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Date:2013-07-28 10:33 From:Jack 【Print】 【Closed】 【Collection

For many students first learning to study Chinese, memorizing all of the Chinese symbols is by far the most difficult aspect.  Learning to write in Chinese includes potentially being exposed to the more than 50,000 different symbols that can be found in any standard Chinese dictionary.  Think of having a new letter in the alphabet for almost every single word in the English language.  And you thought learning 26 letters in the English alphabet was difficult!!!

Many students first learning Chinese typically wonder how many symbols must be memorized before they have the ability to read text written in Chinese.  Like most of the answers to any complex question…..it depends.  Scholars have systematically studied all the symbols used in the Chinese writing and have come up with an answer that will help many students learning Chinese sleep easier at night.

 Fortunately, the majority of symbols used in Chinese literature, as well as news reports on Chinese television, articles in Chinese magazines and Chinese websites are the same.  The average native Chinese speaker only needs to recognize less than 10,000 Chinese symbols because the vast majority of the symbols used in the modern media are used over and over again.  Thus, it is not necessary for students to recognize 50,000 symbols; if a student can recognize 1,000 symbols, they can read almost anything written in to study Chinese.

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