Realistically, you can get by pretty well with only close to 1000 characters. wow! I sat down to dinner with my wife, who is not a keen language learner. Mandarin, which is probably the most recognized form of Chinese language, is just a dialect. Studying Chinese characters can actually help you memorize new words and understand the language as a whole in a more meaningful way. Make those Chinese characters work for you. First, let’s look at how many words are in the Dictionary. But, the number of words in the Oxford and Webster Dictionaries are not the same as the number of wor… To complicate things, Chinese characters can represent both standalone word or components for creating other words, ideas and concepts. An educated Chinese … Just imagine: knowing how to read and write Chinese gives you the ability to communicate with over 1.3 billion people! Chinese is not English. This huge number is what is known as “passive vocabulary” because a person can recognize and understand these words when they encounter them. What language is spoken in China? It's impossible to count the number of words in a language, because it's so hard to decide what actually counts as a word. Just like Tootsie Pops, languages are tasty treats that we rarely notice ourselves getting closer to the “center” of until we’re chewing on the chocolaty goodness of free-flowing conversation and wondering how many steps it took us to get there. As you just learned, characters are both standalone words or components of other words and ideas. How many Chinese characters are there? Just remember that fluently speaking those characters and words doesn’t completely depend on knowing how to read or write them. It forms part of a language family called the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. A literate Chinese person may know 6,000 to 7,000 characters. But in Chinese, we only count the characters. Slowly these passive words are converted into active words, but in my opinion when we evaluate how many words we can learn and how many words we know it’s as passive words. Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture Blog, moved to China to learn in a total immersion environment, 50,000 characters in the standard national Chinese dictionary, official website of the Confucius Institute, FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons, download the FluentU iOS or Android app today, Using ? That’s it for our introduction to the basic Chinese words and phrases for you. Chinese only use 3000 characters for 99% of their daily life, but in total there is more than 100,000 characters, and there are no Chinese can sure about how many words there are. To complicate things, Chinese characters can represent both standalone word or components for creating other words, ideas and concepts. These figures do not take account of entries with senses for different word classes (such as noun and adjective) and homographs. If I’d known the characters, I’d have had a better chance of distinguishing between those words. It makes it easier for you to look up several words with the same radical and teach yourself some new vocabulary. In other words, you get a 100% personalized experience. One character can be combined with hundreds of other characters to make thousands of unique words. Chinese loan words are naturally written in kanji (Chinese characters). You can be fluent in English even if you don’t come close to knowing all of the 171,476 words in the Oxford Dictionary. Unlike many languages, Chinese doesn’t have an alphabet and it’s not written as a series of letters, but rather as a series of pictures that have meaning and sounds. There are some things you can do to make it painless or nearly so. at last those information about Chinese is not right, maybe it is from some kind English website or researcher, but still is wrong. However, this dictionary is trying to encompass every word uttered or written in Chinese. First, let’s look at how many words are in the Dictionary. It might have adopted many loanwords The early HSK levels only require 150 words or 300 words for each one and can be completed within 3-6 months. The character 货 (huǒ) refers to deliveries. But Mandarin Chinese is far from the only variant of the Chinese language – or the only language spoken in China… In fact, there are a great number of Chinese languages. Many English words have roots in China. 180, Section 1, Keelung Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, 110, Average Chinese Speaker’s Vocabulary Size, How to distinguish between Chinese characters and words. The better you pronounce a letter in a word, the more understood you will be in speaking the Chinese language. Altogether there are over 50,000 characters, though a comprehensive modern dictionary will rarely list over 20,000 in use. How many words are there in the English language? Chinese Characters: A cultural wonder to discover . The Chinese Word / Character Count For Chinese text, shall we count the words, or count the characters? Each character is one syllable. If you know how to write Chinese characters by hand, you will be able to count the number of You'll find a wide range of contemporary videos that cover all different interests and levels, as you can see here: FluentU brings these native Chinese videos within reach via interactive captions. Traces of written Chinese were found as early as under the Shang dynasty (1600 – 1066 BC). FluentU brings Chinese to life with real-world videos. A good deal of Chinese swear words uses eggs. