Chinese Flashcards

Lately a few of my friends have been working on bringing Chinese vocabulary study into the high-tech age. Those projects are not yet complete, but I found an impressive flashcard database site called Flashcard Exchange. It also has a Chinese study section.

The flashcard sets are focused on beginners, with Mandarin vocabulary – Kung Fu (I) apparently the best of them. It’s not actually focused on fung fu (which would be kind of cool), and it’s in simplified characters.

The javascript flashcard viewer worked for me the first time I tried it, in Firefox, without the need to install any plugins. I assume it works fine in IE too.

This link was found via’s popular links, and is now in my links as well.


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. Are these ‘flash cards’ like in digital cameras or flash cards like in grade school?

  2. Thanks for the site. Just what I was looking for!!

  3. John,
    I just took a quick look at those flashcards, particularly the recommended book, and I would warn that they seem prone to error. For example Âí was given as the interrogative instead of Âð. And you have to register before you can report an error. Frankly I was just too lazy for that. BTW, I bought “Flash Cards for Elementary Chinese” published by Sinolingua (widely available at foreign language bookstores) and it was well worth it. Its cards give stroke orders, radicals, traditional characters, and decent translations for individual characters as well as for common combinations with other characters.

  4. The Chinese flashcard software out there is absolutely hideous. My biggest problem is that the sets or classes or lessons (however they seem to relate relate groups of cards together) always seem to have a random approach to putting unrelated cards together.

    John W. Biesnecker Jr’s little php app on ZD had some potential, so I hope he is still working on something.

    I’ve got a reasonable MS access database prog going now. but it’s still a bit to quick and dirty to release to the general public.

  5. Hi there,

    I built and manage There are indeed errors on many of the flashcards. All of the data was entered by uses of the site and unfortunately people make mistakes. In the near future I will be adding a “directory editors” capability to the site and this should help the quality. Currently you have to sign in to report an error because the error reports go directly to the author of the flashcards and there is the possibility for abuse.

    Let me know if I can answer any questions and let me know if there is any way you think I could make the site better!


  6. Kelster Says: July 25, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Interesting. I googled “chinese vocabulary high-tech” and the first result was a link to this post. Neat.

  7. Can it export to the anki format? That system has a bunch of different use-made packs of cards, too. They have thematic decks, plus decks made based on the vocab progression of particular books.

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