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33

Depending on how 'in touch' with the language (in terms of understanding grammatical constructions and context clues) you may be considered fairly fluent with 80% or so character recognition Think about your vocabulary in English. If you pick up a book with many words you don't know, you may still be able to comprehend it based on the context of the words ...


18

This research seems to be relevant. Your question seems to be closely related to rapid reading techniques. Looking on those techniques, you may notice that many of them don't apply to Chinese, simply because logographic writing systems naturally allow rapid reading with no extra training. There is even an idiom, 一目十行 -- "reading ten lines at the same time"; ...


12

Yes, for example these characters are taken from a Chinese grammar textbook: There are obviously others, but as you can see, it's possible to guess the pronunciation. In other cases, according to the radicals, you can understand if they refer to a certain "topic", for example, the third one in that list is the radical for "water", the last one is the ...


10

I had heard various numbers over the years, so I guessed at 4000 and generated computer flashcards for reading and writing all the Chinese vocabulary I'll need for the foreseeable future. There are currently 32614 cards with 4166 characters and 18385 words. They are divided into separate files, each with about 100 cards in it. You can download the flashcards ...


10

You can use the Google Advanced Search. key words: 兒童故事 language: Chinese (Traditional) region: Taiwan Some examples: 兒童文化館 中文兒童故事 兒童故事 格林童話集 兒童睡前故事 兒童故事 安安免費教學網-國小國語 安安免費教學網-千篇文章共賞


9

There are books specifically designed for learners, such as the Chinese Breeze Graded Readers. These books are small, have constrained vocabulary, and relatively simple stories, but not so basic that you don't feel some sense of accomplishment after reading one. I read the book 错,错,错! which features police officers investigating a suspicious suicide. The ...


9

I have been able to purchase in China books that have different styles of handwriting including shortcuts. They also have a layer of thin paper over the top of each page so you can trace. You can also look for books that show common characters written in different styles from print, traditional to script etc. This is not something you will be taught unless ...


9

Well, this is what Japanese speakers do when they look at a Chinese text – they have some understanding of it since they recognize the characters. One fundamental problem, though, is that in modern Chinese, the majority of words are made up of two characters. There are two types of dictionary for Chinese, one that gives character meanings (字典) and one that ...


8

I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier and I'm even more surprised no one thought of this before me, well, I'm sure someone did just didn't find it on the internet. I was installing fonts and noticed some of the fonts that came with my operating system - OS X Mountain Lion - was cursive Chinese. So a thought occurred to me. Cut and paste the same ...


7

Definitely not for the tone. As far as pronunciation it is possible to guess from the right hand side of a character, but this is not something that is reliable. e.g. 根,跟,很,恨,狠 All end in an "en" sound, but this is about as close as you will get.


7

The default font size in MS Word(or other soft) is 12pt, and that's quite ok to be read. If you want to make it easier, 14pt is quite acceptable.


6

It is very likely because you are still learning. When I started learning I had the same experience. At a regular font size, some characters that were different looked indistinguishable. As you become more familiar with the characters, you will find that you are comfortable reading them at smaller font sizes. My suggestion is to use whatever size feels ...


6

Counting distinct characters/words in chinese books is really easy, but what exactly does "typical" means? You can solve it by python. Then every time you meet a "typical" book(txt,mobi,azw format etc), you can count it by yourself. input The txt file of The Three-Body Problem I:Remembrance of Earth's Past The txt file of The Three-Body Problem II:The ...


5

My personal preference is children's books and television. If you have a China town section of your local city you should be able to find a book store with children's books in them. You usually won't find these books in a regular foreign langauges store or even large chain book stores. The alternative is to go to the children's second language section of a ...


5

too many characters can be classified into "形声字", which consists of two parts, one (the radical) indicates the topic the character is referred to and the another indicates the possible pronunciation. xiaohouzi79 shows a good example. But remember, there are some commonly used characters that don't follow this, when you can't read a character, dictionary is ...


5

I built some tools to help me with reading practice. I sieved through Chinese text looking for sentences that use only the characters I know. My first attempt was with Twitter updates, but it was kind of a slow process to find and translate them. More recently, I found a huge collection of translated sentences on Tatoeba. I've collected all the sentences ...


5

Based on my experience, about 2000 characters will give you command of most texts. Perhaps 4,000 will make you fluent. For the first 2,000, I recommend, http://www.amazon.com/Chinese-Characters-Learn-Remember-Meanings/dp/0982232403.


5

The modern handwriting scripts of Chinese characters are 楷书, 行书 and 草书. 楷书 is the standard and official handwriting script, which is made up by 笔画 (strokes) and looks like printing script. It is the only handwriting script taught in primary schools in China, because it is the only legal standard of handwriting script. 行书 is the handwriting script that ...


5

I don't think that you are taught to write "cursive" in Chinese, most of it is something people just adapt naturally. You just need a really good grasp of characters to understand it. Sometimes people write fast and tend to simplify parts. There is no standard mold for cursive like in english. But what you can do is read a lot of handwritten documents, just ...


5

I strongly recommend an online dictionary 汉典. It may be the most professional online Chinese dictionary even for native speakers. For every entry, you can refer to the section "字形分析" to know the classification of the character. For example, the character 强 is classified as compound ideographs (会意), which is shown in the picture: The dictionary also ...


5

OK, here is my test. Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight total: 238,872 (only Chinese is counted), individual: 2,882 I have never read this book, 2,882 is a friend number.There isn't a lot of 'magic' words in a fantasy novel. Sherlock·Holmes: A Study in Scarlet Total:72,217 Individual_sum: 2,546 聊斋志异 total:389,165, individual:4,935 Classical ...


5

Actually, I think a more interesting question is how many distinct characters there are in a book that aren't considered "common". To that effect, I used the 2854 results from rambler's answer for the three body problem 1 and the list of the 3500 commonly used characters (一级字/常用字) as presented in 通用规范汉字表, which was published in 2013 by the government of ...


4

If you want to have a quantitative answer you can look at the commulative character frequencies of larger Chinese text corpora. If compiled a list of the most common Chinese characters here (using this code). There you can see that if you know the 100 most common characters, you can recognize one third of the characters on Wikipedia. If you know the most ...


4

Adding a point to bytebuster's answer: from my own experience, "trackback cost" is another major factor. During fast scanning it is common that I need to go back a few words/characters to get the context or resolve ambiguity. In English, in most cases going back one word or two is not sufficient, I need to go further back or even reread the whole sentence ...


4

According to this paper, Chinese is indeed read at a measurably faster speed than English.


4

There are full width unicode spaces and punctuation (which take up the same width as any other character). I recommend you use them: U+3000


4

In general, we don't care if it is grid aligned or not. And even in fonts that are not fixed-width, the Chinese characters usually have the same width. To make it to look better, it is better to make the right boundary a straight line, not zigzaged. If you find it hard to achieve, then just leave it as it is. Some punctuation marks, such as commas (,), ...


4

As a Chinese person in the Gaming business, I don't think you need to worry about this. Check this design:


4

As a native speaker, I'm trying to introspect my understanding process: 借支 is not a common term. Even in the right context (the money business), it may take a while for a native speaker to realize these two characters are meant to be a word. 笔 isn't really ambiguous as its position in the sentence dictated it has to be a noun, so 支 is the measure word and ...


4

as Stumpy Joe Pete said, you'll be hard pressed to find a font that works in all cases, and that you may want to look into a browser extension that highlights, magnifies, and explains the character you've hovered over. I recommend Pera Pera Kun: http://www.perapera.org/ They have extensions for FireFox and Chrome. Here's a snapshot: I have never seen or ...


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