I just ran a character analysis script over a few sources, and I'm going to share the results in the next reply (to allow html formatting).
Before anyone starts shooting, I know the number of characters is a necessary condition to reading, but it is far from sufficient. I reckon you need to know at least 3 times more words than characters, but that's really just guestimate.
In any event, I often read that you need 2000 characters to start reading a newspaper, I always thought it was unrealistic, so here you go, analysis performed on a numner of lessons, respectively news stories:
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