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Beginners proficiency

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I'm currently taking chinese lesson and I really enjoy it. I'm just curious how many characters one should know in order to pass the first level of chinese. My teacher is great but I wanted to know how we are doing in terms of phase. After the first level, what is the expected number of characters that a student should know?

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I have no idea what the first level of Chinese you refer to. If it is about test, I think usually your textbook or syllabus will outline the volume of vocabulary. Basically it is at least 4000 characters which are the most frequently used. 

It depends on your expectation about the proficiency on a language, and your orientation of occupation-i.e. translator, diplomat, teacher, businessperson, etc..

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