1000 Chinese Characters

Somehow, I’m going to learn 1,000 Chinese characters in 3 months. This is the expectation for a class I’m taking, and it is pretty ambitious. Let me put the goal into perspective:There are about 50,000 characters in the Chinese language. Most of these are archaic or uncommon. You need about 4,000 to be literate / fluent. There are two kinds of characters: traditional and simplified. Simplified characters (as you might guess) are much simpler to learn than traditional. They have fewer lines and components. While some characters are the same in both systems, it can be very hard to recognize a traditional character when you only know its simplified version. Much of China has switched to simplified to increase their literacy rate. I have studied simplified characters in the past, and probably know about 500 simplified characters (on a good day). However, the Chinese class I just joined uses traditional characters. They’re big and scary and I hardly know any of them. I was thinking about folding a paper crane for every new character I learn this semester (à la Sadako) and storing them in my office. By the end, I’ll be able to measure my success by how hard it is to find my computer.

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2 Responses to “1000 Chinese Characters”

  1. ?? Says:



    good luck. it’s a difficult task.


  2. Chinese Symbols Says:

    Learn Chinese are very hard at beginning, it will become easy later after you have conquered 1000 Chinese symbols