How many Chinese characters do the Chinese know on average?

If you are preparing for your HSK exams, you might already know that you need to know at least 300 words for the lowest level in HSK.

In total, there is around 10,000 Chinese characters (Hanzi) that were once in circulation in the language. But don’t be intimidated by the number of Hanzi out there! You only need to know a small portion of it! The number of Hanzi used in daily scenarios by a Chinese person is around 2000, which is sufficient for the everyday life. High school graduates in China would have learned 4000-5000 Hanzi by the time they complete their studies. Afterwards it is rare for them to encounter new characters outside of that range.

Why not start small, and by the time you reach HSK6, you would’ve known as many words as an average high school graduate in China.

如果你正在准备HSK考试,你可能会知道,HSK需要掌握的中文单词最低是300-400个, 不要被中文的汉字吓到,其实一般人常用的汉字量只有2000个,这些就已经够日常生活了。中国的高中毕业生的识字量是4000-5000个,而高中生毕业后几乎很少再有机会遇到新的汉字了。所以先给自己定个小目标吧, 一步一个脚印,到了HSK6你就可以和一个中国高中生认识的中文字一样多了。

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