Chinese vocabulary is formed by 20000 Chinese characters since ancient times, but nowadays, only half of them are used. However, you must not confuse words with characters because most of the words are formed by a mix of characters and it is common that there are many more words than characters. Hanyu Da Zidian is a compendium of the Chinese characters and contains 54, 678 head entries for characters and The Zhonghua Zihai contains over 85, 500 characters’ definitions and it is the largest character work.
One of the most popular books is called “Hanyu Da Cidian” and it records over 23,000 Chinese characters and more than 350,000 Chinese definitions. Mandarin, as the main language of China, is important; its vocabulary has two parts: the word sound and the proper tones; it is recommended to pay a special attention to the tones because there are many words that are written similarly but their pronunciation is way too different.
Vocabulary in Chinese
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