The ZDT (Zhongwen Development Tool) is written in Java using the Eclipse RCP to help users study mandarin Chinese. The most important feature is the flashcard study feature.

ZDT currently contains:
* a Flashcard plugin for memorizing Chinese characters, their meaning and their pinyin/pronunciation. The user is able to import Character lists or enter them manually. This
* a Dictionary search plugin with three dictionaries: ADSO, CeDict, HanDeDict. The HanDeDict is a German dictionary. It is also possible to search any word lists entered by the user using the flashcard plugin.
* an Annotator plugin. The Annotator converts the Chinese characters into pinyin, using the Alphabet with accents.

On the ZDT website, flashcard lists are available for some commonly used books, such as Hanyu Jiaocheng (汉语教程).

User discussion can be found on:

You also may choose to use Tickets -> Support (see above).


  • Study Mandarin Vocabulary using Flashcards, repeating the cards you forgot
  • Transcribe Chinese Characters into pinyin (Roman script) using the Annotator
  • Find common translations in the dictionary and use them in the flashcards
  • Search in your Flashcards using the dictionary 'user'
  • Import word-lists of student books common in China easily, such as Hanyu Jiaocheng

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User Reviews

  • ZDT has functions for entering flashcards, studying them in Self Review, Pinyin Recall and Definition Test. Users can import or input their own flashcards. It is possible for users to export their flashcards to import them in another ZDT instance. This way, I was able to share my lists with co-students. It can also import from a text with custom format, supports UTF-8, UTF-16, Big-5 and two other codings. I use that a lot, because I type the list into excell, then save it as Unicode. That was easier, because some lists were already available on the web. The review can be filtered with an interval or a smart filter. With the interval filter, the interval of cards that are answered correctly increase with 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14 .... days. This function completes the pogram, making it an effective study tool. The number of days is configurable. I am using ZDT for a year now, and besides some minor problems (which are being fixed at the time of writing) with great satisfaction. The program has some extra plug-ins (the flash card system itself is a plug-in), like an Anotator and a Dictionary, which I do not really use. I am planning to memorize the built radicals list though, since sometimes it is just really useful to know them. Highly recommended application.

    1 user found this review helpful.
  • Very nice app :)

  • good job

  • Nicely coded, functions well, has all the features I need. And it's open-source :-) Really awesome! Too bad the original author has stopped developing it.

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Additional Project Details

Intended Audience

Education, Developers, End Users/Desktop

User Interface

Java SWT, Eclipse

Programming Language


Database Environment