Learning Mandarin – Difficulties and Opportunities

Mandarin language studies are problematic. Mostly because Mandarin is varies greatly from other languages that people in west have aimed to get to grips with before hoping to learn Chinese, not because learning Mandarin is much harder. Mandarin is strange for most ways. The writing system is obviously completely different. You need to no alphabet as the one that Germanic and Latin derivates have. Instead a picture defines every word; or rather a series of what is addressed strokes. For example, three stokes that together make a square means mouth, one combination of strokes that kind of depicts a woman holding a kid means mother and as such on. But the differences don’t end there. The grammar is largely made up of the things is called fibers. For example; adding a syllable pronounced ma after a sentence turns it best suited question, adding guo after a sentence means that so it happens in there are. Combining these basic examples; you go shanghai guo massachusetts? Communicates the question: possibly you gone to Shanghai? The differences are however much more explicit that these. Even the sounds of spoken Chinese are completely different from western counterparts.

Chinese spoken test is not only defined by syllables as western words are. The word for mother in English is just 6 different sounds noted by each character; M, O, T, H, E and R. In Chinese there is 2 syllables, not four characters, ma and ma. The twist is that “mama” can be pronounced in twenty-five approaches. Each of 2 syllables, ma and ma, can be pronounced with 5 different tones, creating a total matrix of 5 times 5 possibilities, and 1 means mother. The tones are called tones but they are not tones while A minor or G, they are pitch modulation. Most important tone is a rather steady high set up. The second is a rising pitch. The third tone goes down and then move up. The fourth is a clear decline in pitch from high to low. The fifth is called the neutral tone and does not actually have a modulation form.

All that sounds bloody difficult, of course you can is, at least at first. How exactly do you best go about arriving to grips with it? Because of course usually possible. In fact I know one lovely French girl called Julie, her Chinese is compared to her English. Furthermore know a very talented German videographer that has lived in China combined with the three years; he often searches for that English word to describe something and upward saying it Japanese. Basically, I would argue, that Chinese is not so much bloody difficult as it is bloody different.