- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A. Sign-in Questions

Thank you for purchasing your membership. You should have received two emails, a payment confirmation email from PayPal and a welcome email from Arch Chinese. In the welcome email, you can find your member serial key along with sign-in instructions. You should use the member serial key, not the subscription number, to sign in. It is strongly recommended that you copy and paste the member serial key into the serial key box when you sign in.

If you have not received the welcome email from Arch Chinese, you can check your email spam folder. Your email spam filter might have placed the email there. If you cannot find the welcome email in your spam folder either, please contact us.
It is very likely your iPad is in private browsing mode. Please turn off private browsing and try it again. When you sign in, our app needs to write a few bytes of data into the browser's cookie. If the browser is in private browsing mode, no data can be written into the browser's cache. For details on how to turn off private browsing on an iOS device, you can refer to this page:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203036
This is because your browser's cookie functionality is turned off. You will need to turn cookies on to stay signed on. If you are using an iOS device, you need to turn off private browsing.

For Firefox:
1. Open your Firefox browser.
2. Click on "Tools" --> "Options" and click the "Privacy" tab.
3. Make sure the option "Accept cookies from sites" is selected.
4. Click OK.

For Google Chrome:
1. Open Google Chrome browser
2. In the address bar, type:
chrome://settings/
and press Enter.
3. Scroll down the page and click on "Show advanced settings".
4. Under "Privacy", click on the button "Content Settings"
5. Under "Cookies", make sure that "Allow local data to be set (recommended)" is selected.
6. Click on "Done".
You will get that message when your membership is exipred or you have entered an incorrect serial key. You can restart your browser, copy and paste your serial key into the serial key box and then hit the "Sign In" button again. It is strongly recommended to copy and paste it into the serial key box when you sign in.

If you just signed up, do not use the PayPal subscription number to sign in, use the serial key included in the new member welcome email instead.

If you got the message when you were trying to sign in using your email and password, it's likely you entered an incorrect password or email. If you forget your password, you can always sign in with your member serial key, leaving the email and password fields blank.

If you still cannot log in, most likely your membership is expired. You can simply go to the membership page to sign up for a new membership.
The sign-in link is on the upper-right corner of the page. Before you hit the Print button, click the "Sign In" link to enter your member serial key. It is recommended to copy and paste the serial key into the serial key box when you sign in. After you sign in, the system remembers you for a certain period of time. You need to make sure to sign out if you are using a public computer in libraries, cafes or schools.

Once you have signed in with your member serial key, you can create your own, easy-to-remember sign-in credentials via the "My Account" link, which is available at the top of the page after you sign in. If you forget your email or password, you can always sign in with your member serial key (leaving the email and password fields empty) and then reset your email and password.
Our web site works seamlessly in all modern mobile devices including iOS and Android phones and tablets. This issue may be related to your brower caching on your iPad. Try the following steps to remove your browser cache on your iPad:

  1. Launch the Settings app from the Home screen of your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Safari.
  3. Now scroll all the way to the bottom and tap on Advanced.
  4. Tap on Website Data. Scroll to the bottom again and tap on Remove All Website Data.
  5. Confirm one more time you'd like to delete all data.

Once the browser cache is cleared, you should be able to log in after you point your browser to Arch Chinese.

B. Membership Payment & Renewal Questions

Only subscription-based memberships need PayPal accounts. If you go to our sign-up page and scroll down to the middle of the page, as shown below,



you will see a One-time Purchase option. Select the type of the membership you would like to purchase and then click the Buy Now button. On the payment screen,



select the Pay with a Debit or Credit Card link to follow the instruction and finish the payment process with your credit card.

If you want to purchase multiple memberships for an institution or school in one transaction, scroll down further, select the Group Purchase option and change the quantity from one to the number of memberships you would like to purchase.



Another option is go to the Support Us page and use your credit card to donate us the membership fee. Our system will automatically create an account for you and send you the member serial key instantly.
Yes, we do. If your business or accounting department needs a current W-9 form, please contact us. Once your purchase order is approved, you can scan it and email it to us. We will create an account for you right away and email you back with the account access key along with your membership invoice. So you can start to use our system before the payment is processed.

Note that we also accept money orders.
You can simply go to the membership page

http://www.archchinese.com/arch_membership.html

to sign up for a new membership. If you have vocab lists saved on your old account, you can refer to question #20 on this page to transfer them from your old account to this new account.

