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Top Seven Reasons for Why Chinese is Difficult to Learn

Top Seven Reasons for Why Chinese is Difficult to Learn

In some foreigners eyes', the learning of Chinese has become the most difficultthing for them. The tones of Chinese, Chinese characters & not even mention the Chinese Calligraphy all seem to be a difficulty.Then what has made the learning of Chinese difficult?

Top 1 Because the Chinese writing system(Chinese Calligraphy) is ridiculous

The beauty of the characters is indisputable, but these ideograms weren't toopractical for daily use. It is absolutely true that Chinese is hard because of the hugenumber of characters one has to learn. And Chinese is not very phonetic, which meansthat often you just completely forget how to write a character, if there is no obvioussemantic clue in the radical, and no helpful phonetic component somewhere in thecharacter.

Top 2 Because Chinese Characters doesn't have the common sense to use analphabet

The English is so easy because of the skills needed to master the writing system are26 letters and they are written from left to right ,horizontally, across the page, withspaces to indicate word boundaries. In comparison, Chinese has nothing thatcorresponds to an alphabet, though there are recurring components that make up thecharacters. It can be said that the components of Chinese characters are arrayed in twodimensions, rather than in the neat one-dimensional rows of alphabetic writing.

Top 3 Because even looking up a word in the dictionary is complicated

One of the most unreasonably difficult things about learning Chinese is that merelylearning how to look up a word in the dictionary is about the equivalent of an entiresemester of secretarial school. Chinese must also be one of the most dictionary-intensive languages on earth for there are various dictionaries.

Top 4 Because there's classical Chinese (wenyanwen)

Whereas modern Mandarin is merely perversely hard, classical Chinese isdeliberately impossible. Classical Chinese really consists of tens of centuries of esotericanecdotes and in-jokes written in a kind of terse, miserly code for disseminationamong a small, elite group of intellectually-inbred bookworms who already knew thewhole literature backwards and forwards. 

Top 5 Because there are too many romanization methods and they all suck

Perhaps that's too harsh, but it is true that there are too many of them, and most ofthem were designed either by committee or by linguists, or -- even worse -- by acommittee of linguists. It is, of course, a very tricky task to devise a romanizationmethod; some are better than others, but all involve plenty of counterintuitivespellings.

Top 6 Because tonal languages are weird

It's one of the most common complaints about learning Chinese, and it's also oneof the aspects of the language that westerners are notoriously bad at. As non-nativespeakers, you must memorize along with the vowels and consonants. The real difficultycomes in when you start to really use Chinese to express yourself. Intonation andstress habits are incredibly ingrained and second-nature.

Top 7 Because there is culture difference between East  & West

One of the main reasons Chinese is so difficult for westerners is that the culturebetween the East and the West has been isolated for so long. China has had extensivecontact with the West in the last few decades, but there is still a vast sea of knowledgeand ideas that is not shared by both cultures. When westerners and Chinese gettogether, there is often not just a language barrier, but an immense cultural barrier aswell.


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Last Updated on Friday, 15 July 2011 07:07