Chinese or Japanese (43)

1 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-21 19:00 ID:cnKGNoq6

I'm going to learn either of those... but I can't decide which one...
Help me Anonymous

I feel attracted to both languages for different reasons...
but what do you think?

2 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-21 19:09 ID:NeWcdje8

You should go with the one you'd most be willing to study thoroughly. Think long term. Maybe it's not a question of language, but of culture/history as well? Which country would you rather study said language in for instance? If you really wanted to master it?

For which do you feel a greater affinity?

3 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-21 19:39 ID:cnKGNoq6

that's the problem also ;_;

I really like both

although china is rather scary but challenging

4 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-21 19:42 ID:Heaven

My vote goes to Chinese.

5 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-21 19:49 ID:cnKGNoq6

why is that?

and why the sage?

6 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-22 00:02 ID:6QRvY9GM


Because he doesn't want to bump the thread.

No tones in Japanese.

7 Name: Eric : 2007-10-22 05:44 ID:eq8qtQD8

Japanese hands down. Although my personal choice heavily drenches my answer, I still believe you should learn japanese. its a very fun, beautiful language.

8 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-22 06:35 ID:Heaven

Chinese, because I find China more interesting than Japan, and Chinese is more widely spoken--although, that is not an important thing to everyone.

Sage because I like you.

9 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-22 19:09 ID:h+ObWcAF


10 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-22 22:44 ID:doljO84l

Japanese, because Chinese is a lot more challenging:

  • In writing, exclusively complex characters (hanzi) are used. You'll need to learn a few thousand of them to be able to even read an ordinary newspaper.
  • In speaking, you have to differ between four different tones, and changing the tone totally changes the meaning. Also, there is a plethora of rules governing the pronunciation of how tones interact with each other.

-> This makes picking up Chinese by yourself near to impossible. You should only pick it if you have a lot of time and a good, professional teacher.

Learning Japanese is still quite time consuming, but not quite as challenging:

  • The writing is a mix of complex characters (kanji) and simple ones (kana). You can get by nicely already by knowing the kana and the few hundred most used kanji.
  • The speaking is quite simple, as there aren't any tones or other difficult to produce sounds.

-> Thus, picking up Japanese by yourself isn't impossible - but still hard. I'd recommend taking a course at your uni if you're serious.

11 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-25 04:43 ID:Heaven

I agree with this.

If you still aren't sure which language you want to learn, look at a few dictionaries, English-Japanese and English-Mandarin. Read about the words and what kind of sounds you'll have to be making.

Practice memorizing a few words, and then figure out which language you think sounds better coming out of YOUR mouth, even if you don't know much about it.

Sage because I don't know what I'm talking about.

12 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-25 06:59 ID:X5Gb+9v9

I'm learning both right now, here is my advice...

First of all: don't try to learn both at the same time. I mean it. Both languages overlap slightly - just slightly - and if you're just a beginner, it's very easy to get mixed up, and it's harder to hold the meanings and pronunciations of characters in working memory when you have to learn two of each for the same character.

Chinese is VERY hard. I mean, EXTREMELY hard.

Japanese grammar is MUCH easier to learn; Chinese grammar will kill you.

Japanese has fewer characters to learn.

Chinese has five (yes, it's technically five, since there is such thing as a vowel without a tone) tones for vowels. Changing the tone will change the word.

Each sound, even with its individual tone, can mean dozens of different things, so it all depends on context.

And Chinese has so many different spoken dialects (dozens or hundreds? I can't remember) that learning either spoken Mandarin or spoken Cantonese won't necessarily help you get by in China, depending on where you are.

Japanese verbs are MUCH harder to conjugate, however.

So I would really suggest Japanese, because it is MUCH, MUCH easier to learn, much easier to speak, it makes more sense grammatically (to me, at least), and you'll pick it up faster. If you're looking for a challenge, sure, learn Chinese, it's a really cool language, but realize that you'd have to dedicate years and years to it and still have a lot of trouble picking it up.

