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How many characters are there?
   日期:2003-06-23 18:11        编辑: system        来源:


  The early qing dynasty dictionary of Kangxi included nearly 50,000 characters, the vast majority of which were rare variant characters accumulated over the centuries. In contrast the late Han dynasty dictionary "shuo wen jie zi"included only 9.353 characters An educated person can probably recognize more that 6,000 characters while the most common computer encoding system in Tai wan and Hong Kong incorporates about 13,000 characters, and the standard system in China incorporates about 6,500 characters. Some of this difference reflects elimination of several hundred characters under character reform in China, though most of the difference probably reflects different writing styles.


  In Taiwan knowledge of about 4,000 characters in necessary for reading a newspaper and for most other common purposes, while in Chinese Mainland only 3,000 characters may be adequate. In 1952 literacy for peasants was defined as knowledge of 1,500 characters and literacy for workers ad knowledge of 2,000 characters. Since Chinese words are generally composed of tow characters, only a few thousand characters can be used to understand many tens or even hundreds of thousands of words.




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