My good friends Nick, Scott, and George have released beta testing for Skritter, an online web app that helps you learn Chinese characters by prompting you to write the characters and tones and giving you stroke-level feedback. The program spaces out the characters based on whether you get them right or wrong, so you can learn harder words more often than easier words.

It is free during beta testing, and I’ve been using it for several hours with my Integrated Chinese 2 textbook. It’s really simple to get started – register for an account, then choose the vocab list you’re studying, whether it’s from Chinese Primer, a New China, Integrated Chinese, or Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK). Note that Skritter is not a Chinese dictionary. You can find really good dictionaries elsewhere online, but no other site helps you with learning how to write Chinese characters.

I highly recommend it not only because I know the dudes (and they are awesome people) and know that they have put tons of work into it, but as a sort-of native speaker who is learning Chinese, I can say that it really helps me memorize the characters and prepare myself for vocab quizzes and such. Enough with reading this blog post – go experience it for yourself!

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