Heisig's Remembering Simplified Hanzi 1 & 2


Most of the data for this flashcard list was compiled by members of the Reviewing the Kanji forum. Attached is the Pleco-formatted Flashcard txt file.

Please note:
  • The definitions for this list consist of Heisig's character index (for cross-reference with the books) and the main keyword. The definitions will only be of real use if you have a copy of the books (both available from http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu)
  • When importing make sure to set "Duplicate Cards" to "Allow", "Definition Source" to "File Only", and "Text Encoding" to "UTF-8"
  • Characters are categorized per book/lesson (ie. rsh2_05 refers to Book 2, Lesson 5). The top category is called "Remembering Simplified Hanzi"

Traditional variants are NOT included because the grouping/ordering of characters between the Heisig Traditional/Simplified books are different.

If you are interested in studying HSK Vocabulary in parallel with Heisig (ie. HSK Vocabulary is sorted according to the order the characters are introduced in Heisig), you can get that here: http://www.plecoforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3185


(Optional) Suggestion for Studying Heisig with Pleco Flashcards.

Some of the Chapters are too big to be learned in one setting. Since Heisig is meant to be studied sequentially, even within Chapters, here is one way to setup your flashcards to avoid testing you on characters that you haven't yet reached in the chapter:
1) Set up a category "RSH Exclude"
2) Go to Review Flashcards->Card Filter. Go to "Category Filter 1", Select "Exclude", then chose the "RSH Exclude" Category
Now when you start a new chapter you can copy over the cards in your chapter to the "RSH_Exclude" category. As you sequentially learn the cards, remove them from the "RSH_Exclude" category (note: Don't delete the cards!)


Version 2 Update Notes (Don't worry about this section if you haven't previously imported the previous version of this deck:

Before re-importing:
  • Back up your flashcard database (Flashcard Main Screen -> Backup Database). This will allow you to restore your previous database if necessary.
  • Set "Duplicate Cards" at "Update Text" when you import.
  • Make sure that your existing cards are in a parent category called "Remembering Simplified Hanzi"
It is tempting to just delete the old cards and import again, but remember that this will also delete the scores associated with your cards. If you do go this route, only do it for the categories that you haven't studied yet). Otherwise, just manually fix up the few cards changed in this release:

Changes made in Version 2:

1) Added Parent Category "Remembering Simplified Hanzi"

2) Fixed a few characters/formatting
恒 Héng [1798] permanent (RSH2_21)
征 Zhēng [1993] solicit (RSH2_24)
捞 Lāo [2127] scoop up (RSH2_27)
匠 Jiàng [2677] artisan (RSH2_43)
萨 Sà [2711] Samoa (RSH2_44)
佣 Yōng [2776] put to work (RSH2_47)
虐 Nüè [2913] despotic (RSH2_53)

3) Added Missing Keyword:
冲 chōng [432] collide (RSH1_18)
复 fù [472] duplicate (v.) (RSH1_18)

4) Corrected/Added Pronunciation
划 huá [363] scratch (v.) (RSH1_16)
扮 Bàn [1945] play the part of (RSH2_23)

5) Fixed up Categories:
晕 Yūn [1634] dizzy (RSH2_10 => RSH2_14).


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This has been a super useful companion to studying Heisig and for making flashcards. Thanks for posting.
Cheers for this. Have been using the Heisig method for the last few weeks and am doing 10-15 characters per day. Hope that by end of the summer I'll have got through the 1st book. I need structure to my learning and this is perfect.


Although slightly off topic, have you ever looked at Skritter as an additional resource for leaning characters? I find that the "writing" element helps me immensely in remembering a character since I'm a very kinesthetic learner. The only downside is it's a paid service, but you can trial it for a week for free. It's fantastic on the iPad with the touchscreen. They are working on an HTML android version,,but I don't use that platform. They have Heisig lists based on both Hanzi and Kanji. I find it invaluable for my learning.
I have it but have come to the conclusion that it is not good for me. Recently discovered that no matter how many times I write out characters I forget them. I know this is natural if I'm not coming across them regularly but the method in itself is no good as I'm confusing characters which are similar in appearance. Even with the SRS on Skritter and the mnemonics it's not effective for me.

The Heisig method is perfect. Starts right at the beginning with 1-10 and the building blocks/primitives are perfect. I'm using the following method :

1. Read the key word.
2. Read menomonic story and let it sink in.
3. Close eyes and focus on the images in the story.
4. Open eyes, repeate key word and primitives keeping the images in mind which allows the fog to clear.
5. Juxtapose the elements in my mind.
6. Write the character out ONCE re telling the story.
7. Hide the new character, repeat prices and try to guess the character as it is composed from previously learned characters/primitives.

The key here is the number of times it says to write the character, just the once. It is a very structured method of learning and I don't need an internet connection, granted Skritter can review previously learned characters. After 3 years learning Chinese I now have the right method for myself and hope to finally stop banging my head of the wall. :) once again thanks to Alexis for the list.


Ok, thanks for the response. I can easily see that different types of resources work better depending on each person's learning style. I've only been learning for 6 months and am still trying to find a learning process that helps me retain the details long term. I am still perpetually stumbling over certain characters, such as: 又 夊夂攵夕.

