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Why Chinese Is So Damn Hard

 Language Learning Forum : Specific Languages Post Reply
57 messages over 8 pages: 1 24 5 6 7 8 Next >>
movica
Diglot
Newbie
China
Joined 4087 days ago

2 posts - 2 votes
Speaks: Mandarin*, English
Studies: Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 17 of 57
20 March 2011 at 4:20pm | IP Logged 
I just saw this article recently. Someone translated it into Chinese and it's so much fun~
http://www.douban.com/note/139812171/
1 person has voted this message useful



koba
Heptaglot
Senior Member
AustriaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4955 days ago

118 posts - 201 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, French

 
 Message 19 of 57
22 March 2011 at 6:17am | IP Logged 
Honestly, opinions about the difficulty of Mandarin vary a lot.

Some people say it's much easier than, say, German, Russian, and other languages with complex grammar structures. I have also studied Mandarin for a while so I can comment on the subject.

Mandarin might be hard in the sense that, if you're a Western and if you do not really devote yourself to learn it, that is, if you don't do an 'immersion' and just flirt with it, you might not get the level you wish so easily as you would with other languages that share similarities with your native tongue. That is because ideas in Chinese are expressed much differently than in Indo-European languages, so I'd say the cultural aspect plays the biggest role here.

As for the tones and the characters, at least from my experience, I'd say that they're manageable, and as you progress you get a better and better pronunciation and the characters also start being memorized easier.

Edited by koba on 27 March 2011 at 2:31pm

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djc463
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Groupie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4888 days ago

51 posts - 74 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, German, Italian
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 20 of 57
27 March 2011 at 9:38pm | IP Logged 
I was planning on trying to learn Mandarin next.... This is frightening, maybe Japanese would be better due to the
fact that the writing system makes much more sense.
1 person has voted this message useful



Segata
Triglot
Groupie
Germany
Joined 4258 days ago

64 posts - 125 votes 
Speaks: German*, Japanese, English
Studies: Korean, Esperanto

 
 Message 21 of 57
27 March 2011 at 10:32pm | IP Logged 
djc463 wrote:
I was planning on trying to learn Mandarin next.... This is frightening, maybe Japanese would be better due to the
fact that the writing system makes much more sense.


Korean is what you wanted to write.. right? As much as I love the Japanese writing system.. it makes no sense at all. ;)
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M. Medialis
Diglot
TAC 2010 Winner
Senior Member
Sweden
Joined 5444 days ago

397 posts - 508 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: Russian, Japanese, French

 
 Message 22 of 57
28 March 2011 at 2:05am | IP Logged 
djc463 wrote:
I was planning on trying to learn Mandarin next.... This is frightening, maybe Japanese would be better due to the fact that the writing system makes much more sense.


Don't forget that the pronunciations of the Japanese characters are almost completely random. You can know the pronunciations of 美, 味, 美味 and 美味い and still become shocked when you realize that 美味しい is pronounced completely different. :)

But really.. Forget what I just said, there's no need to fear at all. Learning Japanese is wonderful: Every single word you learn is pure joy, every syllable you hear makes your heart pound of excitement and every character you write makes your eyes sparkle!

I'm glad it takes time. :D

Edited by M. Medialis on 28 March 2011 at 2:08am

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Nature
Diglot
Groupie
Canada
Joined 4324 days ago

63 posts - 80 votes 
Speaks: English*, French

 
 Message 23 of 57
28 March 2011 at 7:24am | IP Logged 
Oh come on Mandarin isn't that hard at all!

中文不难!

Maybe I just have a good teacher and the class goes slower because it's Mandarin but I have a better mark in that class than I do in Spanish :P
2 persons have voted this message useful



kenshin
Triglot
Newbie
Taiwan
Joined 4117 days ago

17 posts - 34 votes
Speaks: Taiwanese, Mandarin*, English
Studies: Japanese, German, French

 
 Message 24 of 57
29 March 2011 at 5:58pm | IP Logged 
Obviously, I might be biased because I'm a native speaker. To me, the most pleasing
feature of Chinese language is that it has no declensions and conjugations. As an
isolating language, Chinese is much simpler in grammar in comparison to most European
languages. Sure, there are thousands of Chinese characters you have to learn. But once
you learn a character by heart, that's it: it doesn't change its form and pronunciation.

And I think lack of grammatical conjugation might explain why Chinese people tend to make
English sentences like "where are you come from? ". Well, verbs have different forms
doesn't make any sense to Chinese speakers... So, it's not surprising that there are also
many Chinese students complaining about why English is so difficult to learn.


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