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mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2001 4:49 pm
by lisa
which language would be easier for an english speaker to learn?
i want to learn both eventually but want to learn the easier of the two since im learning a language already.

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2001 12:59 pm
by Li Er
What language are you learning? Learning spoken Japanese is easier since they don't have the tones of Mandarin. But, written Japanese is harder than Mandarin since you have to learn 4 ways of writing, so maybe it evens out.

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2001 11:36 am
by someone
written japanese is harder than written chinese???

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2001 1:13 pm
by Li Er
Yeah. They use 2 syllabries: hiragana, katakana. Then they have the kanji (Chinese characters). Then they have romanji (the roman letters). That's four sets of writing all mixed together.
While Chinese only has the Chinese characters. But, of course you have to memorize a lot of characters in Chinese. About 3000 for an average person. About 4000 for a college-educated person.
In Japanese the government tried to limit the amount of kanji used to about 2000, but, even a Japanese educated person must learn about 3000.

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2001 3:46 pm
by me again
if those figures you provided were correct, so...
an educated chinese memorize/read/write/ about 4000 chinese characters.
an educated japanese memorize/write about 3000 kanji(chinese characters) or sth + 45hirakana (seion) characters + 45katakana characters + 2 hatuon and i think that is all.
the 45katakana characters are nothing but the corresponding characters for the sounding of the 45hirakana (sieon) characters for non-japanese words.
besides, i don't think japanese writes romanji in their daily life. in newspapers, document, letters, you can hardly find sth like "watashi wa nihonjin desu" <-> same as the pinyin in chinese. in fact romanji in japanese is just identical to pinyin in chinese.
pls correct me if i made any mistakes regarding this issue.

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2001 10:49 pm
by Sallin
Spoken Japanese is very easy since the pronunciation is really limited, but its grammar is harder than the Chinese.
: which language would be easier for an english speaker to learn?
: i want to learn both eventually but want to learn the easier of the two since im learning a language already.

What is hatuon ?

Posted: Sun Sep 23, 2001 11:03 am
by Frank
: an educated japanese memorize/write about 3000 kanji(chinese characters) or sth + 45hirakana (seion) characters + 45katakana characters + 2 hatuon and i think that is all.
Can you please explain hatuon.
Thanks in advance
Frank

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:14 pm
by kasera
Learning spoken Japanese is easier since they don't have the tones of Mandarin. But, written Japanese is harder than Mandarin since you have to learn 4 ways of writing.
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Re: mandarin or japanese?

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Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:23 am
by bell22
If you want something more popular then go learning mandarin...but I myself prefer Japanese, since I love Japanese culture...moreover, Japanese is more comfortable to listen and it's quite easy to learn it... :P

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:14 am
by onlinechinese
Learn both. You'll have an easier time learning Japanese, though. It's actually a very easy language to pick up.

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 8:28 am
by Nancy05
Chinese and Japanese are familiar in writing characters but different in grammars. I know an English-Chinese dictionary and an English-Japanese dictionary here: http://www.hnhsoft.com and I hope it helps. :)

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:55 am
by jaz
Which is the easier language is a tough question.

As people mentioned before both languages have their easy points and their hard points.

Learning Mandarin :

Grammer :
Learning Mandarin's grammar is very easy . So easy that some people actually feel that Mandarin has no grammar.

Tones :
This is the killer.Mandarin has 4 tones as well as a neutral tone.You can learn mandarin without these tones but that means you have put everything in context. ( making sure that some can understand your meaning from your whole sentence, so if they dont understand a word that can guess the meaning).

Learning Japanese

Grammar :
The grammar hits you at the start like a right hook. There is so much of it and it quite diffitcult to over come it but once you do then the grammar does start to become easier.


Which one to learn should never depend on what is easy but which one you feel you will enjoy learning the most. As endurance is the most important ability you must have when learning Mandarin or Japanese.

Re: mandarin or japanese?

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:23 pm
by tingdiver
jaz wrote:You can learn mandarin without these tones but that means you have put everything in context. ( making sure that some can understand your meaning from your whole sentence, so if they dont understand a word that can guess the meaning).
Um, I disagree. If you don't learn the tones, no Chinese person will understand you. Which would render your Mandarin skills useless if you can't even converse properly with the locals.

Anybody who's ever studied Chinese properly knows that Mandarin is all about tones and pronunciation.
You may know the pinyin and definition of 1,000 words and characters, but if you still can't say them right, or know how to use them in daily conversation, NO CHINESE PERSON WILL UNDERSTAND YOU!

It's really all about PRACTICE.

Self studying is great, but if you're really serious about learning and improving your Mandarin skills, some kind of formal instruction is still needed. The best would be to take up formal classes (whether private or group) where you can speak Mandarin as much as possible.

And of course, like ANY other language, nothing replaces actually immersing yourself in it by using it in daily life.

Schools like Live the Language (LtL) Mandarin school in Beijing can help you do this since they specialise in MAKING SURE STUDENTS ACTUALLY END UP SPEAKING CHINESE through various 'living the language' programs, like WORK INTERNSHIPS in China, IMMERSIONS, Intensive study and classes on Chinese culture, such as Calligraphy, Kung Fu, cooking and Business Chinese, among others.

The faculty is made up of top quality teachers who are all Bachelor (and some even Master's) - degree holders in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language from China's top universities.

You can study on a monthly basis, semestral, yearly or just on weekends. You can ask for a customised program (for example, one that has a heavy emphasis on speaking to practice your pronunciation).

Everything is geared towards MAKING SURE YOU ACTUALLY END UP USING YOUR MANDARIN DAILY and THAT YOU MAKE PROGRESS.

If you want more information (especially since I am a non-Chinese who knows the challenges of learning this increasingly important language and has some tips and advice on studying), send me an email at ting@livethelanguage.cn, or check out the school at www.livethelanguage.cn. We have some useful tips up there on how to learn Mandarin better!

Cheers and good luck!