SmartHanzi 4+


Designed for iPad

    • 3.7 • 3 Ratings
    • Free



SmartHanzi is a free yet professional grade app for students and anyone wishing to read real Chinese texts (web, PDF), even with a limited level in Chinese.

It includes general Chinese dictionaries for English, French and German as well as the short definitions for DDB (Digital Dictionary of Buddhism) and CJKV-E (Dictionary of Confucian, Daoist and Intellectual Historical Terms).


SmartHanzi provides immediate access to unknown words.

Although it is not a learning tool, it shows links to related words (also in, contained) and character details: stroke order, character series (Kangxi, etymology). With this perspective beyond immediate usage, one gets naturally familiar with words and characters.

Besides recognizing the correspondence between simplified and traditional variants, SmartHanzi also recognizes multiple traditional variants. For instance, searching 真 (or finding 真 in a text) will show both 真 and 眞, according to what is present in selected dictionaries. Or it will recognize equally well 為 / 爲 or 眾 / 衆.


SmartHanzi includes tests based on HSK levels as a way to check one’s progress. Progress is shown on 12 months. Tests are short and errors reviewed first. One can choose longer tests, or to review unsure words or check supposedly known words.


Etymology is not only for scholars or experts. Along centuries, Chinese writing has developed a number of reference points, reasonable or simply traditional, well known by most Chinese: "Se non è vero, è ben trovato".

Trying to “learn” Chinese writing without leveraging this invaluable assistance would be an unreasonable challenge. Etymological indications and character series emphasize these reference points.


As a free application, SmartHanzi offers a smaller choice than major commercial applications, but remains globally best in class for the intended usage.


Lookup is easily customizable to just show preferred details and keep presentation clear.

On tablets, landscape mode (horizontal) can be used either in full screen (split window like on laptop) or multiple applications: the original reader on one side with SmartHanzi on the other side.


SmartHanzi is also on Mac App Store.

What’s New

Version 2023.10

- Text to speech: user can select Chinese voice (standard, Cantonese, etc.)
See Settings > Accessibility > Spoken content > Voices > Chinese for available voices, then fast switch Chinese voice inside the app.
- Tested for iOS 17.
- Couvreur demo: additional characters.

Ratings and Reviews

3.7 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

stat hatter ,

Excellent resource for learning Chinese

This cross-platform application has a number of unique features not available in other applications. It is great for reading Chinese texts and for improving HSK vocabulary with its built-in testing feature. And all that for free?!

Developer Response ,

Doing it for free makes it possible to focus on reading actual Chinese texts with quick access to details about unknown words and characters, including etymology and character series. I would have liked to find that in commercial applications, but it is probably not the best way for a paid app. Thank you for this review.

meshatech ,

Excellent app and a rare gem

Found this by accident, and it’s better than Pleco. The best things in life are free!

Developer Response ,

Thank you so much!

App Privacy

The developer, Jean SOULAT, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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