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Old 07-30-2015, 10:18 AM
 
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Including tone variations there are about 1,300 unique syllables in Mandarin Chinese and about 1,750 in Cantonese.
According to this (http://semarch.linguistics.fas.nyu.e...bles/index.txt) there are over 15,000 in English. Whereas languages like Japanese or Hawaiian only have about 100 unique syllables (and hence tend to have longer words).

I don't think Cantonese is any more difficult to learn that Mandarin. In fact for a westerner I would think that Japanese would be harder than either of them. Chinese might be harder to pronounce, but Chinese grammar is relatively simple and straightforward and word order typically matches English word order. Japanese has a more complex grammar with different word order and many different registers and honorifics--that seems more complicated to me. Or languages like Latin or Russian with many genders and declinations and conjugations and ...
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Old 07-30-2015, 11:20 AM
 
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Many english pronounciation of Cantonese can be ignored and unaware by Chinese speakers, especially proper names. A lot of the english published sound are not accurate.

For example, Hong Kong should be pronouced as Heung Gong, Tuen Mun should be Tuen Moon, Mong Kok should be Wong Gok, Tsim Sha Tsui should be Jim Sa Jui. Lee, Li, Lau, Chan, Chung, Man, Tsang and Chow...are all not accurate. I mean Fat in Chow Yun-Fat is not really pronouced as Fat as the english word in cantonese.

This is a bit like the system in Taiwan, Taipei is more accurate with pingyin Taibei, Kaohsiung as Gaoxiong, Kinmen as Jinmen. Cantonese romanisation is highly not accurate compared with pingyin system of Mandarin or systems of Korean and Japanese.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yueng-ling View Post
Standard Mandarin has 23 声母 (initials), while standard Cantonese has 19. It also depends on how you count.

Cantonese does not have zh, ch, sh, r. Many speakers do not distinguish n and l.

Of course, standard Mandarin only has -n, -ng as finals, while Cantonese has -p, -t, -k, -m, -n, -ng.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:14 PM
 
919 posts, read 602,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strad View Post
Including tone variations there are about 1,300 unique syllables in Mandarin Chinese and about 1,750 in Cantonese.
According to this (http://semarch.linguistics.fas.nyu.e...bles/index.txt) there are over 15,000 in English. Whereas languages like Japanese or Hawaiian only have about 100 unique syllables (and hence tend to have longer words).
Those numbers make perfect sense to me. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by strad View Post
I don't think Cantonese is any more difficult to learn that Mandarin. In fact for a westerner I would think that Japanese would be harder than either of them. Chinese might be harder to pronounce, but Chinese grammar is relatively simple and straightforward and word order typically matches English word order. Japanese has a more complex grammar with different word order and many different registers and honorifics--that seems more complicated to me. Or languages like Latin or Russian with many genders and declinations and conjugations and ...
I have learned some languages and found Chinese is the easiest one.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:43 AM
 
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For educated Japanese people, Chinese should be very easy to learn. Even classic Chinese (occasionally used now) is more or less covered in Japanese.
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Old 08-01-2015, 04:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yueng-ling View Post
For educated Japanese people, Chinese should be very easy to learn. Even classic Chinese (occasionally used now) is more or less covered in Japanese.
According to Wang Binbin, it is almost impossible for Chinese people to make conversation without loanwords from Japanese. Here you can learn something about loanwords from Japanese. Oh, whitening, 美白, is one of those loanwords from Japanese as well.

It should be easy for a Chinese to learn Japanese because there are so many loanwords from Japanese, shouldn't it? Sorry but it is not the case.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:29 AM
 
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What version of Chinese characters do most Japanese learn when learning Chinese language? Simplified or Traditional??

Most Japanese kanji orginated from Chinese characters more than 1000 years ago.
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Old 08-02-2015, 04:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lokeung) View Post
What version of Chinese characters do most Japanese learn when learning Chinese language? Simplified or Traditional??
Simplified characters.
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Old 08-02-2015, 08:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yanagisawa View Post
According to Wang Binbin, it is almost impossible for Chinese people to make conversation without loanwords from Japanese. Here you can learn something about loanwords from Japanese. Oh, whitening, 美白, is one of those loanwords from Japanese as well.

It should be easy for a Chinese to learn Japanese because there are so many loanwords from Japanese, shouldn't it? Sorry but it is not the case.
Why do you always argue something irrelevant to my point?
I was saying Chinese is easy for educated Japanese people to learn, but you argued Chinese people use a lot of Japanese loanwords (made from Chinese morphemes). What's your logic here?

And yes, Japanese is easier than other major languages for Chinese people to learn. When my aunt needed to learn a foreign language to pass an exam for her career, she chose Japanese because everyone told her it is the easiest. And you guess what? She passed.

And for your interest, Chinese people have always been making conversations, with or without Japanese made words. 美白 is not really used often, and everyone can guess the meaning because 美 and 白 are both trivial.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:25 PM
 
919 posts, read 602,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yueng-ling View Post
Why do you always argue something irrelevant to my point?
I was saying Chinese is easy for educated Japanese people to learn, but you argued Chinese people use a lot of Japanese loanwords (made from Chinese morphemes). What's your logic here?
My point is this: Chinese is not easier for a Japanese to learn than an American.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yueng-ling View Post
And yes, Japanese is easier than other major languages for Chinese people to learn. When my aunt needed to learn a foreign language to pass an exam for her career, she chose Japanese because everyone told her it is the easiest. And you guess what? She passed.
I guess she is smart enough to pass the exam. However, it is extremely difficult for a Chinese to learn pronunciation and grammar of Japanese.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yueng-ling View Post
And for your interest, Chinese people have always been making conversations, with or without Japanese made words. 美白 is not really used often, and everyone can guess the meaning because 美 and 白 are both trivial.
You have not read the article, have you? You have no idea, just like most Chinese, about how many loanwords from Japan you are using everyday.

Besides, whether you can guess or not is not the point here. It is borrowed from Japanese, that's the point.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yanagisawa View Post
My point is this: Chinese is not easier for a Japanese to learn than an American.



I guess she is smart enough to pass the exam. However, it is extremely difficult for a Chinese to learn pronunciation and grammar of Japanese.



You have not read the article, have you? You have no idea, just like most Chinese, about how many loanwords from Japan you are using everyday.

Besides, whether you can guess or not is not the point here. It is borrowed from Japanese, that's the point.
Oh, English and other languages are much harder for Chinese people to learn, including the pronunciation. Japanese is till the easiest among major languages.

Almost all the Japanese loan words in Chinese are made from Chinese morphemes. Yamato words are rarely borrowed. There are many new words in Chinese too, such as the words for computer, internet, smart phone... Japanese does not adopt them, but I found many Japanese people understand some of them.
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