online lesson anki alternative

Best Anki Alternative for Chinese Learners [Side-by-Side Comparison]

In the market for the best Anki alternative for Chinese learners? We’re here for that too.

According to a study by Senzaki et al. (2017), learning with flashcards is simply more efficient than traditional study methods.

Enter Anki—the well-known flashcards app that uses a spaced repetition system to speed recall and learning. But is Anki the best choice to learn to read Chinese characters (hanzi)?

Meet Pandanese—an exciting development on the flashcard scene for Chinese learners who are concerned with ease of use, reliability, and certified content.

Today, we provide a deep and detailed analysis on Anki vs. Pandanese–and which is the best overall flashcard alternative for Chinese language learning!

Anki vs. Pandanese: A side-by-side comparison

Both Pandanese and Anki deliver a similar study experience: They allow people to break down mountains of information into collections of individual facts, which they can then study in a question-and-answer format. Then, using the spaced repetition algorithm, the two platforms remind learners to review what they learned after a period of time until the information is deeply ingrained in their long-term memory.

See more: SRS – Spaced Repetition Systems: How it Works and Why it is Effective.

That’s the basic, shared premise of the two flashcard apps. Both use proven cognitive learning principles like spaced repetition, active recall, and metacognition to help users remember a lot of information more efficiently.

To help you better visualize the differences between the two platforms, we’ve made this handy side-by-side comparison chart for you: 

Platform– Users must download Anki to learn with flashcards.
– Anki is available on Windows 7/8/10/11, Linux, iOS, Android.
– Pandanese is a web-based Chinese learning platform.
– Users can sign up or log in to learn anytime, from anywhere.
Learning CategoryAnki supports users in remembering things in daily life, including:
– Language: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish.
– Art, sciences, and trivia: Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History, Law, Math, Music, Pathology, Physics.
Pandanese is all about learning Chinese: Radicals, Characters, and Vocabulary, organized into 60 lessons (while subscription is active).
ContentAnki offers only user-generated content (UGC).Pandanese offers handcrafted curriculums by language experts, designed for particular learning purposes: business, school, and travel.
TrustworthinessUGC isn’t organized based on quality, accuracy, and thoroughness, so you don’t know if you can trust what you find.Pandanese’s language experts work closely to make sure that the lesson content is useful, accurate, and completely reliable.
User ExperienceAnki runs with open source and is not optimized by user experience (UX) designers. Some say it’s hard to use.Pandanese has a beautiful and simple user interface with a consistent UI/UX experience.
Work LoadWhen the UGC falls short of your learning needs, making your own custom flashcards from scratch requires a lot of work.Each lesson contains specific content according to the user’s learning purpose.
In each lesson, users will be given a batch of flashcards. After learning, they will take a quick quiz to remember what they’ve just learned. 
Spaced RepetitionRequires scheduling and discipline, and can be quite prescriptive about when you can study.The neuroscience-based SRS algorithm prompts you to review radicals, characters, and vocabulary at specific times to maximize retention.
CostAnki iOS app costs $24.99 for lifetime use. Otherwise, PC and Android (for some reason) are completely free.Pandanese’s subscription fee starts from $9 per month to $299 for lifetime use.
Differentiation between Anki vs. Pandanese

When compared side by side, we found that Pandanese has a cleaner user experience over the Anki flashcards app.

But the winning, fundamental differences between Pandanese and Anki are in curriculum creation, curation, trustworthiness (well-organized flashcards were created by certified language experts), and delivery.

The pros to using Pandanese for hanzi learning


A web-based language learning platform, which means you can access the website, log in to your account, and learn from anywhere, at any time. That’s why Pandanese is the perfect Anki alternative for hanzi when you are on the go or having some free time.

A beautiful user experience

Pandanese has a beautiful and simple user interface with a consistent and optimized user experience. 

anki flashcards
Example of an Anki flashcard. 
anki alternative pandanese flashcards
Example of a Pandanese flashcard. 

Easy to curate and organize knowledge 

Pandanese fundamentally makes it much easier for users to organize their knowledge by dividing flashcards into categories (Radical, Character, Vocabulary) and categories into lessons. Each lesson contains a particular number of Radical, Character, and Vocabulary flashcards so that users can always keep track of what they learned, how many flashcards they will learn next, and so on. 

anki alternative - Pandanese interface
Anki interface vs. Pandanese interface. When learning with Pandanese, you can see exactly how many Radical, Character, or Vocabulary flashcards you will learn in each lesson. 

Trusted and certified content

Pandanese works closely with language experts to create certified flashcard lessons comprehensive for a particular learning purpose (business, travel, or school). However, Anki has no certified content, only user-generated content (UGC), which isn’t 100% accurate or trustable. By that, you have no idea what you’re getting when you access another users’ flashcards.

The verdict: Pandanese–best Anki alternative for Chinese learners 

For those having problems with Anki, or are simply looking for tailored hanzi flashcards, then Pandanese is a smart Anki alternative for you. Why not maximize your language-learning efforts from the get-go?

What about you? What app do you consider the perfect Anki alternative for Chinese learners? Let us know how you’re mastering hanzi in the comment section below!

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