Note that you may renew your membership prior to your membership expiration date or anytime after your membership has expired.

C. Worksheet Generation Questions

The quickest way is go to Chinese Character Worksheet page, enter (or copy and paste) some Chinese characters into the character box and hit the Customize button to review and edit the system provided definitions. Once you are OK with the Pinyin and definitions, click the Print button to generate the worksheets.

The character worksheets are highly customizable. Even though the sensible default settings work for most of the cases, you can scroll down to the Worksheet Settings section to tweak the worksheet settings to meet your needs. The Reset link allows you to reset the worksheet generation settings to the default values. The system can remember your last-used settings, even if you switch to a different browser or machine.

Note that this site uses a pop-up window to display the generated worksheets. If your browser is configured to block pop-ups, you will need to allow http://www.archchinese.com and http://service.archchinese.com to open pop-ups.
When a character or word is displayed, there is a plus-sign icon next to it. Click the icon to add the character or word to "Temp Vocab List". "Temp Vocab List" is a temporary vocab list that allows you to manually create or grab vocabulary from the dictionary, example word and sentence repositories. The "Temp Vocab List" is shown on the right hand side of the page when you are on the following pages: Click the "Tools" button to view the tools you can use with the vocabulary in the list.

Your "Temp Vocab List" is automatically saved on Google cloud. So your data is always safe and secure. Once you are done with the list, press the "Save" button to add it to your "Saved Vocab Lists", which maintains all the vocab lists you have created.
If your browser is configured to block pop-up windows, you need to configure it to allow pop-up windows from http://www.archchinese.com and http://service.archchinese.com. The generated worksheet will be shown in a separate tab or window. If you have installed third party applications, including browser add-ons and extensions, to block pop-ups, you may need to check the vendor documentation to allow pop-up windows from the two sites.
With the following 3 steps, you can generate nicely formatted Chinese character worksheets quickly:

1. Go to the Worksheets page
2. Enter (or copy and paste) Chinese characters into the character box
3. Hit the "Print" button

Both the Chinese character definitions and worksheet styles are customizable. If you leave the character box blank, the system will generate a general-purpose blank character worksheet for you. You can still customize page layout, grid size and style, etc. You can even allow the system to generate a blank worksheet on which only the bottom half of the page printed writing grids, leaving the top half of the page blank so that young kids may use it to draw pictures or anything they like. Note, to generate this type of worksheets, you must enable the option "Draw writing grids only on the bottom half of the page (applies to blank worksheets only)" and blank out the characters in the character box.

For performance reasons, you can print max 50 characters at a time. If you need to generate more characters at a time, you can sign up for a premium member. Among other premium member only features, you can generate worksheets for more than 100 characters at a time.
By default, repetitive characaters are excluded. To show repetitive characters in the worksheet, on the Chinese Character Worksheets page, scroll to the "Worksheet Settings" section and enable the following option
12. Show repetitive characters in the worksheet.
Yes, once you becomes a member, you can generate worksheets for any characters defined in the national standard character set of China and over 7,000 traditional Chinese characters that used in Taiwan and HongKong.
Arch Chinese offer two tools to create word (character compound) and phrase worksheets:

1. Chinese Word Worksheet Maker
2. Create Chinese Word Worksheets with Character Stroke Sequences

Both tools are listed on the Chinese Tools page. The first tool is much faster. If you do not want to show the stroke sequences on the word worksheets, it is strongly recommended to use the first one. The second tool is slower because of the extra time needed to generate the character stroke sequences.


  1. Go to Chinese character flaschard maker page http://www.archchinese.com/chinese_character_flashcard_maker.html
  2. Enter (or copy and paste) Chinese characters into the character box.
  3. Optionally, click the Customize button to review and edit the definitions and Pinyin of the characters.
  4. Press the "Generate Flashcards" button.
The flashcard PDF file will be shown in a separate window instantly. If your browser is configured to block pop-ups, make sure it allows pop-ups from www.archchinese.com and service.archchinese.com.
To provide a superior user experience to all the users, we have put a cap to avoid users to generate unusual large amount of worksheets in a very short period of time. That means, unless you have generated worksheets for thousands of characters, you should not see that message. If you did get this message, let us know. We will resolve this issue for you quickly.
Yes, you can provide your own English (or other language) definitions and Pinyin for any characters in the system. On the Chinese Worksheets page, the Customize button allows you to review and edit the system-provided definitions.

