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Mega Mandarin HSK 3.0 Flashcards


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5 hours ago, Weyland said:

Once we have bought it, would you like us to give feedback here or?


This thread is probably the best spot for feedback or questions at the moment. I may eventually put together a demo version for the Anki shared decks page.


5 hours ago, Weyland said:

why doesn't it say whether it's an adjective, adverb, conjunction, etc.?


It should be clear from the English text whether a given meaning is referring to an verb or noun, which I'd argue is the main distinction between parts of speech that one should worry about when making passive-recognition flashcards.




5 hours ago, Flickserve said:

Does it have sentences or just individual words?


If including a short example sentence was the best way to succinctly summarize the meaning of a given word, I have done so. Most meanings could be adequately summarized without an example sentence, however. There is a user notes field if you want to add more sentences.



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1 hour ago, Yadang said:

Can you have the deck test pronunciations and meanings separately? (other than manually going into change all of the Cloze numbers)


I generated this deck by running a csv file containing all the words, readings, meanings, etc. through a python script that then made a text file with all the HTML formatting and clozes for importing into Anki. What you're suggesting could be achieved by making a few tweaks to this python script. I'm more than happy to share these files with those that buy the deck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been waiting for a deck like this to be released for most of 2020, and I wasn't disappointed when I downloaded this one. It has really nice card styling and good audio and definitions. The definitions include various meanings and the variant pronunciations thereof. Of course, with Anki everything is customizable to suit you but the hard work has been done already with this deck.


I'll let you guys know in 3-5 years how I feel about it more when I finish it!

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  • 6 months later...

Hi there, I bought this deck and so far it seems to be far superior to what I was using before! 


Just one question: In the past I have used separate decks for HSK 1-4, so was able to study them separately.


Now it all comes in one big deck. I know that I can filter by tag but I don't seem to be able to figure out how to proceed best. I basically just want to start studying the HSK 5 equivalent, not see any higher levels and, when done, move onto the next level (I know, this is going to take quite some time).


So basically study in the order of the HSK Levels.


Do I need create a filtered deck, let's say using the tag for the relevant level? And do I need to rebuild this every day? Or is there another way of achieving the same thing? Any help much appreciated.


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Even then, the HSK5 "new" level is still going to be very large for a single deck.


For "HSK 2.0" (still current) I split the HSK Level 4 deck from StickyStudy into smaller decks, one for each chapter of the standard course textbook.


I'm currently doing the same with level 5 as I work through the two textbooks with my teacher (right now, up to chapter 27 out of 36). This makes the decks much easier to manage. 


I guess it won't really be practical to do the same with this new deck until the new textbooks come out, but you could always split the deck yourself just by numbers? Personally I prefer a deck size of roughly 100-120 maximum but I'm sure preferences vary a lot.


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Hello @Xiaowang, I hope you find the deck useful!


On 7/8/2021 at 8:57 AM, Xiaowang said:

Do I need create a filtered deck, let's say using the tag for the relevant level? And do I need to rebuild this every day? Or is there another way of achieving the same thing?


The way I would do this is select the cards I want to study first in the browser, then right-click > "Reposition..." to move those cards to the front of the new card queue. A filtered deck shouldn't be necessary.


I recommend that you learn new cards as you encounter the corresponding words in your reading or listening study. They will stick in your memory more firmly than if you just memorized the flashcards in isolation. Use the time you would have otherwise spent writing flashcards to fit more reading or listening into your study regimen. :wink:

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Thank you very much @mungouk and 大块头。


The repositioning works really well, thanks a lot. I hadn’t seen this feature as I was too focussed on filtering and splitting the deck would have been the second option. 

It makes sense to reposition words I have come across in the wild at the front of the queue - that’s helpful advice. 


mungouk, I hadn’t heard of sticky study but I do like the design. 


大块头, I have just started using the deck but might report back later. So far it seems like lot of thought has gone into it. The interference feature is something I haven’t seen before. I am pretty sure that it is going to come in handy. 




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  • 3 weeks later...

As I have been working with this flash card deck for a little while now, I thought I’d do a quick review. Enjoyed writing this so it turned out to be bit longer than intended though…. 


tl;dr I like this deck a lot und fully expect to use it for years to come. Made by someone who seems to know a thing or two about Chinese and learning with flashcards. Recommended.




As this is one of my first posts – I have been studying Chinese for roughly 2 years. Busy job, so class on Saturday mornings at the Confucius Institute and flashcards (up to HSK 4 level) plus a few graded readers. Watching lots of TV (way above my level, just for fun - with subtitles). All of this is going quite well, speaking and listening still need lots of improvement. No desire to do HSKs as this is a hobby, maybe useful for business at some stage but the goal right now is to get to an everyday conversational level and be able to follow popular TV programmes. 


