Recently, more and more foreigners start to learn Chinese, which is said to be the hardest language. There are two interviewees, Su Yeon Park and Song Ha Lee, both from Korea, have learned Chinese for four months.
The first obstacles they had encountered is the four tones. However, because Korean characters are similar with Chinese characters, they pronounce better than other European students in class. An efficient way Song Ha Lee found to learn Chinese is to find the resemblance between Korean and Chinese. Like impulse, this word has the analogous syllable between Korean and Chinese.
The next obstacle is the same words but have definitely different meaning. “花”, this word in Chinese has two meaning. In verb, it means spend, but in noun, it means flower. In Chinese, there are so many words have these rules.
They also talk about that unlike English and Korean, when seeing the word, even though didn’t know what it means, people can still pronounce it well.
Unlike the new learner, another interviewee, Amie Parry, had learned Chinese for sixteen years since college. She came to Taiwan since 1996 and she is the professor at Department of English in National Central University now.
In her experience, 多少(duo shao) and 大小(da xiao) is one of the part confused her. For native Chinese speakers, we may still not familiar with the Chinese dictionary because the Chinese dictionary has it’s own rules that we seldom use in real life. Therefore, it is harder for new learner to looking up the words they don’t recognize.
There is an app that is fast and convenient in learning Chinese. This app is called Pleco.
Using this app to take a picture of the Chinese characters the learners don’t know, and then this app will translate these characters into English. It is better than looking up the Chinese dictionary.
Chinese is a mystery and complicated language, and you can’t learn it through English, that would be a disaster. Using every tool you can find, and contact with it every day, it would be familiar with you somehow someday.