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5 Differences with Learning Chinese and English Language

5 Differences with Learning Chinese and English Language

Learning Chinese or English language?

Chinese language learning

There are more than a billion Chinese speakers who can be found in the world. Combined with China becoming one of the biggest economies in recent times, it is no coincidence that there are now more people learning Chinese than people learning English. However, people interested in learning Chinese in Singapore should remember that there are significant differences between the two languages that can complicate the learning process.

5 Differences Between Learning Chinese and English

Here are 5 examples:

  • Chinese is a tonal language, meaning that changing the pitch of a word changes the meaning of that same word. In contrast, English tends to use pitch as a way of communicating emotion.
  • The Chinese language has no alphabet. Instead, it uses logograms, meaning that learning how to write in Chinese is more challenging than learning how to write in English.
  • English uses inflections to insert additional meaning to sentences. For example, “is,” “are,” and “were” communicate information about the tense. Since Chinese has no inflections, Chinese speakers have to use adverbials, context, and word order to figure out the full meaning of sentences.
  • Chinese speakers make frequent use of four-syllable idioms. Sometimes, the meaning of these idioms are obvious. Other times, people need to have a background in Chinese culture in order to decipher them.
  • On a related note, Chinese uses concrete nouns, whereas English has a higher ratio of abstract nouns to their concrete counterparts.

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Interested in more? Contact us about learning Chinese in Singapore.