D. Vocab List Management Questions

All your vocab lists are safely stored on Google Cloud, even after your membership expires. That way, when you sign up again, with a single mouse click, you can transfer all the vocabulary lists you created before to your new account. Here are the detailed steps:

  1. Sign in using your new member serial key or email and password if you have created your own sign-in credentials.
  2. After signing in, you should see a "My Account" link at the top of the page. Click the link to bring up the "My Account" view.
  3. At the bottom of the "My Account" view, you will see an "Old Serial Key" input box and a "Transfer Vocab Lists" button. Enter (or copy and paste) your old member serial key into the box and hit the "Transfer Vocab Lists" button. (Note your old member serial key can be used to transfer vocab lists only. The account associated with your old member serial key is inactive).
  4. Log out and log in again to view your updated vocab lists, which are listed on the right side of the page.
Yes, you can create folders to organize your vocab lists. For the users who have not created a folder, all your saved vocab lists are placed in the default "General" folder. Click the folder name to open the folder. For each vocab list in a folder, there is a hand icon next to the list name. Click the hand icon to move the list to a new folder. When all the lists in a folder have been moved to other folders, the folder will be deleted automatically.


You can archive a list by clicking the archive icon next to the name of the list. Once a list is archived, it will be removed from your "Saved Vocab Lists", but it can be restored. Click the "Archive..." link on the title bar of the "Saved Vocab Lists" window to view and manage the archived vocab lists. To restore a list from the archived lists, on the "Archived Lists" dialog, select the list and then click the "Restore" button at the bottom of the dialog. The restored list will be placed in the "General" folder in the "Saved Vocab Lists" view. To delete a list permanently from the archived lists, select the list and then click the "Delete" button at the bottom of the "Archived Lists" dialog.


The copy icon next to the list name allows you to copy the vocab in the list to "Temp Vocab List", which is essentially a temp list or work list. With "Temp Vocab List", you can add additional vocab from the Chinese English dictionary, edit the definition and Pinyin of the vocab or remove the vocab from the list. Click the "Tools" button to select a tool to use.

Our system allows you to merge two vocab lists into one or split one vocab list into two. To merge two vocab lists:

1. Log in and go to the Flashcard page (http://www.archchinese.com/chineseflashcards.html) or any other pages that have "Saved Vocab Lists" and "Temp Vocab List" boxes on the right side of the page.
2. For each list in the "Saved Vocab Lists", there are 3 icons next to the list name. Click the "Copy" icon to copy the vocab in the first list to "Temp Vocab List", which is essentially a temporary or work list.
3. Click the "Tools" dropdown button on the title bar of the "Temp Vocab List" box and select "Merge With...". The system will pop up a dialog allowing you to select the second list. Select the second list and press the "Merge" button at the bottom of the dialog. If the second list has one or more vocab that already exist in the first list, the system will prompt you. You can select keep or discard the duplicates.
4. After step 3, "Temp Vocab List" becomes the merged list. You can press the "Tools" button again and select "Save to Server" to save the merged list to the server.
5. After the merge, the original two lists remain in the "Saved Vocab Lists". You can click the archive icons next to them to archive the two lists. Note that when a list is archived, it won't be shown in the "Saved Vocab Lists", but it can be restored.
To prevent the users from deleting a vocab list by accident, vocab list deletion was designed as a two-step process: archive and then delete.

  1. Click the Archive icon next to the list to archive it. The list will be removed from the Saved Vocab Lists
  2. Click the Archived... link on the title bar of the Saved Vocab Lists to show the archived lists
  3. Select the list you want to delete and then click the Delete button. Youc can click the Restore button to put the list back into the Saved Vocab Lists


Our system offers a set of easy-to-use Chinese vocab management tools. You can quickly create, edit, merge, split and archive Chinese vocab lists. To split a vocab list:

1. Log in and go to the Chinese English Dictionary page (http://www.archchinese.com/chinese_english_dictionary.html) or any other pages that have "Saved Vocab Lists" and "Temp Vocab List" boxes on the right side of the page.
2. For each list in the "Saved Vocab Lists", there are 3 icons next to the list name. Click the "Copy" icon to copy the vocab in the list to "Temp Vocab List", which is essentially a temporary or work list.
3. Click the "Tools" dropdown button on the title bar of the "Temp Vocab List" box and select "Split List...". The system will pop up a dialog allowing you to specify the split position and the names of the two lists. Move the knob on the slider to set the split position, enter the new list names and then hit the "Split" button at the bottom of the dialog.


