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Mandarin Learning Tips Blog

How Many Chinese Characters Are There and How Many Should You Learn?

Pierre Cerchiaro | July 28, 2019

The Chinese writing system has undergone more than five thousand years of evolution and transformation, which has brought with it new sinograms and variants. While some dictionaries can list more than 80,000 characters (85,568 for 中华字海 Zhōnghuà Zìhǎi, published in 1994 and up to 106,230 for 异体字字典 Yìtǐzì Zìdiǎn published in 2004), most dictionaries include between 5,000 and 6,000 characters.

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