Common Misconceptions About Chinese/Mandarin Beginners Make
In this article we will look at common misconceptions, outsiders have on Chinese/Mandarin language and learning Chinese when you have no prior knowledge. And whether it’s True or False.
Chinese has moved under everyone’s radar and has become a popular language to learn. Although it has become a well sought-after language, there are many misconceptions about it.
Here are some popular myths and misconceptions about learning Chinese and the Chinese language. We have stated whether these statements are True or False to give you a better understanding of what it is.
1. There’s no difference between Mandarin and Chinese.
Mandarin is the most popular form of the Chinese language. Better defined as a Chinese dialect. There are many different Chinese dialects/languages such as Cantonese (spoken in Hong Kong), Singaporeans also speak Mandarin with some parts in Hokkien and Hakka dialects.
Mandarin is also the name used for the characters that are used to write or more commonly known as Traditional Chinese.
Chinese is the common name for all the different dialects, an umbrella name if could call it.
2. Chinese speakers all sound the same
Well, Chinese speakers total of over 1 billion people, so it’s impossible for all Chinese speakers to sound the same. Just like how an English speaker from Scotland sounds different from an English speaker living in Mississippi, Tennessee.
A Chinese speaker living in Sichuan province, Mainland China, will have a different dialect to a Chinese speaker living in Singapore. They both have different slangs and local descriptive words.
For Chinese speakers, they have more than 200 dialects.
3. Spoken Chinese is the hardest language to learn in the world
In truth, spoken Chinese can be just as easy or difficult like Spanish or Arabian. The level of difficulty really only depends on whether or not you want to put in the time and effort into learning Chinese.
4. Written Chinese can be impossible to master
Memorising all the different Chinese characters is really difficult, and it will take hours and hours of practice. However, once you have the basic Chinese characters down and your foundation built, you’ll find that it is not as difficult anymore.
This is where enrolling into a reputable Chinese course in Singapore can help kick-start your journey.
5. Each Chinese character represents a word in a sentence.
Chinese characters are all, simply put, morphemes, and combined together they make words and then sentences.
Some characters can stand by themselves as a word. Just like ‘a’ in English. But when you write ‘Singapore’ the ‘a’ in this word has a different use.
It can be quite tricky at first, but once you get your head around it, it does become much easier.
6. Chinese has a lot of different tones
Chinese has four important and different tones or pronunciations. A Chinese word’s meaning can completely change when you don’t add the right tone to it. So, yes, tones are critical for Chinese speaking and make out a big part of spoken Chinese.
Before believing everything you hear about Chinese, why not give it a try first! Start learning with a Chinese course in Singapore and then decide whether you ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ to the misconceptions as mentioned above.