Is Chinese difficult to learn?

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Published: April 21, 2020

In French, when we talk about something that is almost impossible to understand, we say, “C’est du chinois.”  (Literally, “it’s Chinese” in English).  Actually, Chinese is not as difficult to learn as it seems to be.  Firstly, the grammar is very easy for beginners.  There are no genders, verb conjugation, and plurals in Chinese.  You learn words and you put them in the right order to make a sentence.  Secondly, Chinese words are very logical, which makes them easy to understand and remember. For example, in Chinese, the word for week is 星期 (xing qi).  Monday is 星期一(xing qi yi), which is literally “week one”, referring to the first day of the week.  Tuesday is 星期二 (xing qi er), which is literally “week two”, referring to the second day of the week.  The words for the days of the week are composed of the word星期 (the week) and a number.  Another example, in Chinese, the word for refrigerator is 电冰箱 (dian bing xiang), which is literally “electric ice box”.  There are tons of other examples like this.  Understanding the logic of the Chinese words helps to build more complex word blocks, making it easier to learn the language.  The more you learn it, the easier it will get.  Lastly, Chinese is a fun language.  The word formation, the syntax, the functions and the Chinese characters, to some extent, represent Chinese culture, history and philosophy.  Intercultural communication is also integrated into the course.  Fascinated by the language and the culture, students are properly engaged and are more motivated to learn, thus benefiting more from the course.  All in all, Chinese is not a difficult language to learn.  It is transparent, logical and interesting.  Take it easy!  I’m sure you will enjoy this enriching experience.

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