Chinese Vocabulary

You can acquire Chinese vocabulary faster than ever before with our course. We’ll teach you how to create mnemonics to memorize the words almost instantly, and we supply multi-media flashcards so you never forget what you learn.

How many Chinese words you need depends on your goals. For example, if you are going to China for only a few months, you should learn the 250 most common Mandarin words. Things like “eat”, “car” or “toilet”. Useful in a pinch, but not so much that you could engage in a lengthy conversation.

So how many Chinese words do I need to learn?

2500 words are about the minimum amount it takes to be “fluent” in Chinese. This is not as many words as a native speaker knows, but its enough to describe whatever it is you are trying to say. “The thing you put food in to keep it cool and fresh” and “Refrigerator” get across the same meaning. The person hearing it has the same object in their mind, which means you successfully communicated. Sure, saying “refrigerator” is more streamlined, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Successful communication is what matters in the end.

If you are so inclined as to accumulate a vocabulary as large as a native speaker, then consider that the average native knows about 5,000 words or 10,000 Chinese words with higher education. Furthermore, they also have a “passive vocabulary” of about 20,000 words. Passive vocabulary simply means that you understand a word when you read or hear it, but you don’t use it when speaking. Browse through our posts below to learn everything you need to know about Chinese Vocabulary.