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How many new characters in your first year?

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tuxoar

klortho, congrats on your progress!

I wanted to make a comment about the difference between learning 3000 characters and 3000 words. You can learn all the characters that you want, be able to read all kinds of materials with and not come across a character that you don't know. However, when it comes to comprehension, problems begin to arise. I think a lot of learners (myself included) think that the more characters they can cram into their head, the quicker they will learn Chinese. Learning characters does have benefits, but don't focus mearly on that alone. Otherwise all you end up with is an ability to impress your Chinese friends my reading things but not actually understanding them. Keep the balance.

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dporter1465

The average self-reported scores on the Chinese Character Test are 170 characters after one semester of study, and 421 characters after two semesters. This makes sense, given that students also need to also learn pinyin in the first semester, and that the early readings and word lists in first-year textbooks are much shorter than the later ones.

A list of the 300 most commonly used characters (based on modern mainland journalistic usage) can be found on the Chinese Text Sampler webpage, down at the bottom in the "Daily Life" section.

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self-taught-mba
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The average self-reported scores on the Chinese Character Test are 170 characters after one semester of study, and 421 characters after two semesters.

I didn't see this. Where is it reported?

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realmayo

sorry to move v slightly off topic but Klortho, you mentioned you use Supermemo: there's not been that much discussion of Supermemo here, and I wondered how you are set up:

do you get it to show you a single character and then test yourself on the pinyin and meanings... or vice versa ... or do you test yourself on words (ie usually 2 characters)? cheers!

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dporter1465
I didn't see this. Where is it reported?

After you take the Chinese Character Test and submit the form reporting your own score, you get taken to the page showing the average scores for each level (one semester - nine plus).

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gato
a good study could be found at http://lingua.mtsu.edu/chinese-compu...ics/index.html.

note that 611 hanzi reach 80% (we are talking of modern chinese publications) and 1057, 90%.

2898 = 99%

http://www.chinese-forums.com/showthread.php?p=94556#post94556

Remember that the 1500 or characters cover 95% of texts rule is really only meaningful for native Chinese speakers who know many of the words already and just need to recognize them in the written form. Foreigners who are starting with a very small vocabulary (written and spoken) should concentrate a lot more on learning words instead of characters.

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Strawberries513

I actually keep track of every single character and word that I learn so I can for sure say that after a year of studying, I knew 889 hanzi. I have no idea how many words that is though. :)

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laowai1980

Ditto here, I also keep track of learned hanzi, so far it's been 150 over 3 months, well maybe slightly more. Anyway that should take me to about 500-600 over a year which is a good result I think. My motivation for Chinese is a personal achievement, since I kinda like learning languages, so I am not striving for more hanzi to pass an exam or something. Planning to learn 1k over 2 years, which should give me enough literacy to read simple texts and read newspapers with a dictionary, which is good enough. I'll see how it goes from there.

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klortho

laowai1980, I think you're a little naive -- one of the themes of this whole thread has been that 1000 characters is not enough to read anything meaningful. You should keep at it, though -- it's an adventure, but I'd suggest you try to be realistic with yourself.

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laowai1980

Nah, I understand that reading newspapers with 1k chars is not feasible. What I mean is, judging by frequency stats, with 1k chars I'll be able to recognize about 80% chars in a newspaper. Which means I will only need to look up another 20% chars to read an article. That 1k chars should be a solid base from which I'll be working my way on to learn more, it's just it's a bare minimum to more or less comfortably read a newspaper, with a dictionary of course.

I also understand that knowing chars is not enough, you need to know combinations of them to understand the meaning. So I am very aware of what's ahead. You have to set goals somewhere. I can't know if I will still be interested in Chinese in 2 years, so can't plan to learn 3-4k hanzi right now to be able to read all newspapers, but it's like a stair, I need to get to the next step to see what's up there.

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wrbt

Learn with a good reader that has text with vocabulary lists and grammar. You'll learn the words easier because they'll be used in context, and as you start to see the same character in different words you'll learn them too.

Do words and get the characters for free!

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