Skritter review – a great way of learning how to write Chinese characters

Learning how to write Chinese characters is hard, and we can use all the help we can get. Skritter (http://www.skritter.cn) is a website that uses some clever web coding to create a novel way of helping you learn characters.

The strongest feature of Skritter in my opinion is its tool for Chinese character writing with real time feedback. This is unique as far as I am aware. When you draw a character the strokes you have drawn ‘fall’ into the right place – so every time you make a stroke a little too short, or forget the hook, or make it too straight – it will show you immediately what it should look like, and then let you continue on with writing the other strokes. Similarly, it will let you know if the stroke is in the wrong order, or wrong direction. It will even give you a hint if you are completely stuck as to which stroke comes next. Using Skritter has taught me that I have been writing the liang of piao liang (漂亮 – beautiful) wrong for months. I had been putting 儿 for the last two strokes instead of 几, and skritter would not let me get away with it!

Skritter is full of other useful features that should aid the language learner such as an inbuilt Spaced Repetition System, Audio reinforcement, and character decompositions, and user created mnenomics (see http://www.skritter.cn/pricing for a full list). Alongside which the studying is very customizable, allowing you to focus on exactly what you need whether that is just writing, or if reading and remembering the correct tone are also important to you.

However, to be honest, I am not going to be using it beyond the free trial. Partly that is due to the monthly fee ($10), but also I have already been learning for a while and I have found a set of other resources that provide almost all the features that Skritter provides.

But if you are new to learning to write Chinese characters, then it could be an excellent place for you to start. Skritter is not free, but they do let you have a two week free trial to experiment to see if it works for you. Hope this Skritter review helpful for those who want to give it try.
Learn Chinese Characters

  • Michael

    thanks for the review, I will definitely check it out as I’ve been studying Chinese characters.

  • William van Tongeren

    So obviously I’m curious to your set of other resources that provide almost all the features that Skritter provides. :)

    By the way note that you can still use Skritter after you stop paying for it, it’s just not possible to add anything new anymore. So if you’ve learned 3000 characters, you can keep using Skritter to remember them.

  • http://blog.1on1mandarin.com/ Learn Chinese Blog

    Hi William, thanks for the information, it’s helpful.

    Darren

  • Hangang8

    Hi, Would you tell us what the other resources are you have found that offer the same features as Skritter? I am not too eager to pay $10/month..Thanks!

  • http://blog.1on1mandarin.com/ Learn Chinese Blog

    Hi, I don’t know any other tools which offer the same features as Skritter, however, I will look into that and let you know when I find any.

    Darren

  • Hangang8

    Thanks. You had written: “I have found a set of other resources that provide almost all the features that Skritter provides” – I guess that’s what I meant…

  • http://blog.1on1mandarin.com/ Learn Chinese Blog

    oh, right, sorry about that, our student was the original author, I just contacted him and find out those tools mentioned in the post:  iChinese app for iphone, Anki, Pleco, however, I didn’t have enough time to check out each one though. Skritter just released their app for ipad and iphone, you can check out too.