Chinese is Easy!
Is Chinese easy to learn? Yes! Is Chinese challenging to learn? Yes! I personally think Chinese is not easy, BUT with the right approach, you are more likely to have success. Many people are intimidated by the way Chinese characters look and sound because it is very different from Western languages. Look at all those lines, boxes, and hooks in the characters, how are you going to learn all that? Y'all, that's just a part of it. There are several ancient works of literature and grammar; even I find very challenging. However, it all comes down to whether or not you have a great learning experience from the very beginning. I surveyed my former students and asked them the same questions; over 50% of them said it is not difficult to learn. The same question was asked to my native speaker friends, and they all said it is quite challenging. Why the perspective differences? Let's look into it.
Chinese is easy because...
- no conjugation
- no change in verbs when it comes to tenses
- it is pictographic
- you can sometimes figure out the meaning of a new character based on the radicals you are familiar with
- fixed sentence structure - once you learn it, you know it
- you have good teachers
- you simply love it
Chinese is difficult because...
- Chinese characters
- the 4(5) tones of speaking Chinese
- it sounds very different from English
- you usually can't figure out what a character sounds like just based on the look of it
- sentence structure/grammar is very different
- you didn't build a good foundation at the very beginning
- no motivation to learn
These are just some of the reasons why each person thinks of the language differently. Additionally, when native speakers study Chinese at their schools, they usually start studying Classical Chinese early on in their student life, which could be the cause of thinking Chinese is not easy. Nevertheless, it is so important that you have a great experience in learning Chinese. You are more likely to go far and beyond with the language when you have that love and curiosity for it! Learning Chinese can be fun, whether you think it is difficult or not.
Posted: Feb. 09, 2019