The Known Chinese Words Test

This application will test your knowledge of a random sample of Chinese words, both common and rare, for the purpose of estimating the number of Chinese words you know. At the end of the test, the program will report the number of words it thinks you know. It may also record the results of your test, for use in a project on Chinese word knowledge.

After a set of introductory questions, you will choose to be tested on either simplified or traditional characters. Then you will be presented a series of approximately 200 Chinese words, one at a time. For each word, you will first be shown the character(s). You will make your own judgment as to whether you "know" the word. The criteria you use will be up to you. For example, you may only rate a word as known if you know both the correct pronunciation (pinyin and at least one English meaning). Or, you may choose to be more lenient with the pronunciation or more strict with the English meanings. Being consistent in your ratings will improve the accuracy of your results.

After thinking of the meaning of the word, click the button to show the answer. The correct pinyin and English definitions as currently defined in the CC-CEDICT Chinese-English dictionary will then appear. Judge, based on your original guess, whether you knew the word. Then click the appropriate "Unknown" or "Known" button. There are also keyboard shortcuts for the buttons, which can help speed up the testing process.

After the words have been shown, you will be shown an estimate of the number of words you knew. In addition, you be shown a graph of how your word knowledge performs for different word frequency levels. You will be given a PIN so that you can access these same results again later.

Simplified Words

Word list and frequency from Lancaster Corpus of Mandarin Chinese (filter out names >1 character, texts D and H, ordinals >1 character); English and pinyin from CC-CEDICT version 2011-03-13

Simplified Characters

Test of individual simplified characters with pinyin and definitions. Word frequency data is from Jun Da Modern Chinese Character Frequency [<a href=""></a>]; readings and definitions are from Unihan 8/23/2012 [<a href=""></a>]