Add1 Challenge Round 3 Mandarin Intro

About to start the Add1 Challenge again for the third round. Have found it be pretty helpful.

Focusing on Speaking with Hello Chinese, Plus feature I hadn’t used before!

Yesterday and today I have been practicing with Hello Chinese by doing only the speaking sections.

My basic strategy at the moment is to do three speaking exercises and spend as much time as it takes to get everything correct. I think I will switch back to working on it for twenty minutes though.

Today, for example, I was having trouble with this.


Happened to click on the question mark and it said that if you long click on any individual word, you can focus on working on that.


Seemed like a pretty useful feature!

Some words I am able to get their max score more quickly compared to others,



So that’s a pretty useful feature I think! Hadn’t used it before today, but I will use it more, especially now that I’m focusing on the speaking exercises.

Finished the Hello Chinese Tree

Today I finished the lessons for Hello Chinese


This is what the last week of practice looks like,


So went through the threshold of 50 coins once during that time.

I noticed that the ‘review’ sections seem to reset, I did two of those today.


The graphic changes when it’s been reviewed. I tried doing one of these sections again to see if the graphic changed again but it did not.

At this point, I’ll check back to see what happens to the ‘reviewed’ sections and how long they take to return to ‘needs review’. Those sections seems like they will be good to work on. I think I will also focus on doing the speaking sections, maybe more slowly. Would like to try to get my score on those sections higher. In general, my scores were above 4.0

I think I would like them to be above 4.5.

I redid the first speaking section just now,


To get that score, I redid everything until it was completely green (correct). So redoing and correcting will not get you a perfect score, seems like you need to get it all right the first time. There seems to be at least one problem that I noticed. 你好,Nǐ hǎo, has two third tones in a row. Normally that would mean that the first would change to the second tone, rising. However, in the app, they want you to pronounce two third tones in a row. So there may be a few issues. The spoken recognition seems decent, but not perfect, so I will keep that in mind.

Almost to the end of the Hello Chinese Tree


I had predicted on August 30 that I could finish the tree in a week and at this point I have two sets left. Should be doable.

44 sets out of 46 sets completed.

Some sets have been more useful than others for me for right now, so once I’m finished, I will go back and pick some of them to review.

One Week of Hello Chinese at Higher Pace

Hello Chinese allows you to set a daily goal of ‘coins’ from 10-50. But I set my own goal of twenty minutes and that has corresponded with approximately 100 coins/day. I went ahead and set my daily goal using the function of the app at 50 coins. It’s possible the final lessons will reduce my rate of completion if they are more difficult, but I imagine I’ll still be able to get more than 50 coins in 20 minutes.


After a week of working on the app for twenty minutes each day, here is my progress chart,


I have completed 36 sets of lessons, each set has between three and five lessons.

There are 9 lesson sets left. I finish approximately 1.5 lesson sets in a day, so I should complete the ‘tree’ in about a week.

There are also review sections which I’m not counting but which are useful.

For me, it seems like the speaking parts are the most useful, the variety of formats of exercises also helps, it makes you think about the language from slightly different angles.

The writing part has been the least systematic for me, but I have been recognizing more patterns within the characters by doing these exercises. It just doesn’t seem like a very effective way to learn writing.

Certain lessons in Hello Chinese seem more useful to me personally. So I’m going to finish the tree to unlock everything and then focus more on what I find the most useful.

Pacing with the Hello Chinese App

I have been doing a little bit of practice with ‘Hello Chinese’ most days for a little while now. Didn’t do any when I was on a trip last week, but starting to practice again.

I was doing two lessons a day and then switched to one lesson a day. But then I was thinking about whether that was really enough to learn much and I think it probably isn’t.

So today, I decided just to work on it for twenty minutes and see how far I could get.

I ended up getting 130 points. Had done about five lessons I thought, but at first, I wasn’t sure exactly what that had meant. Then I tried a couple of the lessons to see how the points system works. Basically, the speaking parts are 25 points and the normal lessons are 20 points. So I think I did two speaking parts and four normal lessons. I ended up doing two more parts figuring that out.

Sometimes you can get through the lessons very quickly and they also vary in difficulty, so I thought that practicing for a set amount of time could be better. Twenty minutes seems like a good starting point for now. There have been times when I have studied Chinese for much longer than that each day, but that seems like a good minimum.

With playing music, I also recommend for students to get at least twenty minutes in a day. The more important part is that the practice is daily. The same amount of practice spread across seven days can be much more effective than if it was crammed into a day or two. Part of that has to do with getting things into your long term memory instead of relying on short term memory which can fade faster.

And sometimes if you start something, you’ll want to continue longer than you planned, which can be a good thing.


English, ‘wrong’ vs ‘mistakes’


English “to….” another city

English correction to

How to ask how long someone has been learning…..

Something you might want to ask someone.


Hello Chinese and Chinese Skill for learning characters

I have also used Memrise, one of the courses on radicals. Should probably go through that again.

As Joseph said, Skritter is supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it much.

There are two apps that can be helpful for learning to write characters and include stroke order which you can turn on and off.

They are ‘Chinese Skill’ and ‘Hello Chinese’.

Pretty similar in their systems, but slightly different.

Here is what Hello Chinese looks like,

Chinese Skill is similar,

It seems to me like the Hello Chinese app has a few more options. In each though, you can practice the characters with or without guidance.