Which language to learn first Korean or Chinese

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waqar
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Which language to learn first Korean or Chinese

Post by waqar » Sep 11th, '06, 15:38

Hi,

I know there are lot of people at this forum with Korean and Chinese native language and also those who learn it.
I am also taking a step to learn Chinese and Korean, i am working at my Chinese but i wanted to know if

1- I learn Chinese first will it help to learn korean easier or Vice Versa?
2- Or learning Chinese or Korean don't help each other any way?

Thanks.

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Post by *Lifo* » Sep 11th, '06, 15:59

I don't think that they help eachother, and learn chinese first because it's much useful than korean nowadays. :-)

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waqar
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Post by waqar » Sep 11th, '06, 16:11

Thanks lifo, my wife is Chinese :roll i was trying to learn chinese at my own but it is very difficult to be dicipiline while lerning at one's own. I thing i will join university to learn Chinese and my father-in-law can teach me writing stuff :).
Korean i wanted to learn more for my movies and drama reasons :).

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Post by kotaeshiranaihito » Sep 11th, '06, 16:27

Yeah, if korean is only for drama reasons, chinese is definitely the better option. It will prove much more useful in life imo. I myself am about to start learning chinese. Feel nervous already.

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waqar
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Post by waqar » Sep 11th, '06, 16:30

Kotae,

if you need chinese learning software PM me, i will put at FTP so that you can download to learn it :). Then we can share our experience :).

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Korean Vs Chinese

Post by ChristinePak » Sep 11th, '06, 16:37

I took some Chinese classes, and it is very hard... especially when you start writing and memorizing characters... and then we had to learn Traditional or simplified characters... AHhh
But it is a good language to learn career wise.



Korean is an easy language to learn. I speak Korean, but many of my friends took Korean and learned very fast... especially reading and writing. It is easy to master~
It is also a good language career wise, because not as many people speak it (compared to Chinese- the most spoken language in the world)

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waqar
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Post by waqar » Sep 11th, '06, 16:40

Christine,

You learn Korean from some institute or yourself :unsure: .

For Chinese i can practise at home with my wife :roll.
Thats true, people in most of the companies appreciate if one is master of Chinese and English :).

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Post by snowbird » Sep 11th, '06, 16:44

although korean has borrowed many words from chinese, both languages don't really have anything in common
the grammar is totally different and as a not-native speaker you will not be able to even recognize the chinese origin of many words

korean uses a few chinese characters in newspapers and such, but it's not really important

so after all, it doesn't matter which language you learn first because they don't really complement each other

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Post by angeizahoy » Sep 11th, '06, 17:04

i don't think it really matters which you take first, they're pretty different from each other. i'm taking Chinese right now, learning both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. it's pretty easy. i think korean is pretty easy too, I just haven't gone much into depth in terms of learning it. all i know is the alphabet and a couple of random words!

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Re: Which language to learn first Korean or Chinese

Post by warlock110 » Sep 11th, '06, 20:12

waqar wrote:Hi,

I know there are lot of people at this forum with Korean and Chinese native language and also those who learn it.
I am also taking a step to learn Chinese and Korean, i am working at my Chinese but i wanted to know if

1- I learn Chinese first will it help to learn korean easier or Vice Versa?
2- Or learning Chinese or Korean don't help each other any way?

Thanks.
depends on what u do. if u're a bussiness person i would learn chinese as it is more useful in alot of parts in the world. if you're just a tourist i would pick up korean because the likely hood of u going to korean for a vacation is probably higher than china, but if you're just going on vacation n stuff, i probably just take quick cources on different langues, just so u can say simple stuff when u go visit other countries

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Post by waqar » Sep 11th, '06, 21:47

No matter what i need to learn and master Chinese (my kids going to have 2nd language as Chinese so can't skip that :)).

For korean, i am more interested to learn due to dramas/movies. I am glad to see comment of you all.

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Post by WroW » Sep 11th, '06, 22:05

Even if its for drama reasons I would learn chinese...with chinese you will be able to watch all asian dramas since they all get released with chinese subs.
And everyone who says korean is easy is either korean...or just learned writing and reading korean till now(because that really is easy) or is a genius...besides that korean is a pretty difficult language. Ok not more difficult than chinese but still :roll

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Post by rakuz » Sep 11th, '06, 22:10

since most of you ppl who are learning or do know chinese, recommend on learning chinese first...
question is...are you taking about mandarin or cantonese?
which langauge is more spoken or used?

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Post by wingsky » Sep 11th, '06, 22:21

I have always found the majority of chinese ex-pats speak canto here in UK... maybe because HK used to be part of the Commonweath and a lot of natives came here with their British passports before 1997. I'm not sure about the rest of the world though.

