Chinese Drill


Is Chinese Drill suitable for me?

Chinese drill is suitable for beginning and intermediate learners of Mandarin Chinese. The only required understanding of Chinese is that of the principle of Pinyin tones. Coverage is based on the HSK syllabus Level 1 in the basic app, and up to Level 4 with an In-app Purchase.

How do I get started with the app?

You can use the reference feature of the app at any time. You should take at least one lesson before you take a revision session, since the general idea is that you only revise what you have learned. Beyond that, there are slightly different guidelines for complete beginners and intermediate users.

How does spaced repetition work?

Every time you answer a test question in a revision session correctly, the length of time until same question is asked is doubled. If you answer incorrectly, the question is repeated in the next session. Read more

Do I need a Chinese keyboard to use the app?

You can use almost all of the functionality of the app by just entering the letters A to Z. However a few features require Chinese soft keyboard, which you can probably install on your phone for free via the phone language settings. Read more

Do I need an internet connection to use it?

You only need an internet connection to make in-app purchases and update the app to the latest version. Otherwise no connection is necessary.

Are there differences between the Apple and Android versions?

Please see here

How do I enter Pinyin tone marks in the text entry tests?

You enter the tone at the end of each syllable by pressing the dedicated tone buttons on the screen.

How are words and characters handled differently?

In each session of Chinese Drill, you are first tested on character knowledge, and then on words. Read more

Why the Pass and Fail buttons in the text entry tests?

If you have entered the correct Pinyin, but your answer for "Meaning" differs from the one given by the app, you are allowed to decide for yourself if your answer is close enough to be acceptable.

What does the red letter "T" after my text-entry answer mean?

This means you have not entered the correct tone mark for one or more syllables. See also the section above, "How do I enter Pinyin tone marks?".

How do I enter the Pinyin character "ü"?

In common with other Chinese input methods, the app converts the the letter "v" to "ü".

Why is the Notes button sometimes bright yellow?

The notes button appears bright yellow on the character or word reference page when there are actually notes to be read, either supplied with the app or written by yourself. Regardless of colour, pressing it will take you to an editor where you can write your own notes.

What does the Deschedule button do?

Pressing this will result in the word or character not being scheduled for revision. We recommend doing this only for items that you are quite sure you will never forget or never need to know.

Why does the app tell me that no words or characters are due for revision?

If you attempt a revision session immediately after installation without taking any lessons, this will happen. Otherwise, the spaced repetition principle can still cause this to happen occasionally if you have answered all questions correctly in previous sessions.

Will Chinese Drill run on a tablet or iPad?

In principle yes, although the layout has been optimised for mobile phones. Read more

Are there any known bugs?

On versions 6 and 7 of Android, the launch icon may not display correctly, and be replaced by an Android default icon. Operation is otherwise unaffected. An earlier reported bug where changing the display mode from light to dark or vice versa would crash the app on some earlier Android versions has been fixed.

What does Chinese Drill do with my data?