They remain a key component of the Japanese writing system where they are known as kanji and are occasionally and more so historically, used in the writing of Korean where they are known as Hanja. Collectively, they are known as CJK characters. Vietnamese is sometimes also included, making the abbreviation CJKV. Chinese characters constitute the oldest continuously used system of writing in the world. Chinese characters number in the tens of thousands, though most of them are minor graphic variants encountered only in historical texts. Studies in China have shown that functional literacy in written Chinese requires a knowledge of between three and four thousand characters.
Enter English words, Chinese text, or Japanese text. Please don't mix English and Asian characters. Apparently, we were the first ones who were crazy enough to think that western people might want a combined Chinese, Japanese, and Buddhist dictionary. A lot of westerners can't tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese - and there is a reason for that. Chinese characters and even whole words were borrowed by Japan from the Chinese language in the 5th century.
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Then it may come as a surprise that a couple of years ago I spent roughly one hundred hours spread out over six weeks learning all the characters in the Far East Chinese Characters Dictionary. Of course, I knew most of them already, but I learnt a considerable amount of new words as well. This article is not about this particular thing or about this dictionary. I never expected this, but the day has come when I actually recommend other people to memorise a dictionary! Please note that you should only do something like this if you already know the majority of words in the list you want to study.