%tage of words not understood - average native Chinese speaker vs English Speaker

December 07, 2011, 06:23 PM posted in General Discussion

Just curious and this is hard to answer I realize, but how often does a person born and raised speaking Chinese as a first language come across words she doesn't understand versus someone born and raised speaking English as a first language, assuming college educated and not counting regional dialects, idioms and non standard parts of his/her respective languages.

I'm just wondering with Chinese, with so many words, that people using Chinese more often encounter words they don't know the meaning of, especially out of context.

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December 08, 2011, 12:02 PM

For me, the english language needs a special category for itself. Since the 90s, you can't compare it to any other language.

The English language(s) with all its(their) slangs and regional variations use(s) by far the biggest number of words and expressions. Most native english speakers thus are often limited to the local version of their language.

As regards the english language, speaking of "regional dialects" and "non standard parts of the language" could be consider irrelevant.