Chinese pinyin selection

I have noticed that when you click on words in the Chinese section, whatever system LingQ has to give pinyin to the word invariably selects the most obscure possible reading of a character. If there is one reading that is correct 98% of the time and another that is there 2% of the time, it will select the latter. If you are consulting outside sources for this it’s not a huge problem but it could be quite confusing to beginners.

I have noticed this as well. The spoken tends to get it right but the pinyin is different. Extra weird that clearly the correct information is available because it can pull the right audio but not the right pinyin.

Thanks for your feedback! We will do our best to improve Pinyin.

I personally don’t have any issues in this regard, but I have two suggestions.

I believe most people just use the “saved meaning” field to record the appropriate tones, meanings, differences in pronunciation, simplified/traditional differences etc. For example, when I look at what I have saved for the word 应该: yīnggāi - should; others may prefers ying1gai1. In my opinion this is where such information belongs, I would not rely on whatever LingQ provides. Also for words like 得, a purely technical solution seems impossible?

Imho the real issue is the state of Chinese Traditional on LingQ, there are very few users, the user provided meanings are typically low quality (straight from google translate) and dictionaries are not easily available. Most dictionaries provide accurate tone marks, pinyin or bopomofo. Those would then find their way to the user generated meanings which are shared with all LingQ users.
I think the issue could be addressed by adding more selectable dictionaries to LingQ, this is something I have suggested to Zoran quite some time ago - there has not been any progress on LingQ’s side however. (大旱望雲霓)

Here is a list of Mandarin Chinese → English dictionaries, most are available on LingQ Chinese simplified, maybe this can help:


For Chinese → Chinese:習慣

Especially for traditional characters / Taiwan:

For differences between 國語 and 普通話:

成語 (traditional):

You could also use a mouse-over dictionary as browser extension like GitHub - cschiller/zhongwen: Official source code of the "Zhongwen" Chrome extension
(This uses the CC-CEDICT which is also the basis for

Regarding the Text to speech (TTS): this will use an entirely different system; on iOS and Android it can use the TTS provided by the operating system, or by default, and on the web Amazon’s Polly.

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