4. After step 3, the two new lists will be placed in the "General" folder of the "Saved Vocab Lists" box. The original list is still in the "Saved Vocab Lists". You can click the "Archive" icon to archive the original list so that it won't be included in the "Saved Vocab Lists" any longer.
Yes. As shown below, when you are creating a new list or editing an existing list, you can click the gear drop-down button on the upper-left corner to select a tool button to use. From the drop-down menu, select the Move Up or Move Down option. Click the arrow button to move the word up or down. Make sure to save the list after you are done editing.

E. Vocab List Sharing Questions

As a teacher, you can create vocab lists and share them with your students so that they can view the animated stroke order, practice writing online, review them using the online flashcard program and play memory game.

The easiest way to share a vocab list with your students is, as shown below, to create an external link to the list by clicking the link icon next to a Saved Vocab List





You can post the shortened URLs on your social media or class web pages to share the list with your students. Your students do not need an Arch Chinese account to use the vocab list.

Another way to share the lists with others is to use the Find a Vocab List search box, which is right below the Temp Vocab List box on the right sidebar. Your students can search your vocab lists by list name, an English word in the list, or simply your name.

To view the character stroke order animations, your students need to load the list from the search result and click the Animation Links hyperlink on the title bar to display the hyperlinked Chinese characters. Click the hyperlinked characters, one by one, to view the stroke order animation and details of the character.





Your Students can use the same approach to find a list created by you and load it into the Chinese Flashcard program to review them, practice writing online with our unique Chinese Handwriting Practice tool or learn by playing memory game.

You can easily export a vocab list to share with others or use it in a third party tool.

  1. As shown below, there are a few tool icons next to each Saved Vocab List. Click the Copy icon to copy the list to Temp Vocab List. Temp Vocab List box is right below the Saved Vocab Lists box on the right sidebar.




  2. Click the Tools button in the Temp Vocab List box and select the Export menu item to export the list to the text box in a format that you choose. You can also select Export to Excel to export it to an Excel file or select Export to PDF to export the list to a PDF file.



F. My Account Question

Yes, you can change the account name and set the preferred contact email of the account. After you sign in, you will see a "My Account" link at the top of the page. Click the link to bring up the "My Account" dialog to change your account name and set your preferred contact email.



G. Other Questions

Thank you for checking with us. The tone color scheme on our site is customizable. You can change the color scheme to match your school's or simply turn off color coding for the tones.

1. Point your browser to the Chinese English Dictionary page.
2. Click the "Display Settings" button, which is on the upper-right corner of the page.
3. On the "Dictionary Display Settings" view, select a predefined tone color scheme or change the color of each tone by clicking the color box
4. Click the "Apply" button to apply the changes and click the "Close" button to close the view.

If you want to reset the settings to the default values, click the "Reset" button and then click the "Apply" button.
Yes. This is one of the great features of the Arch Chinese learning tool. You can select a character from
  • Search results
  • Example Words
  • Example sentences
  • Character details view
Once a character is selected, the animation will start automatically. You can click the character in the center box to write the character stroke-by-stroke interactively and listen to stroke names. When all the strokes for the character are written, it will start over again.

Alternatively, you can click the "Stroke Forward" button below the animator to write the strokes interactively. After the character is written, the system plays the pronunciation of the character automatically.
When a character is animated on the Chinese English Dictionary page, you will see a few buttons below the animated character. Click the "Export Stroke Sequences" button to export the stroke sequences of the character to a PNG image.

You can also directly use the Chinese Character Stroke Sequence Image Generator to generate the stroke sequences of any Chinese characters.
Unlike other online Chinese English dictionaries, our system has built-in intelligence to help you find the Chinese characters, words and collocations. With our unique, powerful search algorithm, you can look up the Chinese English dictionary by:

a. Pinyin
To look up a character by Pinyin, you can use "Pinyin with tone notations", e.g. wo3, or "Pinyin with tone marks", e.g. . If you are not sure about the tone, you can use "fuzzy Pinyin" (Pinyin without tones), e.g. wo. When you use Pinyin with tone notations, use v for ü, e.g. lv3 for , and the number 5 for the neutral tone, e.g. ma5.

