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JLPT words #3

Although the program is progressing well, I have run into just another problem with the available data. While trying to create my own N3 list of words, (as I’ve decided not to trust the available naive attempts blindly)  I have identified all the kanji that were in the words of specified JLPT levels. The result: total chaos (mainly) in 1kyuu/N1.

The JLPT vocabulary list editor for zkanji is almost finished.

http://www.tanos.co.uk/, the site from where I borrowed the list of words, used the lists (with all the mistakes in them) available at http://www.jlptstudy.com. The latter only has word lists till 2kyuu/N2, but those were taken from official JLPT material so they must be relatively good. (I have passed JLPT 2kyuu (now N2) with them)

But how trustworthy is the JLPT 1kyuu/N1 word list? I have never tried to study for N1 and I can only guess. So let’s just look at the facts. (You can skip the following few paragraphs if you are only interested in the final result.)

There are ~3450 words in the N1 list (not including the other levels, together the number would be around 9000).
In these 3450 words, 564 kanji are N1 kanji,  607 N2 kanji, 161 N4 kanji, 93 N5 kanji, and 210 kanji are not in any JLPT level (from old official lists, so the newly introduced N3 is not counted). The sum is 1425 JLPT kanji + 210 non JLPT kanji. That is 1635 kanji used altogether. Officially there were 2230 JLPT kanji from all the levels (the real number was less, but the official JLPT kanji were changed during the years, and this 2230 includes them all.) So there are around 800 kanji missing, not used in words of the N1 list. This is an interesting result, but we might be able to find the missing ones.

There are 480 kanji in words of lower levels, not used in words at N1, which leaves us with 320 kanji missing! We are talking about JLPT kanji, and yet they were not used in any JLPT word?

I have also counted that although only 564 N1 kanji were used in N1 words, there are 199 N1 kanji that were only used in words at lower levels. So 763 N1 kanji are used in all the words of the supposed JLPT words. But there should be 1207 N1 kanji. That makes it 444 missing N1 kanji.

If you compare the numbers, 480 JLPT kanji (from all levels) are not used in any JLPT word, while 444 N1 kanji are not used in any JLPT word. Which means that almost all the missing kanji are from N1, and that’s not a small number! If you also consider that there were 210 non-JLPT kanji in the list of N1 words, that’s enough to make anyone uncertain. I would rather not doubt the validity of the official 1kyuu/N1 kanji list, but there is no assurance about the validity of the unofficial N1 word list.

So once again, I have to find another site with a different N1 word list (or rather more sites) just to make sure. Unfortunately this will slow down my progress quite a bit…

Categories: JLPT, N3 list, Rant Tags: ,
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