Those who are seriously confronted with the Chinese language for the first time, almost inevitably find themselves confronted with a mixture of the fascination of foreigners and a sense of insecurity caused by the different. In order to promote the fascination and to reduce the uncertainty, this article presents some observations about the Chinese language that one will come across as a learner.
For the most part, these are trivialities that should show you that Chinese is not so different from German. It is to be hoped that one or the other learner will be encouraged to be more confident in the Chinese adventure if he knows what he / she is expecting.
The predominant finding is almost always that the difficulties encountered are a matter of habit. The more and more regularly one exposes oneself to the unknown and the new, the faster it loses everything that might prevent one from diving deeper and exploring this fascinating language. From the good chinese language school in angmokio you will be getting the fine training of the language.
By comparing with other languages, the differences as well as similarities should be made aware and thought-provoking.
Chinese characters are more or less intuitive
Some characters represent an idea that opens up at first glance. The middle cannot be better represented than a line that goes right through the middle of a body (中). Many electrical devices require the operation of a power connection. What could be more obvious than to use a character “with cable” (电) for electricity? The thought of looking out the window in heavy rain is just as easy (雨). A laughing face with mouth and nose and narrowed eyes (笑) can be remembered and recognized just as well as a crying face with wide-open eyes and a tear ( 哭).
- As a child, one usually begins with learning the numbers while learning to write. Especially they, who represent for us an inheritance from the Arabic language, are particularly unintuitive. Who could immediately recognize that “1” is a one, “2” is a two, “3” is a three, and so on, if he had not memorized it. Even the Roman numerals conveyed their meaning much more obviously (I, II, III), and of the Chinese (first three) digits one can say the same thing (一, 二, 三). You just have to turn the Roman numerals by 90 degrees. A 45 degree rotation connects the two characters for ten: X and 十.
- It is certainly a good idea to assign a meaning to the respective characters in order to memorize them.
Many sounds of the Chinese language sound more or less the same
In fact, there are many similar sounding words in the Chinese language. This is a consequence of the fact that many of the sounds we are used to in our language do not exist in Chinese. (Almost) all words begin here with a consonant, followed directly by one or more vowels. The only exceptions are words that also end in “n” or “ng”. This makes the selection of sounds much more limited, and many of them are used for different concepts.
In order to be able to express the same amount of ideas with this reduced supply of lutes, the Chinese language makes use of the tones, which are used to pronounce words in different pitches (high, rising, falling, rising, falling). For this you have to develop a hearing as a learner, because this distinction does not exist in English with the same objective. Sounds are akin to the habit of raising one’s voice at the end of a question (compare: “He’s gone.” (Statement) with “He’s gone?”. The choice of different pitches in Chinese, however, not only affects the end of the sentence, but every single word.