Monday, September 10, 2012

Mandarin - number of characters

Besides the other languages I'm doing I'm actually concentrating on Mandarin.

I think a lot of Chinese learners wonder how many characters they know.  There are webpages that will give you a test and make an estimate based on that.

I've found another method.  For iOS devices there's an app called Flashcard Fu.  Once you have the app it's a free download to download the 4,000 most common characters.  Besides being a pretty good way of memorising a few extra characters it also tells you how many characters you've mastered.  As it takes a while before the app believes you have mastered a character it will be a while before my actual knowledge will be reflected by the app.  At the moment it's showing me as having mastered 320 characters but no doubt it's several times that.

I think it will be quite interesting to see how many characters I actually know and how that correlates with how much difficulty I have reading.

I don't really suggest that this app is all you need to learn characters but it does give audio for each character, and it's pretty quick to go from one character to the next so you get some nice audio feed-back which I think helps link tone marks with what you hear.


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