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Thread: How many characters?

  1. #1
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    How many characters?

    How many characters do chinese contains and if I learn 10 a day when will I learn them all?

    20/24hr,3/24hr,30/24hr?

  2. #2
    Resident Realist nice gaijin's Avatar
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    the problem isn't learning the characters, it's retention. You've got to remember the characters after you learn them.

    As for pace, 5-10 chracters a day is probably ideal for a beginner, but every day as you learn new characters you need to practice the ones you've already studied.

  3. #3
    Cs’†
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    If you count all of the characters throughout history then about 70,000 or so. The government says that 3500 are what you need to be literate (Chinese version of the 常用漢字 -- chang2yong4 han4zi4), but according to my roommate, who estimates he knows about 5000 without counting variants (7000 or so if you do), that's a load of ****. He says he constantly comes across characters he doesn't know, and it seems that children's books are the worst offenders.

  4. #4
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    If you count all of the characters throughout history then about 70,000 or so.
    is it even posible to learn them all?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    The government says that 3500 are what you need to be literate (Chinese version of the í—pŠ¿Žš -- chang2yong4 han4zi4),
    They say 3500 is enough to read a news paper, but people say that is lies!



    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    according to my roommate, who estimates he knows about 5000 without counting variants (7000 or so if you do), that's a load of ****. He says he constantly comes across characters he doesn't know, and it seems that children's books are the worst offenders.
    You confused me...

  5. #5
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin9213
    You confused me...
    Why? It's pretty clear, actually. Even if you know 3500 character you won't come very far. You may be able to read some basic sentences, but in every other news article you will come across quite a number of unknown characters (which will take you ages to look up in a dictionary).

    What's worse: there are numerous character combinations which you will only understand if you know these particular combinations, knowing the individual characters won't suffice.

  6. #6
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossel
    there are numerous character combinations which you will only understand if you know these particular combinations, knowing the individual characters won't suffice.
    OMG!!! how can I memorize ALL of the chinese(simpplified & simplified) + the combinations?
    there are over 8000 chinese characters and must learn them ALL!
    but how long do you think it will take?
    In 2 day I`ve learn these characters:
    你, D, ”ü ,¥,¬,’†,‰ä,

  7. #7
    Resident Realist nice gaijin's Avatar
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    you only have one lifetime. the race is on!

  8. #8
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    It will take a life time to learn all 8,000 chinese characters?!
    then every day I will do home work, and learn the characters the rest of the day.

  9. #9
    Regular Member bossel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin9213
    OMG!!! how can I memorize ALL of the chinese(simpplified & simplified) + the combinations?
    You probably can't. But neither can most Chinese. It's simply because many symbols are used only rarely, a matter of memory. Just like Germans don't know all German words, Chinese don't know all Chinese characters (although there is a difference between words & characters, but it's a valid comparison, I think).

    but how long do you think it will take?
    Don't know, if you really need to know 8000. I wouldn't worry.
    Lower your aims, don't think of what might be at the end (if there is one), but concentrate on what is now. IMO, it's enough to learn 200 characters in the 1st half year. Later on you can/will learn more per 1/2 year, as it will get easier.

  10. #10
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    In the chinese dictionary there are about 6000 unique characters. That's far enough to read litterature, and far more than 95% of the chinese people know...

  11. #11
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    60,000 characters in all, it was concluded.

  12. #12
    Resident Realist nice gaijin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin9213
    60,000 characters in all, it was concluded.
    sorry, who concluded this?

  13. #13
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    I do not know

  14. #14
    Banned osias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin9213
    How many characters do chinese contains and if I learn 10 a day when will I learn them all?
    20/24hr,3/24hr,30/24hr?
    3500 is considered quite good for a foreigner studying Chinese.

  15. #15
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osias
    3500 is considered quite good for a foreigner studying Chinese.
    3500-7 = 3493

  16. #16
    Cs’†
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    Wow, you won't believe the line of thinking that I went through before I realized what you were saying. The answer was so simple!

  17. #17
    Banned justin9213's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Cash
    3500-7 = 3493
    I do not understand.

  18. #18
    Cs’†
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    You know 7, you need to know 3500, so you only have 3493 more to go.

  19. #19
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    3500 is an exaggeration too big to make^^

    Hi, as a native speaker of Chinese, I think a wordbank of 3500 is only necessary when you read Chinese Classical works.

    In general, about 19xx will be very enough for daily usage and general academic researches.

    Maybe 19xx characters will be considered too few for other peoples, but Chinese enables its users to form many phrases similar to the fashion of the German language. For example, ŽÔ(car) can be combined with •[(ticket)A” (box)A–å(door)A’·(leader) to form ŽÔ•[(a ticket for a public transport)AŽÔ” (compartments)AŽÔ–å(the door of a car)AŽÔ’·(the captain/driver of a car), etc.

    Just imagine the way the Germans coin numerous words by combination, you will then understand how many words are coined in a similar fashion in Chinese~~

    i hope my opinion will be useful to you^^

  20. #20
    Cs’†
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    We weren't talking about words.

  21. #21
    Tubthumper JimmySeal's Avatar
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    According to Wikipedia,
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    In China, literacy for the working citizen is defined as knowledge of 2000 characters.
    Personally, I find that surprising and would think the number would be more but maybe they have low expectations for "working citizens." After all, the average Japanese person needs to be able to read quite a bit more than 2000, and Chinese doesn't typically use a phonetic system to spell out words with tricky hanzi.

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