Tone Difficulty

I’ve been using Skritter for awhile and it has helped immensely with my reading and writing. I’ve just about gotten through all of the HSK characters up to level 3. My biggest problem is with remembering tones. While my retention rates for everything else is right around 95%, it’s always somewhere in the 70’s for tones.

It’s gotten to where I’m rarely adding any new words just because I have hundreds of tone reviews each day to get through. I feel like I must be doing something wrong here. Does anyone have similar experiences or know a way to clear this hurdle?


You could try disabling tone prompts, and using reading prompts like them-- if you thought the tones were something else when answering a reading prompt, you could mark it as wrong, and that way not double up on grading yourself on tones with both tone and reading prompts. I’m not sure if that would present the same problem but now with another prompt type, but it would at least generate less reviews. There’s a recentish post sort of related to this: Are writing, tone, pinyin and definition really distinct?

I’ve also heard that making the motion of the tone shape in the air with your hand while pronouncing and looking at the character might help.

I don’t study Chinese so my advice may not be the most helpful, but I’m sure someone else will have some good advice!

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