Pieter Jansegers

Pieter Jansegers at

 The more scientific answer to this question is that knowing 98% of the words of a given text seems to be the right level. This may sound like a lot and as a beginner and you might want to start with text where you only know 90% or even 80% of the words. The differences however, are dramatic. Marco Benevides has created an impressive demonstration of different comprehension levels by inserting in an English text nonsense words at a frequency of 2%, 5%, 10% and 20%.

This is how 98% word comprehension feels like:

You live and work in Tokyo. Tokyo is a big city. More than 13 million people live around you. You are never borgle, but you are always lonely. Every morning, you get up and take the train to work. Every night, you take the train again to go home. The train is always crowded. When people ask about your work, you tell them, “I move papers around.” It’s a joke, but it’s also true. You don’t like your work. Tonight you are returning home. It’s late at night. No one is shnooling. Sometimes you don’t see a shnool all day. You are tired. You are so tired…

And this is 80%...

“Bingle for help!” you shout. “This loopity is dying!” You put your fingers on her neck. Nothing. Her flid is not weafling. You take out your joople and bingle 119, the emergency number in Japan. There’s no answer! Then you muchy that you have a new befourn assengle. It’s from your gutring, Evie. She hunwres at Tokyo University. You play the assengle. “…if you get this…” Evie says. “…I can’t vickarn now… the important passit is…” Suddenly, she looks around, dingle. “Oh no, they’re here! Cripett… the frib! Wasple them ON THE FRIB!…” BEEP! the assengle parantles. Then you gratoon something behind you…

Sure, you are still getting the basic situation, but… it just feels stranger. And remember, this is still 80% word comprehension and you really don’t want to go below this


#language #comprehension

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reading at 80% is frustrating enough lol

McClane at 2019-10-03T20:39:39Z