Which Languages Are Harder To Learn.
Something fun to know!
Chinese is not one big language. They are actually two separate ones. COOL, RIGHT? We have two distinct dialects and written languages, Mandarin and Cantonese.
What’s the difference?
Well, people who speak Mandarin only use around 4 tones, whereas people who speak Cantonese use up to 9 tones. The reason why Mandarin is easier to learn also has to do with the written - Mandarin characters use less brush strokes because it is simplified; Cantons use the traditional characters which make it difficult for English speakers to pick up. Each brush stroke counts, if you miss one or angle it slightly off, the entire word changes.
Example: In Cantonese, there is a phase that describes urgent business and needing to go to the toilet. For business, you pronounce it as “gup c”, like the letter, but for the toilet, you say “gup sEE”, emphasizing the “ee”.
Mandarin is easier because it speaks out to a wider audience. Most of China speaks/writes Mandarin and in Hong Kong, most people know how to speak it at least.
For some reason, people often think that if they learn Mandarin, picking Cantonese up will be simple. I personally don’t believe that’s true because although they do have technical similarities, the way that people on mainland and the people in Hong Kong use them are drastically different. It’s not just a difference of languages, it’s a difference of cultures.
SS4 Encore Sorry Sorry Answer Hyukjae Solo. (＞д＜)
chris hemsworth | man of style, instyle may 2012