Lately it seems all my friends are doing those online vocabulary tests, and posting their spectaular results on Facebook. I didn’t post my results, since they weren’t quite what I had hoped. But I wanted to post something, or I’d miss the bandwagon entirely.

To fix my dismal number, I decided to revisit an online Chinese vocabulary testing app. If I could add my English and Chinese vocabulary numbers together, I was sure I could blow my smart friends away. (Sorry if that seems proud, but it’s frankly a nice contrast to the daily feeling of hopeless stupidity one has when learning another language.)

I wasn’t disappointed. When I tried it out a couple of years ago, my estimated Chinese vocabulary (for reading Chinese characters) was over 13,000 words. To my surprise and delight, my score today was 16,720.

The reason for the boost? I’d say at least 80% of the credit goes to the massive novel I’m working my way through. During the test, I even recognized words I had learned earlier this week.

The test covered 150 words, which is three times the quantity of the English test I tried. The results of this Chinese test also give you a breakdown of the rank bands of the sample words, and how well you did on each level.

Lesson learned: Reading works.

Thanks to Darren Jansen for pointing this test out to me originally, and sending me the link again today.

Featured Image: Completely unrelated photo of a chandelier by Elijah Wilcott, 2008