13 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-25 18:35 ID:Heaven

chinese will get you more brownie points, and no one will say you are a weeaboo

14 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-10-27 03:04 ID:Ngg6zTi0

I had to decide between the two. Then I said "screw it" and took Russian.

15 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-04 03:19 ID:sivHn13t


Молодец! :D

16 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-05 15:49 ID:cnKGNoq6

Haha thank you all ... i'm still not really confinced but hell... i still have a half year before i have to choose... so if you have any suggestions why chinese or why japanese post it here

17 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-05 19:39 ID:4qQx162F

japanese is easier to learn for an english speaker. however- chinese is more useful because there are more chinese people. lots of wapanese people take japanese because it's the cool thing right now and they want to watch anime and stuff. However- unless that is really core to your future- pragmatically chinese is way more useful. especially mandarin

18 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-07 10:10 ID:Fs1dK5+H

Chinese is definitely more harder than Japanese, but it would probably be of more practical use. If you're deciding whether to learn Mandarin or Cantonese, I would suggest Mandarin. I speak Cantonese, and personally think it sounds trendier, but the vast majority of China speaks or can speak Mandarin. Even in Hong Kong and other Cantonese speaking regions, most people have had to learn to commute in Mandarin. Plus it's way more easier to pick up than Cantonese.

19 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-07 16:00 ID:cnKGNoq6

it's hard... choosing and stuff isn't it?

20 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-08 12:08 ID:Nx40kc73

Japanese is too difficult.
Chinese looks like English, so to learn is a little easy.

If you'll learn Japanese, you must learn "Katakana", "Hiragana" and "Kanji".
They're Japanese letters.

Chinese letter is "Kanji" only.
And, Chinese grammar looks like English.

21 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-08 13:39 ID:Heaven


I don't know what glasses you wear, but Chinese does not look like English. Might I add that Kanji is the hardest out of all three Japanese alphabets, and the tones in Chinese make it a lot harder to pronounce, especially if you're learning Cantonese.

22 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-08 14:55 ID:cnKGNoq6

I heard Japanese student are only weeaboos?

23 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-08 15:27 ID:cnKGNoq6

Chinese is darn HARD

24 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-15 16:47 ID:sz+hwpV0

First of all, I'm a Cantonese speaking Chinese and I've a advanced diploma in Japanese therefore I think I'm definitely qualified to give you some advice.

  1. Don't listen to anyone who tells you that Chinese and Japanese are somehow related or similar to each other. They are definitely two different languages. Only some stupid Chinese people think that they can read a few Kanji and guess its meaning and pretend that they can understand Japanese.
  2. Modern Chinese is definitely not dufficult to learn and speak because it has almost the most simple grammar system of all languages. Such as no singular and plural form of all nouns or sentences, only simple past tense and present comtinuous tense of all verbs, all the adjectives and adverbs can be easily indentified, no different form of subject or object pronouns, etc.. It only takes you some time to practise the reading and writing skills.
  3. However, it is extremely difficult for a non-chinese person to learn how to type Chinese even though who can speak and write Chinese fluently. Besides, Chinese people prefer to speak English with foreigners rather than using their own language.
  4. China is a boring country. Although this is my own opinion.

I'll talk about Japanese later.

25 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-16 08:01 ID:Fs1dK5+H

Cough, honkie, Cough.

26 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-16 09:05 ID:Nx40kc73

Too long...

27 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-16 12:22 ID:Nx40kc73

Japanese grammar is very difficult.
I can speak Japanese. If you want to speak Japanese, I think you must study harder than to study other languages.

28 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-17 19:14 ID:y/i0T7AE

>>27 That's really bs!
Japanese grammar isn't very difficult, especially not if you compare it to romance languages like Italian or slavic languages like Russian, whose grammar is a lot more difficult than Japanese.
For example, Japanese has no singular/plural distinction, only one verb form for all persons, no noun declination etc.

