Mandarin 1-3 improvement request. Supplement Pinyin with Chinese characters

To the Memrise team,

I’ve finished Mandarin 1 and I’m half-way through the 2nd course now. However, my ability to memorize and recognize Chinese characters had not improved.

I understand that Mandarin Courses 1-3 are designed so that students memorize the tones, thus Pinyin is used for most of the course materials. But without practicing reading characters in context I am unable to boost my reading skills.

Moreover, the speed review makes no sense when done with Pinyin, as it takes ages to try and make sense of what’s written. Just ask a native speaker to do the speed review and see how far they can get. :confused:

To me, all-Pinyin approach simply renders the app useless for further learning.

Please add the function to enable/disable Characters/Pinyin, so each student can choose how they want to practice the language.

Thank you!


I always study vocab actual texts that use the words. Never study words as stand alone. That way Memrise and the text strengthen each other: Memrise helps to remember the word and not have to look it up every time and the text helps me to get it deep down in context.

As for the pinyin: actually, I don’t find the pinyin difficult to read as they use the diacritic markers. They are similar enough to the latin script to recognize quickly. But for you it might be different.

I agree with you. I was checking out the app and I can’t get past the fact that it doesn’t show characters most of the time. I use duolingo which is characters based and the right way to learn. I was excited to have another app to practice but until they implement what you suggested I won’t be using it.


I’ve used since 2014 for Chinese… And one thing that I’ve loved is how much the characters are in the forefront for some sets… Go to other courses. They are there. Ben Whatley has created a series that are excellent…, protip: use the web site and not the app. They are miles apart in quality.
Good luck!

I don’t see where your comment is relevant. I just paid for a year’s subscription and am disappointed that at least in level 1 and 2 Chinese, there’s no learning focus on characters. Pinyin is fine and useful, but omitting character learning is a severe deficiency IMO.