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Post by angeizahoy » Sep 11th, '06, 22:29

Mandarin is the official dialect of China now, so i think maybe it's better to learn Mandarin. but in Hong Kong or something, it's Cantonese all the way! =) it's just that cantonese is harder to learn, because there are more tones, and it's more slang. if you were to write down a phrase on paper, it might not be the same way you say it in normal speech. whereas in Mandarin, its the same thing on paper and speech. (well, a lot more than Canto anyway!) plus, finding Canto teachers might be harder, since i've found that most universities (if they offer Chinese) will be offering Mandarin.

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Post by ianwarren » Sep 12th, '06, 01:08

Korean is supposed to be one of the most difficult languages to learn (along with Icelandic :lol )

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Post by melonyhappy » Sep 12th, '06, 04:55

^ i thought chinese was. Korean's more phonetic in the way words are formed (i'm guessing)

chinese and korean are completey different. I would learn chinese first since most of the people in the world speak it.

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Post by waqar » Sep 12th, '06, 13:31

I am going for Mandarin, my wife can speak 2-3 different dialects :).

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Post by kotaeshiranaihito » Sep 12th, '06, 18:30

ianwarren wrote:Korean is supposed to be one of the most difficult languages to learn (along with Icelandic :lol )
Nah, not even close. Chinese, Japanese and some of the slavic languages are much harder than korean. According to many korean is one of the easier east asian languages. Not sure which is the hardest. Some told me for english speakers japanese would be harder to learn because you have to adapt to a brand new grammar and remember the onyomi and kunyomi of the kanji, and the kunyomi isn't always the same for every word. The chinese grammar is much more similar to english, but it has many more characters and the tones can be a pain.

Korean doesn't really have any of these problems from what I hear. The alphabet takes a while to learn, but it's nothing like learning kanji. I'm not sure about the grammar, but at worse it can only be as bad as japanese, in which case the japanese writing system still trumps it.

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Post by WroW » Sep 12th, '06, 18:39

kotaeshiranaihito wrote:
ianwarren wrote:Korean is supposed to be one of the most difficult languages to learn (along with Icelandic :lol )
Nah, not even close. Chinese, Japanese and some of the slavic languages are much harder than korean. According to many korean is one of the easier east asian languages. Not sure which is the hardest. Some told me for english speakers japanese would be harder to learn because you have to adapt to a brand new grammar and remember the onyomi and kunyomi of the kanji, and the kunyomi isn't always the same for every word. The chinese grammar is much more similar to english, but it has many more characters and the tones can be a pain.

Korean doesn't really have any of these problems from what I hear. The alphabet takes a while to learn, but it's nothing like learning kanji. I'm not sure about the grammar, but at worse it can only be as bad as japanese, in which case the japanese writing system still trumps it.
Well everyone knows reading korean is pretty easy...I myself learned it in 2hours. But the language itself I find a lot more complicated than japanese because all of the ending and everything.

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Post by waqar » Sep 12th, '06, 19:03

Well everyone knows reading korean is pretty easy...I myself learned it in 2hours. But the language itself I find a lot more complicated than japanese because all of the ending and everything.
2 hours :O, which is the source to learn in 2 hour can you guide me plz :whistling: .[/quote]

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Post by Oguri_Shun_fan » Sep 12th, '06, 19:11

I would definitely learn Mandarin first of course I'm an account/business major so it would benefit me greatly knowing English (my native language) and Mandarin, if you know those 2 languages you can communicate with 2/3 of the world's population. I am teaching myself Mandarin and Korean, I already learned Japanese at the University I attend (I'm not fluent though so I'm still learning it). if any one knows of some good websites or computer programs to help in learning Korean and Mandarin I'd be interested in hearing about them.
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Post by xhikarux » Sep 12th, '06, 19:41

When it comes to asian studies, i think mandarin and japanese are very popular in the west. As for korean, its only good for understanding kdramas, and well maybe if you want to go there for holiday.

the korean writing system is much more simple! looks a bit like keyring hoops and other odd shapes. :mrgreen:

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Post by ianwarren » Sep 13th, '06, 01:17

sorry guys I mean SPOKEN Korean is one of the hardest languages to learn. Spoken Japanese in comparison is much easier. (I can imagine that a writing system that uses 'symbols' is much harder than a phronetic alphabet like Hangul though! Not to mention 3 alphabets for one language :D )

I've even been told by non native Koreans that Korean is too hard to learn though!

I actually saw on TV this chap saying that the widely held belief that Japanese is difficult to learn is actually perpetuated in part by the Japanese themselves. I suppose it keeps an air of superiority if everyone thinks that you speak some kind of super complicated language :mrgreen:

I study Japanese on and off and I think once you sort of work out that the sentence structure is totally different to English it's rather easy to progress. I can confidently say that I could walk into a Japanese bar, say hello, order a beer and ask for directions to the train station :D

*edit - I had a quick look online and Hungarian is supposed to also be one of the most difficult languages to learn... nouns have 38 cases :O

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Post by Rakkie » Sep 13th, '06, 02:43

i learn both chinese and korean.

to start with korean is the easiest because of the alphabet, but it quickly becomes much harder than chinese.

in chinese i spend a lot of time memorising the characters but the grammar is generally pretty easy.

full korean (with full hanja, all the grammar rules and all the different politeness levels) is easily the hardest language i have ever been exposed to (and i've been exposed to a lot)

although i hear formal german and hungarian are also very hard.

