo or that you can’t just completely turn pinyin off like in the ChineseSkill app.

A couple of questions about the new Chinese level one…

-Why no character lessons anymore? Not learning to read can be detrimental to your progress in the long run.

-First word taught is “hai” (嗨)However how common is this really? I have never seen any textbook or Chinese course teach this word. Also it said that “Ni hao” (你好) can mean both “hello” and “How are you?” but the correct way to ask “How are you?” is 你好吗?

Overall, not too impressed with the new level one compared to the one level one. The fact that the official courses keep refusing to teach characters is driving me mad.

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What happened with this update? Mandarin 2 I just get characters to learn but no meaning? Then I’m tested on what the meaning is?

Hi Sam,

Sorry about the confusion. This wasn’t intended and has been flagged by other android users also. Our developers are fixing it as we speak. I’ll update you once I hear more.

Thanks for your understanding!

There’s another problem with the new level 1 course since you added the new words into it. I can see them on desktop but not on android.

Thanks for letting us know @KMoodie89. Would you mind trying log out and log in again and see if you can see the changes? Anyway I’ll flag this issue as you are supposed to see the changes once you come back to the app.

Thank you again!

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Hi Sam,

This was fixed last week. Could you let me know if it’s working fine on your side now?

Thanks again for flagging this issue!

I’ve noticed a few frustrating errors. For example, to sit (zuo4) is written as zuo1 although the audio is still correct. Then there’s the issue of some words like zuotian/zuo-tian and mingtian/ming-tian. It’s making you choose the one with the dash, although AFAIK both are correct. Then when you have to choose the English translation or the audio, you can’t know which is right because they’re both the same. (E.g. you have to choose between four options where two of them are tomorrow, and it only accepts the other one.)

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Thanks yi.liu that seems to have fixed it.

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