That's where it started with me as well, confusing things like that and 木未末本 :). The thing about simplified characters is so many look so similar. I can't over stress the importance of learning the basic building blocks really well now while you're at an early stage of your learning and the radicals. I really messed up here and the more characters I learned the more foggy things became hence I'm now returning to the basics and learning them really well, something I should have done at the beginning, and already I can see a huge difference.

I'd advise you to give Heisig's book a go. It might take a month or 2 months before you get used to it but even if you only learn 5 characters a day, after a month or two you should find the process of learning new character and distinguishing them much easier. NB: you don't need to spend loads of time rewriting characters over and over, perhaps at the beginning to get used to stroke order but after 6 months you should have enough practice writing characters. Otherwise it is a complete waste of time IMO. A character can be written once and retained pretty well (obviously you'll need to b coming across it in your reading/writing now and again to engrain it further) according to my experience with Heisig.

Edit: The one app I'm using to help me with learning characters is StickyStudy Hanzi. The reason I like this is because it doesn't allow you write the characters on the iPad, I write them by hand (just the once) which helps reinforce muscle memory. Also, you can see a list of characters laid out before your eyes which I find very useful. Other apps don't have this layout and I like to be able to see my list in its complete form. I have requested this on Pleco before but I don't think its one which many others are interested in hence it's not in the pipeline.

See post #850, 853 and 854 here: http://www.plecoforums.com/threads/iphone-feature-requests.2097/page-43#post-27393


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I did buy the StickyStudy app several months ago, but after starting to use Skritter never went back to it. I had thought about looking back into it again, but since then purchased the full Pleco pack, which includes the flashcard capability. I haven't actually even looked at the Pleco flashcard capability because Mike has said one of the next Pleco improvements would be a full re-write of the flashcard functions. As such I figured there was no reason to get "attached" to a particular capability if it had a high chance of going away. I started realizing I had too many flashcard options and have been sticking with Skritter for now as my main learning vehicle. I think the usefulness of Skritter probably dies out by year two of learning because by then you should have learned a good core set of basic vocabulary and should be learning new content from voracious reading (at least that's MY plan.... )!


Five years later, but nevertheless: thanks Alexis, this is very useful. I've just started with the Heisig method and was pludging away creating my own Pleco cards when it dawned on me that perhaps someone might already have done that ? And lo and behold!


I ran across this today - https://www.mandarinblueprint.com/ and it seems to be building on RSH to add in memory techniques for the sound and tone. I get the impression they use substantially the same order of learning characters as RSH but have ‘tweaked’ it a little bit. I think they call it OCLO Optimal Character Learning Order. I am mostly interested in the ‘extra’ sound and tone features. Has anyone looked at or used this? I’m at about 500 characters with RSH now. Thanks. Cheers, David 大卫


I recently used this file for handwriting practice---thanks for making this. I found the following bugs:

担 dàn [596] assume: If "assume" means "to assume a post" (as in 担任) then it's dān
提 dī [598] bring up: It should be tí (such as in 提起)
爪 zhǎo [663] claw (n.): I think it's zhuǎ (such as in 爪子)
呢 ne; ní [884] woolen cloth: To be consistent with the other 多音字 there should be only one pronuncation, the "woolen cloth" definition is ní (although this seems rare).
坠 jiē [1070] plunge (v.): It should be zhuì (as in 坠落)
啥 Shà [1600] wha?: My understand is this is pronounced shá
拓 Tà [1834] pioneer (v.): It should be tuò (as in 开拓)
拧 niē [1843] tweak (v.): It should be níng
蔓 wàn [1976] creeping vine: Normally it's màn (as in 蔓延); wàn is a rare usage
茄 Jiā [1991] eggplant: For eggplant 茄子 it's qié (in cigar 雪茄 it's jiā)
萎 Wēi [2022] wilt: It should be wěi (as in 枯萎)
筑 Zhú [2047] construct: It should be zhù (as in 建筑)
褝 Dān [2276] meditation: I'm not sure, but I'd expect this character should be 禅 chán
淆 Yáo [2532] confuse: I've learned xiáo (as in 混淆)
涛 Shòu [2575] longevity: This character is 涛 bō (as in 波涛)
铸 Tāo [2577] large waves: This character is 铸 zhù (as in 铸造)
筹 Dǎo [2579] pray: This character is 筹 chóu (as in 筹备)
伺 Chóu [2580] make arrangements: This character is 伺 cì (as in 伺候)
杉 Chān [2700] fir tree: This should be shān (as in 杉树)
寿 Yín [2817] ardent: This character is 寿 shòu (as in 寿命)
舶 Sì [2819] rear (v.): This character is 舶 bó (as in 船舶)
航 Bó [2820] linter: This character is 航 háng (as in 航班)
舱 Jiàn [2821] warship: This character is 舱 cāng (as in 经济舱)
艇 Háng [2822] navigate: This character is 艇 tǐng (as in 舰艇)
沿 Cāng [2824] ship's cabin: This character is 沿 yán (as in 沿海)
舰 Tǐng [2825] light boat: This character is 舰 jiàn (as in 舰艇)
铅 Yán [2826] along (prep.): This character is 铅 qiān (as in 铅笔)
殷 Qiān [2827] lead (n.): This character is 殷 yīn (as in 殷勤)
槐 Huí [2925] scholar tree: It should be huái (as in 槐树)

It looks like quite some of the latter characters were somehow mixed up with one another.