Last week the polyglot, Richard Simcott tweeted asking his followers how far they thought they could get with 400 words in their target language. This prompted me to write a blog based on my experience of travelling to Taiwan two years ago with around 400 Mandarin words under my belt. Let me know what your experiences have been
Expect a language guide coming out soon along the same lines of “Speak from Day 1”.
Those are just 16 words
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You can start trying to speak your target language even wirth only 100 words, but for a real conversation you have to know well 2000-3000 words.
What I mean ‘well’? It means not only to understand but also to use them actively.
Agree. The exact number is hard to say because it’s not clear how a ‘word’ is defined, especially in a language with characters like Mandarin. But it’s definately in the thousands. Unfortunately many people starting out don’t realise this. When I started learning Chinese, a few hundred words seemed like a huge amount. I learned the hard way on my trip to Taiwan how limited your interactions with natives are with a limited vocabulary.