OK so maybe the title goes a bit far; it might be more accurate to say "Where people are studying for the HSK" or "Where visitors to my website are from". But there's probably a pretty strong correlation between places where my site is popular, and where people are learning Chinese.

This map combines together country-level and city-level data, and it's pretty clear that most of the learners are from China (18%), Thailand (8%), and Indonesia (7%)! In Western Europe there is a fairly even spread of learners everywhere (except for a gap in central France!), without too much clustering. I wonder if this matches with more formal studies of the popularity of Chinese as a second language?

Splitting the data by 'region', shows that about 60% of the visits to my site are from Asia, 20% are from Europe, and less than 10% are from North America. There are more visits from S.E. Asia than from E. Asia (which includes China)!

A quick summary of how Google split the regions:'

  • Western Asia' is what I would call the 'Middle East',
  • Central Asia is all the 'Stans,
  • Southern Asia is Iran to India,
  • South-East Asia is Burma and Thailand to the Philippines and Indonesia.
  • East Asia is China, Mongolia, Japan, Korea.
  • Northern Europe is the UK and Scandanavia.
  • Western Europe is Germany and France to Switzerland.
I'm not sure if there's much point to this one, but just in case someone ever needs it- here's a page that lists all Chinese homophones, with a page for each word length: http://hskhsk.pythonanywhere.com/homophones

I am defining homophones as words with identical pinyin. You can choose whether or not tones should be ignored by selecting the appropriate option.

My HSK list browsing script took a step closer to being a real dictionary. I added:
  • Pinyin (tones optional) search, no wildcards yet
  • English (definition) search
  • All of the searches are done from the same edit field, very few things will match both English and pinyin, if they do you'll get 
  • Greying out of words/chars that only have frequency information and no dictionary entries
  • Added pinyin and definitions to the tooltip text for all characters/words.
  • Colouring of links to HSK list pages

And it's still lighting fast, and as before shows CC-CEDICT definitions, character composition, and word compounds. Give it a try 现在! http://hskhsk.pythonanywhere.com/cidian?q=%E7%8E%B0%E5%9C%A8

A few people have asked me this by email, so here's the answer I gave them:
Remember, to really 'know' an HSK word you have to be able to use it in all of the different ways that Hanban expects you to. See my recent posts on HSK 1, HSK 2, and HSK 3 example sentences.
Google created this nice map that shows which countries have visited my site most in the last month. The top 10 are: China, U.S., Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, U.K., Spain, Germany, Canada, Poland, Russia, Mongolia, Italy, France, Singapore, Australia, Sudan, Hong Kong, and Kenya!
The HSK list web pages and mini dictionary that appears when you click on words and characters in the pages have had a quick overhaul. There is a new option at the top of the page to ’expand‘ the characters and words to include frequency, radical, HSK version and definition information for every character displayed.

Thanks Davide for reminding me to give that script some attention!

Give the expanded versions of the pages a try:

HSK Chars: http://hskhsk.pythonanywhere.com/hskchars2012?expand=yes
HSK Words: http://hskhsk.pythonanywhere.com/hskwords2012?expand=yes
Dictionary: http://hskhsk.pythonanywhere.com/cidian?expand=yes&q=%E8%83%BD

I've added a dictionary 东西词典 to the script that runs my character analysis tool. It is currently only searchable by Chinese characters, but it has lots of links to related characters and words using character and word composition.  It also shows at a glance information about HSK level and frequency. It contains links to some more polished dictionaries on each character and word. Give it a try here: http://hskhsk.pythonanywhere.com/cidian?q=%E8%83%BD
I'm a big fan of the AllSet Learning Grammar Wiki, and one of the most useful things I've come across on there is a few pages that list Chinese grammatical points according to their European Common Framework level. These six levels roughly correspond to the six levels of the New HSK, so it would be a good idea for someone studying for the HSK to ensure that they are familiar with all of the grammar points at their level and below. Each list of grammatical points links to a page with more explanations and examples, a really great resource! I have noted the corresponding HSK levels for each page.
[Update 2nd December 2013: I added links to an HSK-aware dictionary to all the characters below!]

Once you have learned a few hundred Chinese words, you start to come across sentences where you recognise all of the characters but have no idea what the actual meaning of the sentence is. This is because there are many 'patterns' in Chinese where a set arrangement of words has a specific meaning.

Common Chinese Patterns 330 is a fantastic resource for picking up subtle grammar points that are easily missed. This book will help you to improve your grammar at any level, through clear examples. If you are studying for one of the HSK levels 1-5, you may not want to just work through the book from start to finish however, as you will be introduced to patterns that use characters above your level. The hanzi in the chapter list were coloured by HSK level using this script and then grouped by hand. The colours for HSK levels 1-6 are in the order that they appear in a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet.

The following list splits up the 'chapter' titles (patterns) by HSK level. Note that many of the patterns will not be encountered at the levels shown even though all of the characters are known at that level. In the long run I don't think it hurts to be exposed to these patterns early on though, and reinforce the meanings of the characters and words that make them up.

Another couple of caveats: The example sentences for each pattern ignore HSK levels of course. It would be a good exercise to create some new example sentences for each pattern that only use characters from the HSK level in which it appears - if I get around to doing this I'll share the results (Feel free to send me any sentences that you create). Also some patterns have alternative words, and the alternatives may have different HSK levels. I have grouped these patterns at the higher of the two levels, to save studying the pattern twice.

I have added a small script that compares the HSK 2010 and 2012/2013 word lists, to see where the words and characters that were removed from each level ended up. Take a look here: http://hskhsk.pythonanywhere.com/hskwords20102012.