i’ve been thinking about vocabulary sizes and such recently, and had a bit of a google about japanese vocabulary sizes. because the 6000 or so words we learn on WK might seem like a lot at first glance (and learning 6000 words in a bit over a year is a huge achievement), it really isn’t all that much.
i didn’t pay much attention to sources and such, because estimating people’s vocabulary is a tricky business anyway, and i really only wanted a ballpark figure. for japanese high-schoolers, it’s somewhere in the 20’000 range. for grown-ups with college degrees, more like 40’000 words. of course these are averages and very approximate, but it gives us something to compare WK’s 6000 words to.
i think this really relativizes the discussion in this thread. people are arguing over individual items out of 6000, when really WK should be just the beginning in our task of acquiring a well-rounded vocabulary.
admittedly my goal has been turning towards literacy lately; to be able to pick up any book and read it. that probably requires a larger vocabulary than casual conversation. but i would argue that for people aiming towards casual conversation WK has a suboptimal vocabulary selection anyway, as it misses out on a lot of common short words, and ignores all the loanwords written in katakana.
ps. similar goes for kanji, japanese adults recognize/can read an average of 3000-4000 kanji (computers have been increasing kanji literacy!). WK certainly gives a solid foundation, but it’s not going to be the end of learning kanji by a long stretch.
pps. “ballpark”, that’s got to be some kind of sportsball term. perhaps even baseball? i’ve got no clue, i’m utterly disinterested in baseball. quick google ahh, it’s a baseball stadium. but baseball terms are so irrelevant to english…