I always hear about complain at Chinese Learning ,such like "too hard" or "the most difficult language in the world" as their exclamations especially to the beginners. But which part do you think the most hardest during the learning, Chinese Grammar, character writing, Pinyin, or Words Expressions, etc?
First, let's compare the points of grammar between Chinese and other main languanges
Compared Spanish, French, Portuguese or Italian , there is no flexible Verb Conjugation (动词变位）in Chinese; Compared Germany or Russian, there is no Neutral words, even either Feminine or Masculine specialization on nouns or adjectives; Compared Japanese or Korean, there is no more than 3 Auxiliary word includes 的,地,得; Compared most of Latino Languages, we have no Tense variations on Verbs ,like Past Tense, Future Tense, even Perfect Tense, just instead of additional adverbs as forms Time Signs. Either, Chinese has no more special letters except Pinyin ,only “ü” replace "v" while in use. Do you know how many letters in Japanese ? 47 Hirakana and 47 Katagana is answer! How about Korea, 40 letters, and Russian 33 letters...
Second, Perhaps you are struggling with "Tone" of Pinyin, but that will be fluent once you speak out more time. Four tones are easier to help beginners to manage characters forms well. It should not be isolated to memorize for touching Chinese new words, just as each human has different color skin, hair or face.To have a relevancy in imaginative chain against flexible words or expressions, that issue could be handled right away. Gradually, when a big apple tree not only appears in paper drawn by yourself, also each part of basic knowledge as frame in your mind.
Finally, you are still doubting yourself on whether to get clear respond from local Chinese guys when you are trying out communicating with them. That is nothing special. You could be familiar with local dialect if not hearing about Mandarin. That is a belt connecting with Chinese cultural , meanwhile you could share your country, living style, foods or language with friend. The middle existing blocks will be disappear after several months or years depending on your confidence.
Hello, Bean, I think you deserve a thumbs up for all the good points in your interesting post. I would agree that it is probably just as hard or harder for a Chinese person to learn a European language, as the other way around.
FYI: Latin and Greek are both important classical European languages, and you’ll find we use both Latin and Greek roots. “Pod-“ is Greek, whereas “ped-“ is the Latin form. As a Chinese person, you may find studying these roots to be very interesting and useful. You may also want to look into Grimm’s Law. It’s mostly of academic interest, although it will help you relate “pod-“ to the English word “foot,” Latin “pater” to English “father,” etc.
Arabic and Hebrew are indeed not related to the European languages, however, they do have features (such as verb conjugations, gender, multisyllabic morphemes, an alphabet, and a lack of lexical tone) that make the semitic languages a bit more transparent to Europeans than to Chinese people.
I assume putonghua is your main dialect. Try learning Cantonese fluently. You will find your answer there ;-)