Character Introductions

I’m proud to finally unveil our latest feature – New Character Introductions! For each lesson now, in addition to the new words being highlighted in the vocabulary page, there will also be a section in there on new characters. This way, we can distinguish between characters that have already been taught before, and new characters that are features in the new word being taught. All the new characters in a lesson will be highlighted in a separate section (found along the Test Your Pronunciation, Sentence Builder and Exercise tools) with animated stroke order pictures. If you click on a character, it will perform a search in our word bank for all the words and examples that it has been used in in our entire course to give you a better feel for it. Obviously it is in your interest to learn the most commonly used characters first.

Want to practice your writing skills? Use this worksheet for practice. It uses the same box background as in the pictures to keep things consistent. It is also interesting to note how the computer font differs from the more traditional font used in the animated stroke pictures.

It will take us some time to introduce this feature for all lessons, so we will be doing it in phases. Phase one will be adding the characters that have already been introduced as new words. We will then be separating new characters from existing words and introducing them separately.

As expected, earlier lessons feature a lot more newer characters. New words from later lessons frequently use characters that have already been introduced earlier, which should help you better remember them (that is the rationale behind this being a progressive course). In working on this project, it was interesting for me to find that after the first 10 lessons (not including lesson one, since that was just an introduction to tones), more than 100 new characters were taught. However the next 90 lessons taught less than 400 new characters, which means a lot of the initial ones are repeated often.

Please send me feedback on how you use this (and any other features on the site), as well as any suggestions you may have to improve it further. You can try out the first batch of characters here. Click on “New Characters” in the middle of the page. Enjoy!

Update: We have also added a new “Character” type to the word bank. All characters will be classified with this type. This means you can study all the characters introduced lesson by lesson from one main area just by searching for (or clicking on) the “character” type. To see the stroke order, simply click on the lesson a character was introduced and then open the “New Characters” area. Hope this helps!

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  1. Hi Karan,

    If you do a search for “animated stroke order” on Google, you will see several different sites and software programs that show the stroke order for characters. I purchased one of them, which lets you export the characters as animated gifs. Then it was just a matter of matching them with the new characters taught in each lesson. In the process though we have to add audio for each character and add it to the database.

    When it’s complete though, I think it should be quite useful as a tool for learning to read and write characters, especially when combined with the flashcard program.

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