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Difficulty Index and Ease Index of Hanzi

  • Kaycheng Soh
Chapter

Abstract

To assess the difficulty of a language, one objective and trustworthy method is to use the time required of a learner to reach an expected standard. This is the method employed by the America’s Foreign Service Institute which prepares official personnel for working in foreign countries. It was found that, to reach the Third Professional Level in oral and reading proficiencies, different languages required different learning time. For English-speaking learners, mastering English-related European languages (e.g. Danish, Dutch, and Spanish) required 575–600 h, but mastering Asian languages (e.g. Chinese, Korean, and Japan) required 2200 h. These figures are for motivated adults who have a specific goal to learn foreign languages and may and may not be applicable to unmotivated youngsters.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaycheng Soh
    • 1
  1. 1.Singapore Centre for Chinese LanguageNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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