Visual Education Chinese Vocabulary Cards

1-5 Mandarin, Flashcards, Vocabulary

March 10, 2013

Publisher  Visual Education
Price  $14.95
Skill Level  Beginner, Intermediate

You can buy these Chinese vocabulary cards directly from the publisher, Visual Education, or from other distributors such as Each card has both Chinese characters and pinyin on one side, and English on the other.

When I opened the box, I was overwhelmed by a toxic smell. From the paper or the coating or the box or mildew from storage or something—I’m not sure what. Wow. This is the third box of flashcards I have had from Visual Education, and the first time that’s happened, so I don’t think it’s typical. But ouch.

Pushing past the toxicity, I examined the flashcards. And instantly hated them. Besides being weirdly small and awkward to handle, which I have previously noted as a problem with Visual Education vocabulary cards for other languages, they do not actually conform to my definition of flashcards.

Now, Visual Education does not actually call them flashcards, but it is fair, in my opinion, to expect them to be such. And if you understand the idea of a flashcard to be that you look at a small amount of information on one side, and see if you can quickly produce the small amount of information contained on the other, well, then these are automatically a failure. 

Card after card after card had word upon word upon word on each side. Please see the picture included here for examples.

It wasn’t just sometimes. Flipping through the box (while holding my breath), I saw they were either all or mostly all like that. There is no possibility of “flashing” that much information. It reminds me of a PowerPoint presentation where the slides are covered with text: useless for its intended purpose.

My frustrations with my flashcard experiences to date sometimes make me want to start my own flashcard company!

Visual Education Vocabulary Cards Have Chinese Characters Plus Pinyin
Visual Education Vocabulary Cards Have Chinese Characters Plus Pinyin
Chinese Vocabulary Cards, with Key for Scale
Chinese Vocabulary Cards, with Key for Scale

Visual Education
P.O. Box 1666
581 West Leffel Lane
Springfield, OH. 45501




Comments (1)

Audley BURNETT • Posted on Sat, January 26, 2019 - 3:09 pm EST

Dear Ellin of New York and Words, both of which I mother was a New Yorker and writer. I have been searching for these cards to assist me in my deeper umderstanfing of stuff. I have bought a second set like yours which is disappointingly flimsy but still very useful. Chinese, as you know, is a relational language and a basic vocabulary, anyway of at least 3,000 characters needs to be built up painfully and meticulously outside of the western classical method. If a student is to aspire to education, that is.

However, I do sympathise and like your post and appreciate how you have drawn me back to NYC from Wales. I bought a box of the cards in 1992 as a newly qualified practitioner. The cards were more substantial and smoother to use but I have just passed them onto my eldest who is a linguist (Greek,Hebrew, Sanskrit,Welsh etc) and is studying Chinese Medicine. I want another of the originals and have researched that the company after 4 generations and 130 years has closed in Springfield, Ohio so perhaps no more annoyances.

Best and interested wishes,

Audley Parry Burnett, Wales

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