Since the Yin Dynasty (B.C 14 century - B.C. 11 century), Chinese people have created 91,251 characters. The biggest Chinese character book "Chinese Zi Hai" has collected 87,019 Chinese characters in it. With these characters, people have created over 2 million words and phrases.
However, in the ordinary work and life, we never need to use so many Chinese characters. According the 2006 Zhongguo Yuyan Shenghuo Qingkuan Baogao -- Chinese Language Living Report (2006)by the Ministry of Education of China in August 16, 2007, China used 9,231 characters and about 2 millions words and phrases in 2006.
In the 9,232 Chinese characters, 591 of them have covered 80% of the content, 958 of them have covered 90% of content and 2,399 have covered 99% of whole of the content. In the 2 million words and phrases, 12,207 ones were used in 2006. They were just made by 2,663 Chinese characters and they have covered 90% of the content.
In the daily life, as long as we have mastered 3500 Chinese characters, we can understand 99.46% of the publications.
So, the Ministry of Education of China requests the junior high school (7th grade to 9 grade) students to know 3,500 Chinese characters (2,000 of them should be known in their elementary school ? 1st grade to 5 or 6 grade). There is no a rule to requests the senior high school (11th grade or 12th grade) students to know more Chinese characters, but they have to practise them with a higher level. When they graduate from the senior high school, they have to have the ability to read at least 600 characters each minute, to write a composition at least 600 characters within 45 minutes, have recited about 200 classical poems and 30 classical essays, have read at least 5 million characters' literature works.
The TOEFL of China -- The Chinese Proficiency Test/Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi(HSK)requests the examinees to have the abilities below:
HSK - Basic (C, B, A: 1st -3rd grade ): master 400 to 3000 Chinese Characters. The Basic A, will support the examinees to reach the minimal requirements to enter a Science, Engineering, Agriculture, and West Medicine university in China for a Bachelor¡¯s Degree. This is equivalent to HSK (Elementary) Certificate Grade C.
HSK - Elementary-intermediate (Elementary C, B, A: 3rd grade to 4 grade; Intermediate C. B. A: 6th ? 8th grade) : 2000 to 5000 Chinese Characters. Both of the Basic A and Elementary C are same, they are all the 3rd grade to support the examinees to reach the lowest standard to enter a natural science, agriculture or a western medicine college/ university of China. The intermediate A will support the examinee to reach the lowest standard to enter a liberal art, history and traditional Chinese medical science college/ university of China.
HSK ? Advanced (C, B, A: 9th grade to 11st grade): 5000 to 8000 Chinese characters. The 11st grade will support the examinees to engage on the work with Chinese language as the communication tool, and means they have reached intermediate translator¡¯s level.
Besides, there are a HSK Threshold for the beginners and a C.TEST (Test of Practical Chinese) for the advancer and latter is called China¡¯s TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication).
For helping you to learn Chinese characters efficiently, I would like to start from the most popular Chinese characters that Chinese Educational Ministry¡¯s has published in August, 2007. Anyway, for helping you to accept these Chinese characters naturally, I would like to work with the plan below:
* Chinese Characters' Development
* Chinese Characters' Creating Models
* Chinese Characters' Structures & Materials (Components & Strokes)
* Chinese Characters' Fonts and Writing Orders
* Chinese Characters' Pronunciation
* The Most Popular Chinese Character 500 (1000, 3000, 3500 ...)
On the working model, I would like to show you Chinese characters while to enlarge your Chinese Vocabulary, while I am working on my music learning & creating, my painting learning & creating, and the Chinese literature works introduction process. I would like let you learn Chinese characters via my songs, music, and painting and so on, to learn the ancient Chinese characters via an easier, relaxed style.
I will be happy to do something in my former professional field for you and all of the friends who are interested in Chinese culture and language. I will do my best to help you to learn Chinese characters while to improve myself.
If you have any questions, comments and suggestions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org , or email@example.com, You are welcomed.
Shirley Yiping Zhang
Sun, Oct 28, 2007