What categories do people use to learn in Skritter?

Hi All,

I was wondering what categories people use for Skritter (on iOS, Android, Web etc). About a year or so ago I decided to stop doing “Reading” on the iOS app, and instead did “Writing”, “Tone” and “Definition” as my reviews were getting quite large. Now I have decided to cut out “Tone”, and have just decided to use the “Writing” and “Definition” categories.

Is that what most Skritter users do? Or do most people use all four?


I’m studying Japanese, not Chinese, but I use Reading & Writing, not Definition.

I don’t care at all for using Skritter to learn definitions for words (in English, of all things… what a way to pollute your second language), which I think are far better learned by seeing them in context. Instead I use Skritter to study characters, by seeing them in context (i.e., words).

Some people just use Writing to achieve this same goal, but I find that even when I can write a word, I can’t read it on the first time and sometimes second or third time it comes up, so using the Reading category seems important to make the path in my brain work both ways – usually Reading cards get out of the way pretty quick anyways, since I already “know” the character from writing it and just need to learn to recognize it, so it’s not a big time investment.

@djahandarie, thanks for your thoughts! :slight_smile:

Interesting point about not learning the definitions because of context. That is my thoughts and why I spend “a little” bit of time to craft my own definitions, e.g.:

  1. 引导 – V. to guide; to lead (e.g. ~能⼒;~公众和环保社会组织积) [指引; 诱导]
  2. – B.F. guide; lead; transmit; conduct; instruct; direct (e.g. ~致;~游;指~)

However, I have come to the conclusion today that I am much better placed learning my definitions in Pleco. I find that Skritter is really good for learning how to write (and, most importantly, remember) words and characters, and this is why I will always keep it paying my subscription…but for definitions, I think Pleco has more customisation.

For now, I have decided to use “Tones” and "Writing. Once they have been added to Skritter, I’ll add them across to Pleco and learn definitions through character and audio.

Interesting post. I have in the past only studied definitions to get my words up as I had the ‘silly’ idea of becoming a translator! Im currently doing writing as well to try help it stick but the reviews can be massive then.

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Yep, I am finding that my Writing reviews are still rather large, but that is because I cleared a large backlog of reviews (2000+) with 3 X 3+ hour days and I am facing a lot of the reviews for those I got wrong (I hover between 75–80% for my writing reviews)

I study all categories. Studying Chinese has made me aware of strange things with how the brain learns. For example learning the pinyin and then the written character for an English word doesn’t mean that I have learned the reverse. Many times a character comes up that I know how to write, but that I have a complete blank on for the pronunciation or definition. At least for me, learning writing and reading are two completely different things and that fact is surprising to me. Therefore I study all categories to make sure I have learned it all and is all properly indexed in my head. Unfortunately I think this makes my studies slow going.


Cheers for your thoughts @dnewman ! Yep, I do agree with you that all four categories are the best ‘holistic’ approach. Being tested on all the categories means that there are very few words that fall through the cracks. However, you touched on the inefficiency of it: [quote=“dnewman, post:6, topic:779”]
Unfortunately I think this makes my studies slow going.

I had the same problem, and it is the reason why I started to think about changing how I study. At the moment, I am thrashing out a system that encompasses both Pleco and Skritter. I do a lot of reading for my research, and, as a result, I encounter quite a few new words (not reall characters anymore) that I want to keep in my noggin :slight_smile:

I only use it for writing as I had already been in the process of using another SRS software for everything else before discovering Skritter.

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I study all 4, but writing takes the vast majority of my time. I literally spend 10x’s more time reviewing writing than on any of the other three. And writing takes longer to complete on top of that! I think if you want to learn words fast, you should skip writing. But I really enjoy learning the writing too much to give it up.