Pinying for HSK3 or 4 on lessons

大家好! 我是一个新的学生! I am having my HSK3 exam in few weeks and wanted to start using a method like LTL with real teachers and good working environment with mates etc… to keep improving!

Really liked the first free lesson i took, teacher was super nice and my classmate too, had clearly a fun time, only problem is that the pdf we follow is using pinying which i have to say was pretty new for me as, as an HSK3 student we already don’t have pinying anymore in the authentic HSK3 book so reading pinying wasn’t really forcing me to remember the 汉子!

Thought it was maybe only for HSK3 class but just checked the HSK4 class and it seems that its the same :slight_smile: Does anybody felt the same or it’s just me ? Apart of that had a great time but yes its a little concern I have as I really want to keep improving my reading so it might be a con point here


Hello @Angel-Mandarin-HSK_3 ! 欢迎光临!

I feel the same way about pinyin. Most teaching materials drop pinyin sometime around or before HSK3 to force students to memorize 汉字. At LTL, the first level that doesn’t use pinyin is HSK4+ (this is also the level that introduces plenty of authentic materials for you to read).

Including pinyin in the early LTL levels accommodates students who prefer to focus on speaking only and students who learn traditional characters. Ideally, we would add a new set of pdfs with traditional characters, and one with simplified ones, but I think it’s better if the LTL team focuses their time and energy on releasing new levels and languages (unless somebody wants to volunteer to help convert the pdfs).

If your goal is to learn the actual characters, you probably want to use a space repetition app such as Hack Chinese or Skritter—the LTL vocab lists are already available there.

Good luck with your exam! 加油!

1 Like

Hi @Angel-Mandarin-HSK_3 - Ben makes some really good points.

I’m taking HSK 2 classes now and have had similar thoughts to those you express sometimes. I frequently read 汉子 without pinyin and thought about blocking it out in my own copy of the PDF ahead of class. But then I had some other thoughts, which pretty much echo @Ben-Mandarin-HSK_5

  1. Lessons sometimes feature new vocabulary that I’m not totally familiar with yet, so it’s nice to have the pinyin as I’m getting used to the new words.
  2. In group lessons, students may be at different levels. So, while I may know most of the vocabulary used, others may know less and benefit from having the pinyin.
  3. For me, flexiclass lessons are mostly about learning grammar and proper word use. I don’t care so much about having pinyin one way or another in that context. When I want to focus on character recognition, I use other resources, like Lingq, Pleco, and graded readers.

pīn yīn 拼音
not -ing final

Agree with you Pinyin is a crutch that should only be used for new words after you know enough characters.

1 Like

When to use Pinyin and when not is a huge discussing in education circles. My personal experience is, it is useful to have it if you still use it AND when you are trying to stop using it.

The move to become a fluent reader of Chinese characters is a very difficult one for someone who is used to reading letters and not symbols. It means that we need to stop seeing symbols as pictures and only letters having “meaning”. We do not look at pictures, but we read them.

The first step for this is to drop our addiction to Pinyin (letters) and focus on characters. To be able to do that we need letters to be there. We cant learn to ignore something if its not there. In daily life street signs, shop signs etc. letters and characters very frequently compete for our attention. We need to learn to ignore the letters and only read characters.
To do this we need to read characters WITH pinyin next to them and learn to not see the pinyin. Its a difficult process, but once you read a sentence in characters without reading the pinyin (to actively be able to ignore it), thats when you are there.
So having Pinyin next to characters and learning to ignore it is where we need to get to. And for that the Pinyin needs to be there.
Its much harder than not having Pinyin there because its easy to focus on characters if they are the only choice - however to get to fluency in reading learning to ignore Pinyin in my experience is the fastest (albeit painful) way.

I think this is different for everybody when to switch to “no more pinyin”.

@Angel-Mandarin-HSK_3 Angel’s original question about pinyin was combined with preparing for the HSK3 test.

In LTL HSK3 there is a lot of more vocabulary, much more than you need for the official HSK3 test. So it is really convenient that there is no need to look up the “extra” words. You can concentrate on using the grammar and concentrate on listening to real live Chinese teachers and train spontaneous answering.
To practise reading characters I once put white blocks over the pdf’s pinyin. (iPad : GoodNotes App) or I simply cover the pinyin with paper now and then.
And I have many books with characters only, so there is no need for me to do this on LTL as well really.
I love to listen to the audios without reading at the same time. That makes a big difference!