To flashcard or not to flashcard: The question having almost finished HSK 4 flashcards was how to go about continuing to learn more vocab. Just continue with an HSK 5 Anki deck? Do my own flashcards based on what I watch/read? 


  • The case against a readymade HSK deck: HSK 5+ contains words I am never going to use (even HSK 4 has some stemming from a university context, which less relevant to me), covers works of literature inadequately (not a surprise for a multi-purpose body of vocab; Spanish is my worst second language but I can read a newspaper article on a familiar subject; Don Quixote on the other hand? Of course not. And I don’t want to read novels right now anyway). Some of the words might be frequent in written Chines but in spoken Chinese? Doing your own cards is better for memory retention and makes sure that they are relevant to you.
  • For: Ready-made cards (doing my own cards is time-intensive, could be used to watch more TV, haha, also I might not get enough input for a steady stream of new words); the HSK 5 vocab list does not seem to be completely useless at first glance – doing flash cards up to HSK 4 has definitely helped me progress, even if I had to learn words like xiàozhǎng, I used the deck on the Mandarin Mania website, which has served me quite well).
  • So having a ready-made flashcard deck to keep me ticking over seems to make sense. Also: I like flashcards (surprisingly, as I didn’t think I’d be the type to like such a system – my better half actually disagrees with me on that). Flashcards are certainly not the be-all and end-all to language learning but they do keep me on the straight and narrow of learning every day and it is easy to see progress. 

But: If the HSK vocab is going to change, I didn’t want to work with the old version – also, while Pleco is great and I am sure there are some other well-designed systems, I like Anki. It has worked well for me in the past and is not proprietary in the same way as Pleco. Also, I am sad enough to actually enjoy looking back at my stats over the last 18 months of using flashcards… So a new style-HSK Anki deck it had to be and with a bit of searching I found this Mega Mandarin deck (although I can't say I have extensively looked at other decks).


A few points:

  • Design: I like it – it is easy on the eye. I like the fonts, the night mode looks good too. The button for repeating the audio could be a bit bigger (not sure if this is possible in Anki but this is a minor inconvenience, if at all). I have not noticed any mistakes but I guess I would only notice quite obvious ones.

  • The cards are tagged with their frequency. I suspect this refers to written Chinese, maybe websites, but still very useful. Even if it wasn’t a representation of frequency in spoken Chinese.

  • The Mandarin Mania deck is a back and front style deck. So you get tested character->English meaning/audio, audio/character-> meaning, meaning -> character/audio. Meaning (English) -> character (Chinese) might help active recall, I would think, but I am not an expert on this.

  • The Mega Mandarin deck uses cloze deletion cards – so one-sided and then you get to mentally fill in blanks. There are a lot of advantages to that but you do not get the English -> Chinese side of a card. Effectively, you get tested on the translation of the character and then the main meaning. The other meanings are tested separately, which is very useful as I would otherwise retain one of several meanings but never all of them. You do, however, already see the translation and main meaning in this case. Personally, I think this is fine.

  • You also get tested on several pronunciations of a character. So for 为, this would be wéi and wèi. This is fab – in the past I have often not realised that there are separate pronunciations. E.g. de/dì/地 – I had never realised this is the same character. Now, I immediately get the whole picture.

  • You are also shown similarly looking characters which otherwise might be confused. So 白 would also show 百 (and a few others). A brilliant feature – it encourages me to look at characters very carefully, compare and look at the origins of the various characters in Pleco (with add-on). It is fun, too.

  • Some cards contain explanations, e.g. one character's meaning is exactly the same as another but is more formal (e.g. 与 vs 和 and 跟)

  • You do get audio. The nice recordings are very nice. I think this is the majority but haven’t drilled down enough. I have heard one or two voices where the sound quality is so-so and one recording by a female voice where the sound quality isn’t very good. If you download the demo you get an accurate idea of what it is like. It did bother me in the beginning, now I don’t notice it as much anymore. It certainly doesn’t affect my learning but if I had the choice, I would have preferred a better sound quality of at least this one female voice. 

  • So yes, I do like the set up of this deck and regularly have light.bulb moments which has never really occurred to me in the same way using the Mandarin Mania deck (which is a good deck, just not quite as elaborate). And I don't think it is just me being a little bit more used to the language. 

How I use this deck:

  • All cards are tagged according to the old and new HSK system. I have therefore filtered old-HSK 4 cards from my vocab pipeline to focus on new words.

  • HSK as such isn’t important to me, so I can pretty much learn vocab in whatever order I like. I have therefore put new cards in order of the word frequency tag and not in accordance with HSK categories. Just to make sure I focus on higher frequency words. There are some words without a frequency tag which still seem relevant (e.g. “Wēixìn”) so worth looking through those.