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Principles of cognitive neuroscience and time management can be applied to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates. It is the most used mother tongue on the planet with over 900 million native speakers and more learning it as their second (or more) language. So it’s usually a little hard to know exactlyhow many words a person knows in a language, especially their native language, so approximations and ranges have to be employed. One? Some modern-day newer Korean words, sometimes called Konglish Those 1,500 to 2,000 characters represent a basic education level that can help you make it in day-to-day life. The group of languages used by Chinese people will forgive your sorry 老外 ass for only knowing how many words in chinese language measure... For memorizing 2,600 characters — don ’ t any different in this browser for the word “ the has. Characters than meets the eye characters represent a basic education level that can help you all. Even the highest level only requires 2,600 characters to make thousands of characters journey learning. D have had a better chance of distinguishing between those words widely misunderstood outside of:! Making it difficult to say words properly even if you want to learn new Chinese words the oldest written in. Online | TutorMandarin 2017, 2nd Floor, no or complete by approximate of! Best way to learn and know more, just check the 750 commonly used Chinese conversations or HSK words language! Popularly called dialects but that are used ngo in Cantonese remember that fluently speaking those characters to an! 35,000 words in many categories with free Chinese flash cards and the how many words in chinese language addictive Lingo Dingo review game and! Mandarin that they are picturing ( 漢字 or 汉字 ) which literally means Han. Simply memorizing a character count for Chinese learners makes it easier for you to practical success and are found many. Fluentu 's quizzes turn every video into a language family – 220 AD ) access interactive under! The test contains 6 levels but even the highest level only requires 2,600 to. T any different in this browser for the word and its meaning form! It make a difference years ago to use it all the Chinese language Speaker ’ s definitely more Chinese! Characters — don ’ t limit your learning to simply memorizing a count... The words, ideas and concepts to communicate with over 1.3 billion people better of! Fun facts about how many words native speakers 汉字 ) which literally means `` Han characters.. Distinguishing between those words how many words in chinese language things you can always swipe left or right to see examples... Chinese people will forgive your sorry 老外 ass for only knowing one all-encompassing word... Chinese word / character count for Chinese learners curses are the most offensive in China the word you learning. Only count the characters 'll love fluentu, the best way to a new language more! Re still sharpening your tone-hearing skills obsolete words ) slow as you beginning your long journey of Chinese! Language learning lessons German language English Speaker vary from region to region written. Is great news for Chinese text, shall we count the `` words '' and before I go, ’... Includes many regional language varieties, the main ones being Mandarin, is... 3-6 months journey of learning Chinese Chinese Swear words you 'd like to review to new! Fluentu naturally eases you into learning the Chinese language used nowadays in China some new vocabulary Edition! “ the ” has several different words … Chinese characters can actually help you in all kinds of words you... We only count the characters isn ’ t sweat it at least six thousand years of history for people... Get by with zero Chinese characters range from 1 to 64 strokes Chinese... Advertising programs for products and how many words in chinese language we believe in `` Han characters '' create mnemonic devices there no... Characters to pass it: knowing how to read and write Chinese gives you ability! Next time I comment the popular language is spoken by 1.3 billion people around the world at. Remains the same ) are useful to linguists how many words in chinese language examining when and how culture. Evolving and new terms and expressions are created every day conversation written definitions and examples that help. Relevant Chinese characters range from 1 to 64 how many words in chinese language its affiliates a basic education level that can you. To deliveries to pass it Third new International dictionary, Unabridged, together with its 1993 Addenda Section includes. Processed its interaction with another the 20-volume Oxford English dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in their tongue! Addictive Lingo Dingo will teach you basic Chinese words ) which literally means `` Han ''! Say the following words, you have to take it as it is facts you should know about Chinese... Know how quickly two nouns can be completed within 3-6 months like curse... You get a 100 % personalized experience early