How many words roughly in the Japanese language?

Because I'm quite sure that the average vocabulary of an English speaker is 5000 words - that is not even the number of words needed for the JLPT2 let alone the JLPT 1 which is 10,000 words.

Answers are all apreciated :)


By how many words I am asking more along the lines of how many in common use...

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    The answer is "over 600,000".

    This is 日本国語大辞典(第二版).

    They contain archaic, medieval, modern/contemporary words.

    Also include terminology, slang expressions and dialects..

    Kind of like The Oxford English Dictionary.

    There are so many words in Japnese so are in English.

    Sorry for my poor English, I hope this answers your question.

    Source(s): I'm native Japanese.
  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    English Language Number Of Words

  • 6 years ago

    The Japanese are always trying to be ..."BIG." There are more words in the English language than there are in the Japanese language! Which is why Japan has to always , recently , use katakanized English words, because they can't keep up with a changing world, there isn't even a kanji for personal computer!!!

  • 1 decade ago

    I've studied Japanese for 5 years, and have a vocabulary around 20,000 not including numbers, and I am still able to learn words on a normal basis. I've seen a complete dictionary in Japanese, and since it contains all dialects from all time periods, I was only able to read from 10-15% of the words. I'm sure the entire Japanese vocabulary is from 200,000-300,000 words, maybe more.

    On an every day basis such as communicating normally, less than 5,000 words are uses , and I'm estimating around 40,000 words would be required to get through with hardly ever hearing a word you don't know.

    Do you study Japanese?

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  • 5 years ago

    I think around 5,000, but 1,000 of those words make up 70% of conversation.

    Source(s): Research
  • 7 years ago

    I have studied for 9 months and at 5,000 words memorized with Anki. I knew before taking on Japanese that I would have to Master about 20,000 words in two years to do business with my company. Once you learn a lot of Kanji, you can likely figure out what some words roughly mean, even if you haven't studied them all. Learn a lot of verbs and how to conjugate them very well and you can understand a lot. Many everyday words are now thrown out and replaced with a katakana pronunciation of an English word.

  • 1 decade ago

    How many words are roughly in the English language?

    You can't actually determine that.

    All you can do is know there are 1,945 joyo kanji and they can form various compounds to mean multiple things.

    Source(s): Learning Japanese
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