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A TV station once interviewed a language genius who can speak 32 languages around the world. When a reporter asked him, “You have learned so many languages, which language is the most difficult to learn?” He replied to the camera without hesitation, “Chinese, of course!” The same is true for other foreign Chinese learners. many non-native Chinese speakers have a specific difficulty in learning Chinese. So, is Chinese hard to learn? What makes it really difficult?
My international friend once said: I want to thank my Chinese teacher, who made me learn to speak fluent French. When I took my first Chinese class, I felt an avalanche of collapse, I was so overwhelmed. so I transferred to the French class instead.
Why is Chinese so difficult to learn?
My opinion: Don’t feel lonely! It’s not a day or two for foreigners to vocalize their difficulty in learning Chinese-
There’s a narrative that whenever someone is saying incoherent things, it’s already Chinese. In many languages, to refuse a person, you can say “come and see me after you learn Chinese well”.
If you can’t understand what a person is saying, you can say, “What are you talking about? It sounds like Chinese. “
There are countless Chinese learners, docile and lined up on the beach to learn Chinese-
When you first learn a language, have you ever encountered such a situation where you know every word in a sentence, but you don’t know what to say in a sentence? That is one of the biggest problems of Foreigners studying Chinese. Despite having Latin roots, Chinese characters are much more ambiguous than words in Latin. Consequently, it is often impossible to know what they mean by looking at a single word. It is imperative to understand that The more a word is commonly used, The more possible meanings there are. Sometimes differentiation only comes, depending on the context. For example, the word “JIU” in the last sentence, if you take it out alone, who knows what you are saying?
The difficulty of Chinese is not limited to mere context comprehension. Foreigners also have a hard time reading texts. In spoken language, not only does each word have many meanings, but also hundreds of words that each pronunciation may refer to. For example, if a yuan’s pronunciation is park, popularity, or ape, you can’t guess it without context.
Another factor that influences the difficulty of Chinese is the four tones in Chinese. In Chinese, semantics originate in the nuances between tones. same pronunciation and different tones mean different things? (I haven’t started to say that there are nine tones in Cantonese …) Among all the mainstream languages in the world at present, Chinese is the only language that uses different tones to express different meanings.
Everyone who speaks his mother tongue thinks that his mother tongue has no grammar. Is there any grammar in Chinese? Except for the students majoring in linguistics, most Chinese people have never studied Chinese grammar. It seems that Chinese “born” is what it says. The construction of words just merely sprung up. It has no specific structure that dictates the right and wrong way. The way of choosing words and making sentences and the structure of sentences seem that “born” is so natural. But foreigners studying Chinese will tell you sadly: Chinese grammar is so difficult that people can’t figure it out.
To be exact, the difficulty of Chinese grammar lies not in complexity, but in simplicity. Verbs are not divided into the person and tense, part-of-speech conversion has not changed, there are no irregular verbs, singular and plural verbs, and there are no masculine and feminine verbs. Don’t worry about the subject-predicate agreement. Everything goes here. You can say”I eat” and “you eat”, “today eat” and “yesterday eat”, and “I love” and “my love” and you’ll still be correct. There are no prefixes and suffixes, and one word is used in all parts of speech.
Without these complicated grammar rules, wouldn’t the Chinese become very simple? Still no. Despite having no complex rule structure in grammar, Chinese grammatical standard remains hard. That is Because of the tense and semantics that could have been embodied in part-of-speech deformation and verb rules, In Chinese, it can only be reflected by context and a few mood particles. Please look at the following dialogue-
“你吃了吗？ (Have you eaten?)”
“我还没吃。 (I haven’t eaten yet.)”
“那你吃点吧。 (Then you have some.)”
“不，我吃不了。 (No, I can’t eat it.)”
The word “le” in the first sentence indicates completion, the word “le” in the second sentence is an adverb, indicating up to now (“yet” is equivalent to not yet), the word “ba” in the third sentence indicates imperative mood and the same word “le” in the fourth sentence indicates possibility.
Although Chinese is difficult to learn for foreigners, even Chinese children in the United States have a hard time learning Chinese. However, Chinese parents certainly hope that their children can master two languages, because having one more language will not only have an advantage in future employment but also help their children’s growth.
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