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average vocabulary of a 6 year old

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average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby crowfeather » Sat 07.08.2006 4:42 pm

I have been curious as to the average spoken vocabulary of a 6 year old child in this country. (USA)

I did a search and found that the average spoken vocabulary of a 6 year old English speaking child is 20,000 words. These are words that they understand, but do not necessarily use everyday.
The average spoken vocabulary of a 7 year old is 25,000 words.
It is probably fair to assume the average Japanese child understand a similar number of words

By this standard of average words that are understood, the 2000 kanji and 10,000 Japanese words to be recognized and understood for the JPLT 4 appears to be a small number. :o

It still doesn't look small to me.


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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby Budomaru » Sat 07.08.2006 6:04 pm

yeah but remember japanese, unlike most european languages, doesnt really focus on providing lots of detail and relations between words - as a language japanese is sort of "simpler" (at 12:56 its hard to actually think of a different way to put it :P).

then again, it still looks like there's still too few words comparitively. though this may be due to a different way of counting. vocabulary for the JLPT would probably not include particles and functional words, but rather nouns, verbs etc. while when rating a 6yr olds vocabulary it would normally include those, i guess.
You know you've been hanging around a forum too long when people start quoting you and agreeing :P
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby TrilinguisT » Sat 07.08.2006 6:28 pm

20, 000 words? :o:o are you sure about your research? Please cite your sources.
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby crowfeather » Sat 07.08.2006 7:39 pm

My sources are:
Academic Associates Learning Center- They say 26,000 spoken words

http://www.academic-associates.com/the_problem.htm

Another source is Towson University in MD in a paper on language learning of foreign born adoptive children.
They site 20,000 spoken words for a 6 year old whose natve language is English. 25,000 spoken words for a 7 year old.

This paper is comparing the lenght of time it will take for an adopted child from another country to catch up to a child who learned English as their only language

There are a couple more sites if you would like to view them

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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby kanadajin » Sat 07.08.2006 9:13 pm

thats.. a LOT of words ;)
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby CajunCoder » Sat 07.08.2006 9:15 pm

crowfeather wrote:
By this standard of average words that are understood, the 2000 kanji and 10,000 Japanese words to be recognized and understood for the JPLT 4 appears to be a small number. :o


JLPT4? That can't be right. Maybe you're thinking of JLPT2?

Anyway - 20,000 words sounds about right.
Japanese children probably know even more, simply because Japanese has many more specific words to express the same ideas which we use several words to express in english.

At any rate, 2000 kanji is starting to look a lot easier to me lately. I think I am familiar with around 400-500 now, and it seems like its getting easier to read and remember words and kanji.
Last edited by CajunCoder on Sat 07.08.2006 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby keatonatron » Sat 07.08.2006 9:41 pm

I'm assuming you mean the JLPT 1.

The JLPT is geared for people who want to use Japanese in business and college. Those 10,000 words are words essential to adults who need to be able to communicate in a business-like setting.

Think about things that children hear about that us adults never talk about at work: anime terms/ninja equipment and techniques, winnie-the-pooh stories, elementary school equipment, playground equipment, etc.
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby crowfeather » Sat 07.08.2006 9:57 pm

Sorry-- I stand corrected. I meant to write JLPT 1 (the most difficult one) where a person must know the 2000 kanji and 10,000 words.

The 20,000 English words that a 6 year old understands was an eye opener for me too.
The first site I read that had such a high number I thought it must be a mistake so I did further searching and the number of words is that high. As keatontron says if we consider the number of words that children hear they really add up.

I was trying to compare the number of words I must learn to have "minimal" Japanese language skills. The number of Japanese words to learn sounded daunting until I found the number of words a 6 year old knows. Now it sounds more attainable. At least that is what I am telling myself.
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby TrilinguisT » Sat 07.08.2006 11:36 pm

My Japanese dictionary only has 11,000 entries :o
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby keatonatron » Sun 07.09.2006 12:41 am

Let's start a new thread to list an average 6-year-old's vocabulary :D

Anyway, the trick is to learn the words you know you will use most often. You will always be at a disadvantage when talking about things you aren't familiar with, but that's unavoidable.

For example, if you want to be able to ask questions at the supermarket and cook food with your friends, you shouldn't waste your time learning vocabulary having to do with things you find in a classroom.

Once you gain a good foundation for things you know you'll talk about, then you can start on stuff you think might come up but not very often.
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby paul_b » Sun 07.09.2006 12:45 am

crowfeather wrote:
Sorry-- I stand corrected. I meant to write JLPT 1 (the most difficult one) where a person must know the 2000 kanji and 10,000 words.

The 20,000 English words that a 6 year old understands was an eye opener for me too.

I did a Japanese vocabulary somewhere that said I had the reading vocabulary of a 中学1年生. I took that as a compliment. ;-)
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby TrilinguisT » Sun 07.09.2006 4:23 am

keatonatron wrote:
Let's start a new thread to list an average 6-year-old's vocabulary :D

Anyway, the trick is to learn the words you know you will use most often. You will always be at a disadvantage when talking about things you aren't familiar with, but that's unavoidable.

For example, if you want to be able to ask questions at the supermarket and cook food with your friends, you shouldn't waste your time learning vocabulary having to do with things you find in a classroom.

Once you gain a good foundation for things you know you'll talk about, then you can start on stuff you think might come up but not very often.


i do the same thing in english, learn valuable words for the given environment, such as a workplace or wherever . but i pick up words by hearing and asking for meanings, not look in the dictionary :D
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby john2 » Sun 07.09.2006 8:25 am

thanks for incuraging my lerning of japanese *puts thumb up*
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RE: average vocabulary of a 6 year old

Postby Harisenbon » Sun 07.09.2006 10:29 am

Think about things that children hear about that us adults never talk about at work: anime terms/ninja equipment and techniques, winnie-the-pooh stories, elementary school equipment, playground equipment, etc.


Exactly. Which is why a lot of people complain about the fluency level of the JLPT. I bet the word "slide" "swing" and "Super-mega Kenshi Jutsu blow!" have never shown up on the JLPT. :D
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