29 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-17 22:29 ID:gujUv0p+

Japanese is one of the easier languages in my opinion

30 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-18 12:31 ID:cnKGNoq6

Ok... so chinese don't like their own language?

31 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-18 16:36 ID:sz+hwpV0

I'm >>24

  1. Most Chinese people including myself are very proud of our culture especially our language. The fact is that all Chinese people learn English as a second language since primary school. Therefore, imagine in a public occasion, if anyone cannot speak English with a foreigner who will be considered not a well-educated person. Espeacially these days, when education is considered the most essential factor to define the value of every single person.
  2. I forgot to mention that the use of Chinese dictionaries is aslo a huge problem because you need to know the meaning of about one hundred simple characters before you can define their combinations of complex characters that you are trying to look for.
  3. I totally agree with >>28 but I have to say that the vocabularies of Japanese is going kill you.
  4. However, there are also many advantages of learning Japanese. Such as they make good songs and animes and that is unbelievably helpful. Don't forget we learned our mother tongue from TV.

32 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-18 19:33 ID:cnKGNoq6

So... what do you recommend?

Chinese or Japanese?

33 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-18 22:08 ID:Aqs23py+

If you like both, then you should learn both.

Japanese is attractive coz of anime etc and also more Chinese people can speak English than Japanese but anyhoo.

34 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-20 15:30 ID:sz+hwpV0

I'm >>31 and please notice that >>33 is not me.
I only suggest you decide which to learn by yourself. It is essential for you to make your own decision and try to enjoy the process of learning. Long-term thinking, maybe 50 years later your cell phone can do the translations for you and the barrier created by different languages will become history forever. That's what I always say.

35 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2007-11-20 21:31 ID:Td7o9ygS

ok thank you

36 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-08 03:20 ID:cQ4lu1RA

I recommend you listen to spoken Japanese and Chinese on Youtube or wherever and get a "feel" for which one sounds easier to distinguish between/more comfortable/more fun to speak.

Katakana and Hiragana are absolutely no sweat. Don't let that scare you out of learning Japanese. I've only been studying Japanese for about a month and already I know all of the Hiragana, Katakana, and about 600 kanji characters.

Chinese has 9 tones from what I've heard, but I haven't studied it, so I can't really say how hard it is.

My vote would go for Japanese. ;3 It's been pretty easy so far.

37 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-09 20:30 ID:AoHpXIC0

I say go for Japanese, at least for now. I started out with Chinese but I found it easier to pronounce japanese and the writing is much easier to master...I couldn't even remember the characters for 'nihao' -_-

38 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-11 00:08 ID:Nx5gKFXD

The amount of tones depends on the variety. Mandarin has four, plus the neutral, Cantonese has more, though I'm not certain how many.

39 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-11 08:37 ID:On7zpC73

The above is must read for anyone considering Japanese, but should be taken in its humorous context.

I bet in Chinese 1 you wouldn't have to put up with a class full of turbo-nerds wearing cosplay outfits to class, spouting meaningless phrases they learned from anime and interrupting the teacher constantly with "helpful" input they learned from reading the back of Pocky boxes.

That being said, I had to choose between Chinese and Japanese myself, and chose Japanese. Why? The culture seemed more accessible to me. China is no less interesting, but having no desire to work as some business liason I took Japanese for the potential fun value. I'm in too deep now to change my mind, so I just don't think about it anymore.

40 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2008-01-11 10:45 ID:2NccmYSm

be a man and take both

41 Name: Ana : 2010-02-18 03:53 ID:FPNicIiD

JAPANESE!i find it way more beautiful:P i jusst love it lol

42 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2011-05-03 05:47 ID:5mkJ0cx7

it is cool

43 Name: Anonymous Linguist : 2011-05-05 04:11 ID:tQPe7TvV

It depends on which language you will get more use and enjoyment out of

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