I am not sure about the first part of

「中3の25%、短文も理解困難」 

Do you read 中 as ちゅう here? 25% of 3 would be 0.75% if I am not mistaken. Therefore does it mean something like 「around 0.75% of the population does have trouble with reading and understanding short sentences」? But then... wouldn't one just write 0.75% in the beginning?

up vote 21 down vote accepted

yes, you read 中 as ちゅう , and 中3 as ちゅうさん

中3 is a shorthand way of writing 中学校3年生 which is (Japanese) Junior High School 3rd graders or in other words, 9th graders.
so 中3の25% would be "25% of (Japanese) 9th graders"

so the full translation of

「中3の25%、短文も理解困難」

is

"Twenty-five percent of 9th graders have difficulty understanding short passages."

Thanks to @Mars and @Eiríkr Útlendi for suggesting the more accurate word choices.

After all this editing, I realized one final point that can be made: in the expression 短文理解困難, carries the meaning "even", so the most apt translation would be:

"Twenty-five percent of 9th graders have difficulty understanding even short passages."

  • 1
    It's a complicated language after all =) – user134593 Nov 30 at 22:16
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    Localizing the text further, for a US context, 中3 = 9th graders. I don't think I've ever heard (read) the phrase "junior high school third graders" before -- and, in fact, "third graders" is so specifically a reference to elementary school that the juxtaposition is most confusing. Combine that with the wrinkle that some counties only have two years of junior high school (I think usually 7th and 8th grade), things can go even further off the rails. :) – Eiríkr Útlendi Nov 30 at 22:57
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi To make things even more potentially confusing, some school districts in the US also consider 6th grade to be part of Junior High (also sometimes referred to as "middle school"). I don't know how prevalent it is, but that was the case for me ca. 2006 :) – ZeroKnight Dec 1 at 5:38
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    I'd also note that 短文 doesn't necessarily mean short sentences. This probably refers to tests or academics, so the better term is probably "short passages" – Mars Dec 1 at 5:56
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    I can reword that if it confusing internationally. I was speaking from my personal experience. I think "9th graders" will probably be the least confusing choice... – ericfromabeno Dec 1 at 7:04

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