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murrayjames

汉字山:How many Chinese characters do you know?

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murrayjames

How many Chinese characters do you know? Below is a link to a test I came across online. The test works like Tinder: swipe right for Chinese characters you know and left for Chinese characters you don’t. The test works best on mobile.

 

Hanzi Mountain: http://hanzishan.com

 

(via Reddit)

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stapler

I took it twice using traditional characters. I got 3520 and 3420 with +100 variance each time.

Most of the characters I couldn't recognise were names of rivers (which I could just guess from all the 水 components) or rare words for primitive farming/household items, etc. I've never found the amount of characters I recognise a hindrance to reading anything in Chinese.

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Publius

LOL I'm more satisfied with the English vocabulary test which says "On the basis of your results, we estimate you know 67% of the English words.... This is fairly high level for a native speaker." Yay!

http://vocabulary.ugent.be/wordtest/test

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murrayjames

Nicely done @Publius. One of these days I need to ask how you learned to write English so well....

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amytheorangutan

🤣 did the English test to make me feel better about my mega slow progress in Hanzi. 

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艾墨本

Great stuff. I got 2500 +/- 400 and 3200 +/- 400, so I'll assume I'm at about 3000 which means I am not yet fully literate (4000 characters=脱盲). I got a long way to go! I hope to get to 5000 characters over the next couple years. to put me into Chinese high schooler range. 8300 Character would mean you know all character expected from a high school student.

 

Here's a nice copy and paste from Zhihu

It's worth noting that the section regarding 人民日报 seems to ignore the fact that 汉字 != 单词 when comparing English/Chinese numbers and further uses the Wall street Journal as a benchmark which is targeting educated readers rather than the general populace like local newspapers which were traditionally written so that a fifth grader could understand them. Paul Nation (the father of vocabulary tests like all those linked here) say one should know about 3000 words for basic English proficiency while 5000 is much more adequate.

 

作者:加刘景长
链接:https://www.zhihu.com/question/22935571/answer/23118095
来源:知乎
著作权归作者所有。商业转载请联系作者获得授权,非商业转载请注明出处。
 

按照九年制义务教育的要求,国家教委颁布的基础教育教学大纲规定基础教育阶段的识字量为3500字。小学识字量为2400,中学识字量为3800,而整个中学的识字量为6600。

 

附带一提:
毛喻原先生曾经说过与英语相比,汉语的词汇量是非常小。即使一部欧美普通学生所用的字典所收单词也至少在十六至十七万个以上。
这种类比的说法是不正确的。
江苏大学何南林教授跟北大外语学院世界文学研究所辜正坤教授都指出:中国儿童记住2000---3000个汉字,就可以阅读《人民日报》而不会有多少生词。印欧语系的儿童即使记住了8000左右的单词,在阅读《华盛顿邮报》时仍然会有很多生词。

 

而国务院通过的教育部、国家语言文字工作委员会组织制定《通用规范汉字表》收字8300个。根据字的通用程度,字表划分为三级:

一级字表收字3500个,是使用频度最规范汉字规范汉字高的常用字,主要满足基础教育和文化普及层面的用字需要。

二级字表收字3000个,使用频度低于一级字。一级、二级字合起来共6500字,主要满足现代汉语文本印刷出版用字需要。

三级字表则是一些专门领域,包括姓氏人名、地名、科学技术术语、中小学语文教材文言文使用的未进入一、二级字表的较通用的字,共收字1800个,主要满足与大众生活和文化普及密切相关的专门领域的用字需要。

 

汉字的每一个字本身就具有意义自我阐释的作用。因为它的根底来源于图画文字。图画就是外部世界事物的缩影。一个字就是表达的含义从它的书写本身就已经显示出来了。这等于说每个汉字就是自身的含义小词典。如果有两个、三个、四个字组成的汉字词组,则各个单字便等于可以相互阐释,互证互释互彰。

 

参考资料

[1]《课程·教材·教法》1992年第6期 文摘 《九年义务教育全日制小学语文教学大纲》

署名陈国雄、崔峦

[2]华东师范大学 2012年硕士论文 文摘 《小学语文识字量调查研究》 署名何玉婷

[3]语言文字论辩集

[4]国务院关于公布《通用规范汉字表》的通知

[5]《通用规范汉字表》(征求意见稿)背景知识词条 - 中华人民共和国教育部政府门户网站

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stapler
7 hours ago, Publius said:

tests words rather than characters.

 

Definitely much more important; at least I have found so. Real vocabulary, not characters, will be my largest roadblock for many decades to come. I don't know why there is so much emphasis on characters over words in some Chinese language learning circles.

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li3wei1

Because they're easier to count?

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陳德聰
21 hours ago, Publius said:

Very challenging, even for native speakers

I'm actually quite embarrassed about how poorly I did on that test....... Looks like I need to work on my 成語 precision... sigh.

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Tomsima

i just took it and got 4500 初中畢業生, then my wife saw my result and was determined to show off her chengyu skills; she got 6290 高中畢業生. she claims she got lower because the test is kind of taiwan style usage...

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imron
19 hours ago, 艾墨本 said:

4000 characters=脱盲

According to the Chinese government, 2000 characters is 脱盲.

 

第七条 个人脱盲的标准是:农民识一千五百个汉字,企业和事业单位职工、城镇居民识二千个汉字;能够看懂浅显通俗的报刊、文章,能够记简单的帐目,能够书写简单的应用文。

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艾墨本
1 minute ago, imron said:

According to the Chinese government, 2000 characters is 脱盲.

 

Thanks! And wow is that a low bar. That’s between HSK 4 and 5 is it not? No wonder literacy rates are so high.

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Balthazar
30 minutes ago, 艾墨本 said:

That’s between HSK 4 and 5 is it not?

 

Between 5 and 6, if Wikipedia is to be trusted. Does indeed sound very low.

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imron

The difference is that native speakers will already know most of the words made up from those characters (because they can already speak them), so if they know the characters they'll know the words, but non-native speakers won't have the same 'word' vocabulary for the same number of characters.

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艾墨本
1 minute ago, imron said:

The difference is that native speakers will already know most of the words made up from those characters (because they can already speak them), so if they know the characters they'll know the words, but non-native speakers won't have the same 'word' vocabulary for the same number of characters.

 

This is a wonderfully insightful point! I agree with you completely. Makes me regret some opinions I've shared on the topic in the past.

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AdamD

2150 ±430, and then 1840 ±230. Not great honestly.

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Beelzebro
32 minutes ago, AdamD said:

2150 ±430, and then 1840 ±230. Not great honestly.

 

I'm in the low 2000s too. I'm pretty happy with that for now tbh - I still feel like character knowledge is the area I'm strongest in, compared to listening, spoken fluency etc. So for the last 6 months I haven't been bothering to study or practice characters at all. That's freed up a lot of time for me to do more actual speaking and listening, which is giving a much better payoff. Maybe towards the end of this year I'll begin the push towards 3000 characters after I'm happy with my speaking/listening level.

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AdamD

That’s a good plan. I did the same, but it turns out my skill is in the characters and not in the speaking or listening.

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