At Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center, We Believe that
Mandarin Chinese is Easy for English Speakers
While most people believe Mandarin Chinese is a difficult language to learn, students at Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center, after two classes or two sessions of private lessons, often come to believe that Chinese is a very logical language, and it is easy to learn for English speakers. Many other Chinese learning students from around the world also tend to agree.
Mike Wright, after acquiring Spanish and German in high school and college, and after learning Mandarin in 1963, Japanese in 1967, and Arabic in 1973 in the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, states that "Mandarin is the easiest by far." It is "pretty easy for native English speakers, while Japanese is one of the most difficult". For example, he could "pretty much discuss any topic" when he arrived in Taiwan. On the contrary, after learning Japanese and spending a total of 7.5 years in Japan associating with "people who spoke little or no English", he never felt confident in the language. Same thing holds true for his fellow Defense Language Institute graduates, he says, including one who graduated from Japanese course with an average of 98, the highest on record. "He was quite angry when he arrived in Japan and found that he couldn't get around in the language as he had been able to do with Mandarin in Taiwan."
"The biggest impediment to learning Mandarin seems to be fear--sometimes caused by the teachers. I've studied quite a few languages, and none of them were as easy for me as Mandarin." Mike concludes.
Read more for Mike's comments on comparing the difficulties of the languages.
David Tzeng, after learning Mandarin Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and Italian, also confirms that Chinese grammar is the most simple one, while Japanese is actually the hardest language among the six.
Indeed, Chinese is easy because it has no irregular verbs or noun plurals to learn. Words have only a single form, with no suffixes for tense, number, case, etc. (There are some particles which work somewhat like tense endings, but they always take the same form, no matter what they are added to.)
Although Some People Argue that It is Difficult ...
Some people argue that Chinese is difficult because it is a tonal language, and the writing system takes a lot of memorization. At Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center, we help you to conquer these problems.
1. Yes, Chinese is a tonal language--that is, different pitch patterns do not just add emotional color, as in English; they actually distinguish one word from another. How much of a problem this is depends a lot on the individual student: students with a good ear do not necessarily find this a difficulty.
2. Yes, the writing system is probably hard to learn.
Here at the Los Angeles Chinese Learning Center, our curriculum teaches students to use scientific methods to learn Chinese more efficiently, thus making your Chinese learning experience interesting and rewarding.