Similarly, when you look up a Chinese word or phrase with Pinyin, you can use "Pinyin with tone notations"(e.g. bei3jing1 or bei3 jing1), "Pinyin with tone marks"(e.g. běijīng or běi jīng), or "fuzzy Pinyin"(e.g. beijing). Note when you use fuzzy Pinyin to look up words or phrases, make sure the Pinyin is one English word (no spaces between the Pinyin of the individal characters).

b. Character Radicals
To look up a character by character radicals, you can bring up the Chinese Radical Table and click the radical. For example, radical and 刀(刂). To make it easy for you to locate a radical, the radicals on the radical table can be sorted by radical number, radical stroke count, Pinyin or definition of the radical. All the Chinese characters with the radical will show up on a separate page and they can be grouped by stroke count, Pinyin or usage frequency. You can move your mouse over the character to show the Pinyin and definition of the character. Alternatively, check the "show Pinyin and English" option to display the Pinyin and English next to the character. Click the character to view the character details and click the Pinyin to hear the pronunciation



If you know a character and the character has the radical you are going to use to look up other characters, you can show the character on the Stroke Animation and Dictionary page and then click the "characters with same radical " link to look up the characters with the radical.

c. Character Components
Like Chinese character radicals, character components are the building blocks of Chinese characters. There are about 1,000 unique character components in the standard Chinese character set of mainland China. Most of the components are also standalone Chinese characters, but some of them cannot even been displayed on your computer or tablet because they are not included in the unicode character set.



d. English
To look up a character or word by English, simply enter an English word or phrase, for example, school or pay attention to, to the search box and click the "Search button".

e. Chinese Characters
To view the details of a single Chinese character, you can simply enter (or copy and paste) it into the search box and hit the "Search" button. For example, and . In addition to the character details, the example words and sentences will be shown below the animated character.

f. Chinese Words or Phrases
If you are looking for the English definition or example sentences of a particular phrase or character compound, you can simply enter (or copy and paste) it into the search box and then hit the "Search" button. For example, 动物园 and 恋爱关系

g. English and Chinese
You can mix English and Chinese characters or word in your search query. The English and Chinese can be separated by a comma, space or asterisk. For example, 电,computer, 电*computer or 电 computer.

h. English and Pinyin
You can mix English and Pinyin in your search query. English and Pinyin can be separated by a comma or asterisk. For example, apple,ji1 and fried*fan4. In addition to tone notations, you can also use tone marks in the Pinyin. For example, apple,sī

i. Chinese and Pinyin
Again, Chinese and Pinyin can be separated by a comma or asterisk and, for Pinyin, you can use either tone notations or tone marks. For example 欢,xi3 and 欢*xǐ,

j. English, Chinese and Pinyin
You can use a combination of English, Chinese and Pinyin in your search query, as long as they are separated by a comma or asterisk. For example, chinese,喜欢,cha2 and 好*teacher*ta1
Yes. you will notice minor discrepancies when you compare textbooks from mainland China and Taiwan. In this system, the stroke orders for simplified Chinese characters are strictly based on 《现代汉语通用字笔顺规范》 (Modern Chinese Commonly Used Character Stroke Order Standard) published by 国家语委和中华人民共和国新闻出版署(China National Language And Character Working Committee and General Administration of Press and Publication of the Peoples' Republic of China) in 1997. For traditional Chinese characters, which are used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, Arch Chinese follows the standard issued by Taiwan Ministry of Education.
On the Chinese English dictionary page, As an integral part of the Chinese character animator, the chinese character etymology explorer is shown below the animated character. The character etymology explorer shows the composition of the character. It allows you to drill down into the character components one level at a time. This feature can help you understand what components a character is made up from and how characters are related to each other. When a character is animated, the first level component(s) and radical are displayed automatically. Radicals are displayed as in blue and non-radical components are displayed in black. If the component can be further decomposed, you can click the component (or the plus icon) to expand it and view the components of the component. The Pinyin and English definitions are shown next to the component or radical. You can also double click a component or radical in the explorer to view more detailed information, such as stroke order, character structure and pronunciation, etc.