For the comparison with Korean, I think speaking Korean is harder than Mandarin but then with Chinese characters, things even out fairly quickly. Korean is hard because of the honorific forms. You make a lot of embarrassing mistakes in the beginning. Korean grammar is also not easy. But nothing is as intimidating as coming to Taiwan and you can read almost nothing (I knew a few hundred characters before coming here but it still scared me to not be able to decipher street advertisements and menus).
The Korean script is such a dramatic and easy step that helps with leveling up, and you can learn it in a weekend. Even twenty years later, if I’m in a Korean restaurant, I’ll still look just as much at the Korean script as at the Chinese. And somewhat to my shame, if you tell me (don’t show me) the name of a place to go, and a transit map with only the local language, I suspect I’d fare better with Korean than I would with Chinese.
Of course there’s far far more to the language than that (almost none of which I learned for Korean!), but for first adjustments to a new country, I’d say hangul’s going to make Korean easier than Chinese.
It literally took me like 3-4 hours to learn Hangul and I’ve never forgotten it
I never understood the insistence on using characters. Vietnamese changed to latin alphabet and they are doing just fine (and they have even more tones!!). Characters are by far the biggest obstacle to learning Chinese, not even close.
Yep, being able to read the language can really help leveling up. I remember an anecdote comparing learning Chinese to an alphabetic language like French or Korean:
This American had moved to France and was trying to learn French. One day he heard a word on the radio that he didn’t know, amortisseur. Later that day, while walking down the street, he saw a billboard with that word amortisseur and a picture of a shock absorber underneath, and immediately he gained a nugget of language acquisition.
This guy said if the same thing happened in Taiwan–hearing jiǎnzhènqì on the radio and later seeing 減震器 on a billboard with a picture of a shock absorber–he would have little hope of connecting them so easily.
Yeah. That’s the thing. More tones makes the language easier to romanise/alphabetise. Not less.
Chinese would never work in only Pinyin because of the high amount of homophones it has because it has fewer tones.
400 syllables and 5 tones. Pinyin is a nightmare to read. Alphabets work on languages with more distinction between words.
Of course, this would never happen in Taiwan anyway, because the term for shock absorber here is 避震器, not 減震器.
You see what I mean?! An impossible language!
The second makes more sense, though, since you are reducing shock and not stopping it altogether. (Never heard of either!)
But the way around this is obvious: 注音符號 with the tone markings. I could read that (I have in my children’s school books).
Man tries to make sense out of Chinese, God laughs.
No. You’re not understanding. Pinyin. Yes. True pinyin with tone marks would be unreadable. The same as Zhuyin. That would be unreadable too. Because of the number of homophones using the same tones
You’re basically explaining the problem with Korean. The solution? Chinese characters every once in a while in parentheses (more often when trying to look smart, like in academic papers). Everything else can be figured out in context. I don’t know how to type in bopomofo or else I could show you. Very easy!
Zhuyin and Pinyin are literally the same. They’re letters describing the sounds. Your point doesn’t matter whether we use Pinyin or Zhuyin because they’re 1:1 convertible and equally inappropriate for reading Chinese.
And secondly, Korean is not a tonal language.
Korean has more distinct syllables than Chinese.
And Korean is a language isolate.
A problem with a language relying on context is…sometimes there isn’t context.
I remember reading an idea somewhere (this forum?) of something similar for Chinese: Using an alphabet (perhaps bopomofo) but adding just the radicals where needed to increase comprehension, like for homophones. Sounded interesting; wish I could remember where I saw it.
The Communists wanted to get rid of the characters. Fuck that
Learning the characters was the most enjoyable part of learning Chinese for me. Really enjoyed the whole process
Then you just go ahead and use the Chinese character every once in a great while.
But at the same time, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau and overseas Chinese communities have no problem attaining 100% literacy with characters.
Yeah. It’s one sentence. A language is more than one sentence. And it relies too heavily on context.
Your point would’ve been equal if you had used pinyin. There are an insane number of homophones.
The Zhuyin/pinyin is the same for all these homophones. Your insistence on Zhuyin doesn’t fix Pinyin’s problems.