How does the chinese or japanese language work?

Discuss the Chinese language.
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robertsimon
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How does the chinese or japanese language work?

Post by robertsimon » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:12 pm

I'm confused... I've heard there are tens of thousands of characters in the Chinese language. I've heard that an educated person in Chinese needs to learn around 6000 characters? How is a person supposed to remember over 6000 letters and then use them in words. That sounds crazy! I'm a little confused on how the language is structured. In English there are 26 letters and different combinations make different words, but I've heard in Chinese one character can mean a whole word. Also how is Japanese structured? Is it the same as Chinese or is it different.
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