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Old 06-15-2013, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Which language is easier for an English speaker: Cantonese or Mandarin?

And...why do you say that?
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Texas
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Mandarin.

Because Cantonese is ridiculously difficult for anyone, not only English speakers.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
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All of my friends who are either in China or have lived there have said Mandarin.

I'm learning with a friend from Shanghai before I start classes in a few weeks and while it's not easy per se, I'm finding the spoken part easier than I found Japanese, which I also found to be way easier than people made it out to be. In both languages, the lack of tenses and most particles makes it quite simple for me. I can see where to some English speakers it'd be confusing to drop the huge number of tenses and particles we're used to using, but it takes a lot of the "did I say that right?" stress off, and allows you to focus on remembering the correct grammar, pitch, and tone instead.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:06 PM
 
Location: SGV, CA
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Mandarin. Fewer tones, synergy with written Chinese, and more resources and study materials due to Mandarin's greater popularity.
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: UNC Charlotte
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Mandarin. At least most young Chinese people you find in China and most Chinese you find in US could speak Mandarin.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:50 PM
 
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In terms of pronunciation, a few Mandarin consonants are exotic to English speakers but vowels are relatively easy to learn. Particularly, if the learner can speak German or French besides English, almost all vowels are covered already.

Cantonese, however, has a smaller inventory of consonants but more exotic vowels.

Cantonese has more tones, but most foreigners either do very well or completely get lost with the tones, no matter it is Mandarin or Cantonese. Therefore it does not matter.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:12 PM
 
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I have heard that Mandarian uses a simplied range of characters versus Cantonese and has less tones. So I assume that Mandarian would be easier to learn than Cantonese.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chava61 View Post
I have heard that Mandarian uses a simplied range of characters versus Cantonese and has less tones. So I assume that Mandarian would be easier to learn than Cantonese.
Characters have nothing to do with the particular dialects.

Mandarin speakers in Taiwan and Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong use traditional characters.
All Chinese speakers in mainland China use simplified characters.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red4ce View Post
Mandarin. Fewer tones, synergy with written Chinese, and more resources and study materials due to Mandarin's greater popularity.
It is kind of an esoteric point. Mandarin speakers outnumber Cantonese by almost 20:1. There are roughly the same number of Cantonese speakers as Italian speakers. So given the choice, there is very little motivation to learn Cantonese.
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Old 06-16-2013, 12:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
It is kind of an esoteric point. Mandarin speakers outnumber Cantonese by almost 20:1. There are roughly the same number of Cantonese speakers as Italian speakers. So given the choice, there is very little motivation to learn Cantonese.
Plus, all Cantonese speakers are required to learn Mandarin in school now.
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