  • Whenever I encounter a word in the wild (or my textbook) that I want to learn, I check if it is part of the deck. If yes, I bump it up in my vocab pipeline, irrespective of frequency. Right now, I’d say this is the case for more than 80% of the new words I see. E.g. an episode of Peppa Pig yielded “tùzi” so that is now the next word I am going to learn.

  • For the remainder, I save them in a Pleco flashcard deck – not sure if I add them to the Mega Mandarin deck at a later stage. Copy paste from Pleco into Anki is quite easy on an Ipad – but the audio would be missing – does anyone have a good idea how to easily add audio to Anki? 


Anyway, if you have continued reading until here, thank you. You have been very persistent. 

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@Xiaowang Thank you for writing such a detailed review. I appreciate your feedback and kind words.


On 7/28/2021 at 11:33 AM, Xiaowang said:

The button for repeating the audio could be a bit bigger (not sure if this is possible in Anki but this is a minor inconvenience, if at all).


Note that if you are using the desktop client you can replay the audio with the R key. If you would like to make the audio replay buttons larger you can do that by navigating to Tools>manage note types>Mega Mandarin>cards>styling then modifying the following CSS code:



.replay-button svg {
  width: 21px;
  height: 21px;


Replacing the two "21" values with a larger number like "40" should produce the effect you seek.


On 7/28/2021 at 11:33 AM, Xiaowang said:

The cards are tagged with their frequency. I suspect this refers to written Chinese, maybe websites, but still very useful.


Most of the word frequency information comes from the BLCU corpus, which was scraped from online sources.


On 7/28/2021 at 11:33 AM, Xiaowang said:

does anyone have a good idea how to easily add audio to Anki? 


There are a couple Anki add-ons that can automatically add computer-generated speech to your cards, though you may have trouble generating alternate readings for homographs. Online resources such as Forvo or this GitHub repo have free human-recorded audio.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi @MHY, thanks for your interest in the deck.


I'm happy to share the CSV file and Python code I used to generate the flashcards with my customers, but I'm afraid I'm not able to create customized versions of this product. The flashcards have a cloze deletion structure, so I'm afraid making the modification you describe wouldn't be possible without modifying the CSV and importing that into Anki as a new deck.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi there,


I have been using this deck for not quite a year now and thought it might be useful to describe my study process somewhat - I am currently at about 1600 words in terms of vocabulary (conservative estimate, prob know a few more words than that but then again I prob have a few in my rotation that I don't remember perfectly - focus for me recently was getting the tones right even for words I had already 'learned' - so not added as many new words as otherwise might have been possible).


My work flow is:


- New words encountered reading graded readers or in class


- At my level and considering my current type of study material , most of these are contained in the deck.


- If so, I bump them up in the queue so that they appear soon. On the iPad this can be done by setting the due date to a suitable day. On the laptop, you can adjust the queue itself (which is a bit more flexible - I don't think the queue can be adjusted on the iPad).


- Words not contained in the deck tend to be every-day items (e.g. 'kitchen paper') or brand names ('Weixin'). Same for slang / colloquialisms but I just don't encounter such words very often in my studies.


- If not contained, I think very hard about if I really need to learn this word - if yes, I copy the flashcard format of the answer section from another card, fill in the details and add the pronunciation from Forvo. If the pronunciation is not contained in Forvo, you can request it - so far there has always been someone happy to help out. I'd say it takes me less than a minutes per card. A bit more faff if the pronunciation isn't yet contained in Forvo - e.g. 'kitchen paper' wasn't. 


- This 'review process' adds a bit of discipline. I found that my Pleco decks got clogged with all kinds of words because it was so easy to add them. 


- I tend to review on the iPad. New word: I copy the word, it gets automatically pasted into Pleco (there is a function for that in Pleco) und I review it in the Outlier dictionary - at first, I thought that the Outlier dictionary was very interesting but not really helping me study. Far from it, it is extremely helpful. If you look up words regularly, patterns emerge und it really helps remembering (and enjoying) characters. I have tried to learn radicals in isolation but they never stuck - now I do remember a growing number.


- If there is something in Pleco that might help my studies I then copy and paste that information into the user note section of the flashcard. This could be sentence as an example for the usage of the word or an explanation of the etymology from Outlier. This only takes a few seconds.


- Other than words encountered in my studies, I am currently catching up on 3.0 HSK 1 words. So for my queue I have filtered all the words tagged 3.0 HSK 1 excluding those which were part of 2.0 HSK 1-4. So even if otherwise there are no new words, I get a steady supply of new words this way. 


So this seems to work quite well for me.  I still enjoy using this deck a lot and feel it is a flexible solution for someone who doesn't want to use Pleco or other commercial offerings but also doesn't want to rely on ready-made decks from other learners and/or doesn't want to put in the time to create a deck him/herself (with all the possible mistakes this may entail).




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