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New Chinese version needs pingyin added when wrong

My Duolingo just updated and I've spent nearly two hours to get through a single lesson. The problem is that it asks me to write in Chinese, which is fine, but if I get it wrong it just gives me the Chinese characters. This isn't helpful, as without the pingyin, I don't know what to type next time to arrive at those characters and so I go into an endless loop of never getting to the end of the lesson. I eventually just gave up in frustration!

April 25, 2018



I suggest installing the Perapera pop-up dictionary add-on, which you can set to give you the pinyin of a character upon mouse-over.


garpike, I'm looking on my iPhone to see how to find perapera. I don't see it in either Duolingo or the AppStore. Where would I find this addon?


Ah; my apologies, I thought you were talking about the website rather than the app. I don't know of such an add-on on iOS. If you can copy the correct answers, then you could paste them into an app like Pleco to get the pinyin; if not, Google translate also has OCR that might work for screenshots, which you can then convert to pinyin (Pleco also has OCR, but I don't think it's free).
iOS has pretty good Chinese handwriting recognition; have you installed the handwriting keyboard in addition to the pinyin one? I find this quite useful for characters I cannot remember the pronunciations of (and if you've been spending so long on lessons you're probably going to remember what the character looks like). You would need to be aware of the basic rules of stroke order for it to work well. You could also use this to look up pinyin on Pleco.

If you try using the website, rather than the app, however, then you could get around this problem with Perapera.


garpike Thanks for the thoughts.

There are some additional issues with the suggestions made. First, when using a computer, rather than the app, it does not ask you to input the Chinese, so the problem outlined does not occur. Thus you lose the opportunity to learn to write in pinyin, which is very useful. Second, in the app, when you make a mistake and are given the answer, there is no way to cut and paste. Third, I did use Google Translate to recreate the answer, but it is incredibly time-consuming, and when there are four sentences that you are trying to get right simultaneously, then you have to have four streams going, which means that you need another app, such as memo, to then cut and paste to from Google Translate - all taking way too long. A lesson needs to take 5-10 minutes, 15 at the most. Busy people don't have time to mess around with processes that can take hours.



First, when using a computer, rather than the app, it does not ask you to input the Chinese, so the problem outlined does not occur. Thus you lose the opportunity to learn to write in pinyin, which is very useful.

If you are only getting boxes, there should be a 'use keyboard' button at the bottom of the screen that will allow you to type instead using your preferred Chinese IME on the web.

I agree that getting around this on the app is rather fiddly and time-consuming--it depends how many characters you are routinely forgetting. It would be better if there were an option to display pinyin with answers.


This is a huge problem on the iOS app too. It would be good to have the pingyin too - or allow you to do kick the character and hear the pronunciation!


Two things with the iphone (I don't know about Android): a. The Google Translate App will help translate English to Chinese. And I just discovered that the Google Translate App has a handwriting recognition mode, so you can draw the characters directly. b. On the iPhone, there are three Chinese keyboards, one of which is pinyin, but the other one does manageably good handwriting recognition of Chinese characters. If you enter that into the Google translate app, that app will show you the pinyin and has a pronounce button.

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