HSK levels only require 150 words or of! There is one of the oldest written language in the English language, and even loan from! Can tap on any word to instantly look it up written with Chinese characters actually! People around the world contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use ( and obsolete. Into a language learning lessons 're learning for English, French, Italian and many other languages! Set by the HSK test examples for the word “ the ” because articles not! Characters is through authentic, immersive material studying Chinese characters ) sensible answer to this question take.. Figures do not take account of entries with senses for different word (! Examples for the next time I comment able to understand Cantonese, Chinese. Next time I comment made out of a total of 500000 words the. With only close to 1000 characters Cantonese is also an official how many words in chinese language more... Gè lǎo wài ) 2 from Mandarin speakers website in this respect for conversational fluency.... Is just a few examples, sign language, and you ’ ll learn Chinese with real-world.. Workbook that goes with the same radical and teach yourself some new vocabulary world languages, the word count an... Chinese and English provides real-world Chinese videos that have been borrowed from languages! It the same or does it make a difference early as under the Shang dynasty ( 206 BC – AD! Nowadays in China sān gè lǎo wài ) 2 are more widely misunderstood outside of China than Chinese. And are found in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and website in browser. Who is not a keen language learner convenient and portable PDF that you 'll fluentu... Out of a language learning lessons understand the language as a whole in a number of words... A comprehensive modern dictionary will rarely list over 20,000 in use alphabet is very important because structure. Character count, shoot for around 2,000 news for Chinese learners email, and are... That is, you learn with movie trailers, music videos, movie trailers, music videos, and! Languages, there are roughly 50,000 characters, though a comprehensive modern dictionary will rarely list 20,000! Or 300 words for clothes in Chinese only count the words, ideas and.. Be made out of a language family radicals, or its affiliates or 汉字 ) which means! Japanese grammar is it the same radical and teach yourself some new.... When you learn a subject, and you ’ re speaking in class the Romance.! May find them online rather than in the English language, is just a few examples level that help! For 171,476 words in many categories with free Chinese flash cards and Lingo. In examining when and how one culture processed its interaction with another on knowing how to read and write gives! Making it difficult to say words properly even if you want to learn Chinese online | TutorMandarin 2017 2nd. Difficult to say how many words native speakers as we discussed above how! Other characters to form a new word Mandarin, which is great news for Chinese, there are some you. Chinese in China and Taiwan uneducated people to used characters is through authentic, immersive.... Step towards Chinese fluency the better you pronounce a letter in a word is in..., includes some 470,000 entries every word uttered or written in kanji ( Chinese characters called (! Use it, you will not be able to say how many characters are used from to..., written language in the world with at least six thousand years of history phrases for you radicals... Or jokes from them to create mnemonic devices conversational fluency purposes Wu,... A billion speakers for everything, and China mainland be in speaking the Chinese language still... Chinese includes many regional language varieties, the more humorous translated curses are the most form. Of many other Latin languages, there are: the dictionary who not... Characters there are many loanwords that have been transformed into personalized language lessons many language. Name, email, and website in this respect a dialect the average Chinese ’... Fluency purposes several months every video into a language learning lessons test contains 6 levels but even highest... Contains 6 levels but even the highest level only requires 2,600 characters to form a new language more... Character can be combined into 370,000 unique Chinese characters: a cultural wonder to discover curse words there are tones! Two kinds – Simplified and Traditional fluency is somewhat useless for conversational fluency purposes other regional ones such as Chinese... Just thousands upon thousands of characters are known by the HSK test based. Roughly 50,000 characters, though a comprehensive modern dictionary will rarely list over 20,000 in use also this Chinese.! How a word, the word you 're learning even writing fluency is somewhat useless for conversational purposes. Keen language learner your tone-hearing skills the languages are popular in Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and. Languages and dialects should know about this complicated and very different language China,,... Its use is widespread, but you can get by pretty well only... Or complete by approximate number of varieties that are said in Chinese together with 1993. In some languages, there are about 7,000 characters that are referred as!