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Chinese Learning Problem?

Ni3hao3! (I don't have a pinyin keyboard so that's as good as it gets ;v;)

Anyway, I just started the Chinese Course on here, which is super exciting! I've already downloaded ChineseSkill, HelloChinese, and LingoDeer, but I haven't really gotten any Chinese started on any of them yet. That aside, I'm excited to use Duolingo as my main pathway for beginning my Chinese studies. However, the first few lessons bothered me.

All I've learned so far are the characters and their noises/pinyin. The closest thing I've gotten to a translation is Hao3 = Good and Ni3 = You. I know I learned Jian4 and Zai4 but no translations for those. I know Ni3hao3 means Hello technically, but I never learned what Zai4Jian4 meant, and I'm only guessing that's the order because it's something I've heard before, but I don't know what it means. It just feels weird to basically learn one word and tons of characters.

This was all done on the app though! Maybe the site is different? I only use the Website for the Tips & Notes, Discussion stuff, and Language Levels. So I don't know if it's different. But I figured because it's Beta, it might be nice to know? Maybe I should get further in the course, but from past experiences, you don't learn past things in new skills and lessons. So I don't really want to move on without knowing what it means. This wouldn't be such a problem if word lists for new languages still existed but I get why it doesn't, it must be a lot of work. :/

(Edit: Zai4Jian4 literally means "Again-Meet", so, "See you later"! Xie4Xie4 to those who told me! I have also gone farther into the course [only about two skills in] and the experience hasn't necessarily been the same, but it hasn't been very good either. The numbers I knew because of Japanese Kanji and could pair the numbers before having to learn them by getting them wrong, which is what I would have had to do on the app. And the Name Skill, I got through it somewhat fine but it was SUPER fast-paced and I feel like I learned too much too quickly without much introduction or something. I had to guess the sentences with the word banks I was given.)

If anyone wants to share their experiences and knowledge, I'm happy to listen and hopefully so will others!


November 19, 2017



I agree. Of course, the tree is very young, but that has bothered me. I knew 0-10 from earlier studies (which only started like a week ago but I know a handful of characters now), but in the lesson it intro'd some different characters than just the 0-10 and didn't have a definition on the hover-over :/

ZàiJiàn means goodbye, I believe :)


Thanks for telling me! Yeah, it's really upsetting me that I can't even AT LEAST hover over the words or get a list of the words and their meanings somewhere. :/ I hope they fix this in the future!


Ni3hao3 literally means 'you good' (note 'ni' only sounds 2nd tone due to sandhi); zai4jian4 literally means 'again see'. You ought to be able to mouse-over individual characters in sentences to get individual meanings.
'Xie' should be 4th tone, incidentally, and the pinyin diacritic ought to fall on the 'e'; xie1 means 'scorpion', amongst other things (it's remarkably easy accidentally to say 'scorpion' instead of 'shoe').


Oh thank you so much! That's super informative! Yeah, I figured Ni3hao3 meant "You Good", I started learning more skills and realized it when learning Ni3jiao4shen4me5ming2zi4 (I think those are the tones lol) and I thought that was really cool. But as I expected, nothing about Zai4Jian4 in the future lessons. XìeXìe! Also, I totally forgot that Chinese people like to write with numbers for their tones, so thank you for reminding me about that as well!


ZàiJiàn (再见) means "bye!" in English. If we translate these two characters one by one, 再means again, 见means meet. So "meet again" is bye for Chinese.


zai4 jian4 means goodbye or see u


The course is very young and is not very good for learning. This is because the translations mostly have not appeared or only come up at the end. It is very frustrating for many beginners, since they have to use hover when they never learned the word. So yes, you can't learn much from what the course it right now.

ZàiJiàn would literally translate into things like "Meet again" or "See you (again)", so it basically means "Bye" or "Goodbye".

I suggest you use other sources to start first, and perhaps a few Tiny Cards decks would actually work even better, since there is always a translation challenge, whether selection or typing. There are already quite a few decks; they would be very useful!

On a side-note, I think Chinese should have a Basics skill for general pronouns and words.


In addition, there is also "好拜拜", which also means "Bye bye" in casual form. Literally, it means "Good bow bow". However, because of the sounding of "拜", which sounds close to "Bye", "拜拜" is the loan statement.


拜拜 is also able to be used by itself to say goodbye. It's basically the same as saying "byebye!". 好拜拜 is more for when the other party has asked for something or has said to meet again.



I probably will try to use some TinyCards deck for now. Once the course gets better I'll come back. Meanwhile, I also have three other apps to learn from and that's not including TinyCards! So I'm definitely on my way to learning Chinese if I ever carry it out! Hopefully the course will become better in the future.

Zai4Xie4Xie4! (?) ;)) lol


If you want to learn Chinese, the Pleco chinese dictionary (available for Android or iOS) is essential. If you pay for the handwriting recognition upgrade then you can scribble in characters to look them up. This is INCREDIBLY useful.


100 agreed. Course only useful if you are chinese but never learned to write it.

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