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Mandarin HSK 5 and native content

Posted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:46 am
by sceptredsway
The official vocabulary list for HSK 5 contains 2500 words.

According to Wikipedia, HSK 5 is "Designed for learners who can read Chinese newspapers and magazines, watch Chinese films and are capable of writing and delivering a lengthy speech in Chinese.".

Realistically, if I learn all 2500 words from the HSK 5 word list, how much of native content will I be able to understand? (From children's books, children's movies, graded readers, books for adults, newspapers, radio, etc)


edit: how about after learning all the sentences in the 'Chinese Spoonfed' Anki deck? (I mean only Ch>Eng and there is 8142 of them)?

Re: Mandarin HSK 5 and native content

Posted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:48 am
by samothin
This is a great article to manage your expectation on what's the potential difficulty in understanding native Mandarin materials even after completing HSK6.

Re: Mandarin HSK 5 and native content

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:22 pm
by Ser
samothin wrote:hsk-6-gets-you-halfway

I love how the URL pretty much gives it away. From that article:

Imron Alston wrote:You might look at those numbers and think that 96-97% recognition of all characters seems pretty good, but for the purposes of reading comprehension it’s actually quite terrible. If you do the math, that’s 3-4 characters out of every 100 that are unknown, which works out to one unknown character for every 20-30 characters you read. For reference, that’s about this much text:


Or one unknown character per sentence.

A typical Chinese novel has about 500-600 characters per page, and at the above rate, that works out to roughly 20 new characters per page.


And those statistics are only counting characters, on top of that there's the problem of knowing the meaning of the word, which may be two or three characters long, or be part of an idiom.

Re: Mandarin HSK 5 and native content

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:55 am
by ninuno
The old HSK was more difficult as it reached C1 - C2 level . The new HSK claims to have 6 levels yet HSK 6 is equivalent to B2 level i believe. Somehow they are going to change the rules again .

Re: Mandarin HSK 5 and native content

Posted: Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:00 pm
by Migla
HSK5 is far away from native content, unfortunately.

They are changing HSK again, there's gonna be a NEW new HSK or so called HSK 3.0, in which 2500 words would be somewhere between elementary and intermediate levels. Even Wikipedia has been having information saying basically the same:

I would kind of agree to wiki that HSK5 is somewhere around CEFR B1. Notice also, that official (like, the real official) HSK sites have not had CEFR comparison to HSK for years. And for a good reason. When they unveiled HSK 2.0 ("new HSK") they did have hsk1=a1, hsk3=b1, hsk6=c2 claims, but they were removed early on.

I barely passed advanced HSK 1.0 (old HSK) many years ago and have now degraded to something in between "new" HSK 5/6 and I'm having big difficulties with native content. BUT - that does not mean you should not try! I'd suggest watching in Chinese any film you like and know well, or maybe going for a book you know well in Chinese (I found that books you've read more than twice work best, like Harry Potter or suchlike - HP is available in a radio broadcast version for free somewhere).

Re: Mandarin HSK 5 and native content

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2020 2:33 am
by nonneb
At HSK5, you can probably follow most of the plot of fairly straightforward TV shows. It can even be enjoyable if you have a decent tolerance for ambiguity. You can read newspaper articles if you have 30+ minutes and a dictionary. I managed to make it through 貓城記 at HSK 5, but it wasn't easy or fast, and the chapters in the middle that got philosophical got read quickly without worrying about what I didn't understand. It was too much.

HSK5 is the minimum where you can start to engage with native materials, and if all you know is the words on their list, you probably won't be able to do that. HSK5 is about B1, if that helps. You're not completely lost with native materials, but you don't really understand them, either.