Games 2 Learn Chinese Chinese learning tools from LITTLENEX! Try them free here.

Chinese Reading Vocabulary Guides »

Chinese Vocabulary Lists

Mandarin Chinese Vocabulary List
Browse All Lists Practice Sheets What are the HSK exams?

These Chinese vocabulary lists are part of the LITTLENEX Chinese learning program.

Sign up to unlock all Chinese vocabulary lists.

Browse All Chinese Vocabulary Lists

Beginner Chinese Vocabulary

Intermediate Chinese Vocabulary

Advanced Chinese Vocabulary

How to Use

Each vocabulary list features over 50 relevant and useful Chinese words and expressions with their English translation and their pinyin transcription (phonetics).

Click on up to 12 words in the list to highlight them and have them appear as cards. Click to delete each card as you gradually memorize the Chinese vocabulary words from the list.

Note on Pinyin

Pinyin is the system for transliterating Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet, officially adopted by Mainland China in 1979. Note that pinyin has its own pronunciation keys and MUST NOT be read as English.

The HSK exams

Do you need to pass them?

Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi

HSK stands for Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, which literally means Chinese Level Exam. It is the equivalent of the TOEFL for Mandarin. The HSK certificate is valid for two years.

A Little Bit of History

The HSK test started in 1984 as a Chinese proficiency test for foreigners and Chinese citizens for whom mandarin was a second language. It began to be used in the mid-1990s as part of the admissions process for applications to Chinese universities.

A new HSK test appeared around 2005 alongside the classic one. This situation lasted until 2010, when it was decided that only the new version would be recognized. However, the classic HSK continues to operate as an advanced proficiency test. In contrast, the new HSK test aims to appeal to students with minimal mandarin proficiency.

New and Classic HSK Levels

The new HSK test consists of 6 levels of proficiency. The classic version of the HSK test has 3 categories (Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced) and 11 levels.

The classic category Beginning corresponds to about Level 4 on the new HSK exam, while the remaining new levels correspond roughly to the classic Intermediate category.

Structure of the Exams

The new HSK test is made up of listening comprehension and reading comprehension sections, and contains a total of 40 items to be answered within 40 minutes. Students must score at least 120 points to pass the exam.

What is that for?

Students who successfully pass the HSK Level I can understand 150 commonly used words and basic grammar patterns, use very simple Chinese sentences, and meet basic needs for communication.

The HSK Level 1 is intended for students who have studied Chinese for a semester with 2 to 3 class hours each week.

HSK 3.0 (2021)

Yet another new version of the HSK tests has been revealed in July 2021.

There are now 9 levels:

Practice Chinese Writing

Chinese Practice Sheets

chinese writing tables
Get More FREE Sample

Get all the Chinese writing practice sheets, sign up for a semester!