Last Updated on March 19th, 2012

Welcome to Kongzi! Kongzi is a powerful flashcard language learning program that works with many different languages. It is specially designed to meet the needs of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and English language learners — Although there isn’t a reason why it couldn’t be used for any other language just as well.

Kongzi works the same on any computer – Windows, Mac, Linux – you name it.

Kongzi is named after Kongze, for MS-DOS, by Randy Shank. Kongze was an excellent program, but it appears that the author didn’t take it very seriously and abandoned it. It was published to the Simtel archive in 1992 and has been there ever since.


Ten years after I started working on Kongzi, I am finally (almost) ready to release the program. It’s been a long road full of lost backups and rewrites, features and schmeatures. I learned a lot, and as of March 2012 the new Kongzi Beta-8 is very close to being what I consider a “sufficiently good” language learning application. Kongzi is no longer a “flashcard program” like Anki or Stackz. Kongzi represents natural language knowledge and presents it to you in several ways. So for example when you are learning Japanese, the same word list (called a “Dictionary” in Kongzi) can be reversed and used to teach English to Japanese students. Or you could quiz hiragana to katakana or romaji to kanji or English to Kanji or anything you want. Kongzi has many modes besides “flashcards”. It will automatically generate multiple choice tests, give you fill-in-the-blank sentence quizzes, best-match testing, memory game (with brother and sister cards containing for example Chinese Characters and Zhuyin). It’s really difficult to try and give you a complete list of everything this program can do.

As of “right now” it also comes with cutting edge textbooks for your favorite language; Check out the MCI Chinese and MCI Japanese sections on the navbar up top.

Check out the following blog entries I’ve made about Kongzi. There are some screenshots in some of the articles which give a good idea of what Kongzi may look like when I put up a download link.

Product Comparison
See how Kongzi stacks up against it’s competitors:

Online Manual

I wrote up a neat little manual and here it is. It’s just a rough copy, but if you can’t get enough news about kongzi, maybe reading this will ease your mind 🙂

Kongzi Beta-8 User Manual (in production – check back later)
Kongzi Beta-3 User Manual (no longer up to date)
Kongzi Beta-2 User Manual (really old version)

Do you want to beta test Kongzi?

Coming Soon! The program is basically finished – it works, I just want to enter a dictionary file to distribute with the program and maybe come up with a few more quiz types or games. Once I get a good dictionary file up and running, maybe work on the presentation a little, it’s go time. Drop me a note here or in e-mail if you would like to be among the first to use the program!


11 Responses

  1. hi,

    I’m interested in beta testing Kongzi. I study Mandarin Chinese and have been using Anki and Mnemosyne, but I’m not really satisfied with those. So I’d like to try using your program, it certainly looks very promising.

    all the best,

  2. I’ve used Kongze to learn chinese very well in 1995-1998. Feel free to ask me as a test-engineer. Also, I am very well with programming in MFC… so maybe we could help each other.

    Renli responds: Thanks for the offer. I will keep you in mind however Kongzi is currently on the back burner. I look to resume developing this june after I tie up some other business projects. Sorry about this delay but it’s unavoidable, my hands are pretty full ATM!

  3. Hi, I would like to beta test Kongzi when you are ready to post for testing. Tried a number of flashcard programs without full satisfaction (e.g. Genius, iFlash). Look forward to it. Thanks, John

    Renli responds: I will keep you in mind, thanks. They day may come when I just release the source code for free if I make a decision to finally stop working on it for good, too.

  4. Sign me up…. pc or mac. Im heading off to china for several months of full time study… so any assistance would be helpful.

  5. Hi, I’d love to try out Kongzi. I’ve been a hardcore Stackz user since 2004, and when PocketStackz was released I bought a PocketPC for the sole purpose of reviewing on the go. I’m not 100% satisfied with it, though, and have been trying most of the other programs out there (Declan, KingKanji, Anki, Supermemo etc) but with no luck.

  6. I would like to beta test Kongzi. I’ve tried BX Language Acquisition, Learn Words, VTrain, Mnemosyne, Anki and other programs but did not find really good one. Maybe yours is such a program.

  7. I would like to test Kongzi. I’ve already tested many programs: Anki, Mnemosyne, BX Language Acquisition and others. Still looking for a better one.
    Thank you.

  8. Hello, I would like to test your program. I have Windows and Windows Mobile. Thank you.

    Renli responds;
    I’m not going to continue development on the program. I have decided my time would be better spent focusing on martial arts.

  9. I am also interested in beta testing. I find it frustrating to find a comprehensive program that will allow me to make flashcards in Chinese and in Korean.

  10. Hi, I’m using the Yahoo Widget “Mandarin Flashier Cards.” That uses a cedict dictionary with 2 frequencies (in sqlite format). Do you know anything about these frequencies?

    Or other frequencies available on the web?

    (I don’t like to use these frequencies if after learning 1000’s of words, I discover the frequencies are not right.)

    Tip for you: do something similar! If you have a program that starts automatically at the startup of the computer, and then automatically flashes the 5-10000 cards you’d like to study, it’s very difficult not to study!

    Oliver Replies: Hi. I’ll do a blog post about frequencies and link it to this. Check back soon!

  11. I would love to try Kongzi, I’ve already tested Anki, Mnemosyne,.. but It still misses something. Thank you very much !!!

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