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Which do you think is harder to learn?





takashiro
Which do you think is harder to learn, English or Japanese?
I thought Japanese was easier because I am a Chinese. But I found I was wrong after no long time. Even though Japanese was developed from Chinese. But it has already changed a lot in the past thousands of years. Many words changed its meaning.
"大丈夫" means "a real man" in Chinese but "I am okay." in Japanese.
What's more, because of the similarity of Chinese and Japanese, it is easier to be mixed. Crying or Very sad
Perhaps any languages is as easy as the others. Smile
Granard
For us, western people, the english is obviously easier to learn. In fact, we don't have to learn a new alphabet
applejunk
hahaha out of all the languages in the world i think chinese is the hardest to learn. english would have to be the easiest because the limited amount of alphabet it uses and its phonetic way of spelling. with chinese, you just have to memorize all 50 thousand characters. there is no alphabet.
{name here}
I would think that Japanese would be a little harder to learn than English to westerners. Our grammar is not that complex - it's quite loose, but it isn't newspeak, so it's ad hoc.
Out of all the languages in the world Chinese would be the hardest for a person from a western culture because it uses 3000 characters each with a different single morpheme rather than 26 characters that represent sounds. Plus it's tonal, which is a feature western languages lack.

The easiest for a western person I would think is Esperanto, since it's syntax is clean, it has cognates with Indo-European words, and the grammar is simple. At least, this is what I hear about it.
qscomputing
English phonetically spelt? Hardly!

Esperanto is undoubtedly the easiest language to learn for Western Europeans - probably for most people throughout the world. As {name here} already mentioned, its grammar is simple - in fact, it is completely regular and can be summarized in 16 rules on one side of A4. Most of its words are derived from European languages - but there is a system of affixes which makes it easy for non-Europeans to understand as well. A simple example: the verb "komputi" (infinitives end in I) means to compute, and "-il" is a suffix meaning "tool"; from these, one can form the word "komputilo" (nouns end in O) meaning "computer". Of course, one wouldn't generally be able to learn "komputi" and "-il" and immediately understand the specific meaning of "komputilo", but it's a lot easier than having to learn totally new words for each and every thing.

If you're interested in finding more about Esperanto, I recommend the following site:
http://members.aol.com/sylvanz/gvcont.htm

If you're interested in learning Esperanto, something which I highly recommend, try http://lernu.net

HTH.
Aiz
Actually, for learning Japanese, Chinese background is undoubtedly advantageous. I also thought my Chinese background should make things a lot easier, it did, but not as much as I thought. And yes, it even created some problems that westerners would not encounter.

And oh, before I go on, Japanese was not developed from Chinese, they just took the writing system. Their spoken language was already there and stayed pretty independent from Chinese influences, aside from vocabs taken from Chinese into their language.

Anyhow, I think the biggest problem with Chinese people learning Japanese is the numerous readings associated with one single kanji; even though they don't have to learn how to write kanji aside from the Japanese modified ones, they still have to learn the different pronunciations on top of different usages of some kanji from their Chinese counterparts. My professor said that, since Japanese took Chinese readings of kanji throughout history to turn them into Japanese, the readings include Japanese versions of the old ways of pronunciation that modern Chinese does not even use anymore. That plus the Japanese native words they associated with a Kanji, it turns into a mess for Chinese people to read T_T.

Personally, I had a bigger problem with having to write a kanji the Japanese way than the ways of reading a kanji. That you can just memorize, but having to change the way I write a kanji gets to me for some reason.

Anyhow, I actually also think English is easier than Japanese. It is fairly straight forward when compared to Japanese or Chinese. Maybe it's because of the fact that I am Chinese, but I think Chinese is actually easier than Japanese in terms of grammar (although it might be harder for westerners in regards to the number of characters and the tones).
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