Counting Chinese Characters

I know that LingQ will count the total number of words you know in a language, but what if we wanted to know how many characters we know if we are learning Chinese? Is there a way to do this on the site?

@BMtz For now LingQ system only counts number of known words, not characters. Sorry, there is no way to track number of known Chinese characters at the moment.

Do you think that may become an option in the future?

Tracking each individual “single” character is not necessary.

LingQ does count each word you learn in Chinese. There for giving you a pretty accurate count on how many Known words you know.

Well, not with lingq directly… but I think that I know a trick that would work in Japanese. With linq you can import the lessons to an anki format. In anki there are plugins to know how many unique kanji you have seen in the known cards. It would only be a matter of getting that plugin and somehow marking all cards as known.

I am sure if you can get the list of words as plain text you can also plug it in in some webpage that can count it for you…

To be honest, my friend, don’t let the character number distract you. It is much better to know words versus learning characters. Quite often many characters repeat themselves in words, and considering the vast majority of the language is bisyllabic, learning the characters is giving a false impression of the language. You really should be learning words not just the characters. Best of luck though. Don’t let websites fool you that you only need 3000 characters to read a newspaper etc. The words explain the meaning of the sentence much more so than the character itself.

I suppose the want to know how many characters I know comes from 3 years of Mandarin in college. It’s kind of drilled into you that when you reach X level, you should know X characters…I would say that it’s not that I particularly care how many characters I know, but rather I’m mainly curious.

Yea, I totally understand. I took a couple years of Chinese myself in college and I got the same impression. When I decided to start learning Classical/Literary Chinese I bought a book that kept a list of how many characters (by number) you would know by the time you reached the end of the book (it was also broken down in each chapter). I showed it to my professor, and he looked at me and he told me that he has no idea how many words he knows and certainly has no idea how many characters he knows. Once you start diving-in more in-depth with the language you kind of get lost in just trying to learn the language.

If you are interested to know what particular level you are at, then I highly recommend looking into some HSK material. This gives the same weird testing structure of knowing a certain amount of characters, but it is still focused on words. Currently, I am going through frequency books based on the HSK exams in addition to my LingQ and other material to get an idea of where I stand in the language. If you are concerned with the number of characters (once again this will still be kind of difficult to accurately assess), I recommend you look into the HSK program and taking some practice tests or possibly even the frequency books as well.

Best of luck.
-Cody C.