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How many characters is enough?

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"How many" depends on "for What".

One never learns enough characters, so we have 活到老,学到老(You learn while you live).

In the campaigns to eliminate illiteracy in China after the Liberation , 1500 - 2000 characters was the goal.

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It's just like English, not everyone will be able to learn every single word of the language. I can't quantify how many English words I know, but I know more than enough to read a newspaper, academic paper, and writing a high level essay in university. So what is my point? I think the number of characters or words a person needs to know depends on what their objective is.

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