How many words does a foreign Japanese learner need to know to be able to communicate effectively? I know Japanese is an incredibly productive language, mainly because of how kanji compounds work (I suppose Chinese is the same, duh), it is also one of the reasons I decided to study Japanese as I'm very intrigued by the logographic characters and concepts they represent. But I'm sort of digressing here. I'm simply amazed by the extensive range of vocabulary utilized by the Japanese language. I've read somewhere that to be able to effectively (which in this case probably doesn't mean you are fluent) communicate in English or German you need as few as 3000 words, which doesn't seem like a lot. I know this is very difficult to estimate but can someone attempt to make a guess? I started wondering about this because I've been keeping track of the amount of Japanese vocabulary I've learned since I started taking classes, and so far I've mastered about 1000 words (nouns, verbs, adjectives) and expressions but it seems like nothing, unfortunately.
Apr 13, 2011 12:53 PM
Answers · 7
I don't know it's realy true, I heard that. In japanese, If you know 10000words,you can understand most of conversation. Japanese twenteis average vocaburary is 50thousand..... I looked up it internet,so if it' wrong, I 'm sorry.
April 20, 2011
I am impressed that you've mastered 1,000 Japanese words so far! Way to go! Even if you think your vocabulary is quite limited, I bet you'll have great time communicating with local Japanese with 1,000 words, coz they'll help you when you're "stuck". Further, words are not only tool for fruitful communication. Body language and even a simple smile will suffice to make friends with people. Good luck :-)
April 14, 2011
It's not about the number of words. In order to communicate effectively you need to learn a large number of politeness levels. Words, verbs change according to the status of the person you are talking to.
April 13, 2011
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