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How hard is it to learn Chinese? Mandarin Chinese
Interestingly, the hardest language to learn is also the most widely spoken native language in the world. But writing isn’t the only difficult part of learning Mandarin. The tonal nature of the language makes speaking it very hard as well.
How long does it take to learn Chinese? “How many years does it take to learn Chinese?” “Is it hard to learn Chinese?” According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) scale, it will take English speakers 88 weeks (2,200 hours of active learning) to reach native/bilingual Chinese proficiency.
Is Chinese worth learning? Researchers found that learning Chinese exercises your brain more than any other language. Mastering the tones and characters in Chinese requires many parts of the brain to function, thus eating up more brainpower. As a bonus, writing in Chinese also improves your motor skills and visual recognition.
Can I learn Chinese in a year? One year in China is long enough to learn Mandarin fluently. But before you come, make sure that you will devote to learning the language. Learning a foreign language needs motivation and perseverance. As long as you give lesson to the family, you’d learn their native language, Mandarin, as well.
1. Mandarin. As mentioned before, Mandarin is unanimously considered the toughest language to master in the world! Spoken by over a billion people in the world, the language can be extremely difficult for people whose native languages use the Latin writing system.
Reason #1: Too much competition — as much as the number of users may seem like a strong reason to learn Chinese, it can also reduce the benefits of learning it. Simply put, for every Chinese word, you need to learn how to write and read it almost completely independently of learning how to pronounce it.
Finally, Spanish is just easier. In fact, it is considered the easiest language for English speakers to learn while Chinese is the hardest. Spanish can be learned in 1–2 years, but Chinese can take DECADES, or you might just never learn it. In conclusion, Spanish is more spread out, more useful, and easier to learn.
Chinese is spoken by 1/4 of the world’s population and it is definitely among the most useful languages to learn, especially if you plan to live, work or do business in China.
With the right work and attitude, you can make massive progress in your Chinese learning in three months. And if having a conversation in Mandarin Chinese is your primary goal, it can be achievable with just three months of study, even if you’re starting from zero.
So for English speakers, Chinese is easier than Japanese from this aspect. Chinese grammar is generally considered a lot easier to learn than Japanese. Chinese is an isolating language, even more so than English, with no verb conjugations, noun cases or grammatical gender.
2500 words are about the minimum amount it takes to be “fluent” in Chinese. This is not as many Mandarin words as a native speaker knows, but it’s enough to describe whatever it is you are trying to say.
Japanese and Chinese aren’t even in the same language family. Japanese is in a category of it’s own, the closest language maybe being Korean, and they do not have cross understanding. Chinese has many dialects, and even they do not generally understand each other with the spoken language.
Relatively, Korean would be an easier language to learn. Thanks to its phonetic alphabet and more simplistic grammar rules, Korean is not the most challenging Asian language to learn. Chinese on the other hand is much more widely spoken. This means that finding study materials and practice partners would be easier.
And Japanese can read a Chinese text, but Chinese, unless they know kanas (and even that may not help them so much, because they should also have some smatterings of Japanese grammar articulations) will have no doubt a harder time
The closest language to English is one called Frisian, which is a Germanic language spoken by a small population of about 480,000 people. There are three separate dialects of the language, and it’s only spoken at the southern fringes of the North Sea in the Netherlands and Germany.
According to a UNESCO survey, Bengali has been voted the sweetest language in the world; positioning Spanish and Dutch as the second and third sweetest tongues.
It’s a waste of time. In fact, it’s just as bad as the education system Von Ahn criticizes. Duolingo outsources its translation services, allowing for awkward sentences to slip in undetected. And translation (the core of its platform) is already widely known to be an ineffective way to learn a language.
So it seems as though Mandarin is more practical than Cantonese. That’s not to say that learning Cantonese is a waste of time, and for some people, it may be the better choice, but for most people wanting to speak “Chinese”, Mandarin is the way to go.
The increase in students learning Chinese (Mandarin) worldwide is dramatic: they amount to an estimated 40 million today and are expected to be 100 million in 2020.
Originally Answered: Should I learn Mandarin Chinese or Japanese first? If you want to speak to more people and have more opportunities overall, learn Chinese. Chinese is a lot more difficult to read and speak than Japanese, even though Japanese has Katakana, Hiragana and Kanji.
CHINESE IS THE MOST SPOKEN LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD
Yes, this is the first and the most important reason why you should study Mandarin. Chinese-speaking people live worldwide, and if you’re a professional, it’s more than likely that one of your clients, suppliers, or colleagues will speak Mandarin.
According to the history, that is why French is more useful at present. And French is used in international documents more than Chinese.
All in all, Mandarin is the best language to learn because of its growing economy and number of language speakers. Spanish and Arabic are next for the the top spots for the best language to learn abroad because of the sheer demand and job opportunities for them.
Yes, it’s always possible to learn Chinese, no matter your age.
Altogether there are over 50,000 characters, though a comprehensive modern dictionary will rarely list over 20,000 in use. An educated Chinese person will know about 8,000 characters, but you will only need about 2-3,000 to be able to read a newspaper.