Should I learn Mandarin or Cantonese? (48)

20 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-03-17 16:58 ID:s1nbwSMv


>>Cantonese is easier for a Westerner to learn, as Mandarin is a tonal language where every syllable has four possible completely unrelated meanings depending on inflection, and inflected / tonal langauges are the most difficult for a Westerner to learn.

Sorry for necro-necroposting, but is it safe to assume that you know little-to-nothing about Cantonese? Cantonese has a significantly more complicated tone system than Mandarin. Mandarin has four tones, but Cantonese has at least six--traditionally seven, but the high falling and high level tones are conflating in most places. So although not all syllables are meaningful in all seven tones, a single syllable can have as many as seven meanings depending on inflection.

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