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Post by luxe rabbit » Sep 13th, '06, 02:54

I'm facing a similar problem now-- trying to decide between taking korean or chinese. i'm already well acquainted with japanese, and i've heard that the grammatical structure between korean and japanese is pretty similar. but then, if i took chinese i would know how to write some of the kanji.

like people have already said: i think in terms of learning korean writing, that is the easier language
but in terms of grammar, it's chinese.

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Post by hanHanme » Sep 13th, '06, 03:17

I prefer Korean.
WhY?
I speak, write, talk in korean!

and plus,
EASIER to learn Korean than Chineese!

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Post by hanHanme » Sep 13th, '06, 03:18

Learn BOTH korean AND chineese

whY?

each language is valuable! and special! and unique! and cool!!!

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Post by WroW » Sep 13th, '06, 03:23

waqar wrote:
Well everyone knows reading korean is pretty easy...I myself learned it in 2hours. But the language itself I find a lot more complicated than japanese because all of the ending and everything.
2 hours :O, which is the source to learn in 2 hour can you guide me plz :whistling: .
[/quote]

Well I used the declan software but what after learning to read I am stuck with the actual language. I mean you learn the vocabulary and than dont recognize it when you hear it in a drama because of the many endings...kinda depressing.

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Post by sooji » Sep 14th, '06, 00:16

Rakkie wrote:i learn both chinese and korean.

to start with korean is the easiest because of the alphabet, but it quickly becomes much harder than chinese.

in chinese i spend a lot of time memorising the characters but the grammar is generally pretty easy.

full korean (with full hanja, all the grammar rules and all the different politeness levels) is easily the hardest language i have ever been exposed to (and i've been exposed to a lot)

although i hear formal german and hungarian are also very hard.
I agree. I know Chinese, the way you structure a sentence in chinese is bascially the same as english. Pronouncation is easy too. The only hard bit is remembering the characters.

I studied Japanese in high school. Its a bit harder with 2 alphabets and also learning Kanji but not too bad if u know Chinese already.

Korean is totally new to me. After watching dramas, I pick up soo many words and randomly speak it to my friend who is korean. What I didnt know, was there are sooo man different politeness levels! My friends parents came down for her graduation and I spoke some phrases to her, only to realise later, I spoke them to her on a 'casual, buddy, friend level'. I felt so retarded!!! :|

So while, we're on the topic, I came across this article a while ago.
http://www.xanga.com/koreancooking?next ... irection=n
Have a read, its really intersting and you will understand where Im coming from!!
(Bonus if u like korean food, cuz this site has heaps of recipies!!! :w00t: )

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Post by abcd99 » Sep 14th, '06, 01:35

Well, if you know Chinese well, you'll notice Chinese also has many different politeness level. I can argue that the number of levels is more than that of Japanese. Try watching Chinese ancient series from time to time and see what I means. Try this one for example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_honorifics

Edit: If you want to learn Chinese, visit this website:
http://www.chinesepod.com/

You can listen to the podcast for free. If you want to download anything from there, you need to pay.

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Post by li-yin » Sep 16th, '06, 13:35

well, i know chinese (not trying to brag), and i found it quite hard, mermorising it all, i think the characters are much harder then the speaking, but that's my view.
Best if you learn simplifed (mandrian) too, because many more people it then traditonal (cantonese)
hehe i'm a newb at simplifed though lol

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Post by GhstDreamer » Sep 16th, '06, 13:56

For the oral language, it depends on the Chinese dialect that you are learning. The easiest would be Mandarin. An English native speaker will have an extremely difficult time trying to learn how to speak Cantonese - the spoken language is quite different from the formal written langauge. It contains a lot of slangs, of course besides the various tonal sounds. The only person who's a non-native Cantonese speaker and can speak the language fairly well is the the Australian Caucasian TVB actor...even then, the tones on some of his words takes a bit to decipher...I know a lot of Chinese born Canadians and since Cantonese is barely their second language, it's kind of amusing to listen to them mangle the language, even though they don't realize it. lol

Maybe it's because I know Chinese fluently that when I took Japanese classes, it's really not very difficult at all. I find that a lot of Native English speakers can pick up both Mandarin and Japanese (spoken) quite quickly. Korean sounds very different from either of the two languages. Some people think that Korean sounds like Japanese but to me, it doesn't...I really don't think it matters what you want to study first - it depends on the reason why you want to study the language. If you don't really watch any Chinese Mandarin shows and don't really plan on immersing yourself in the language and the culture, then I would say it's basically pointless. Then study Korean if you're more interested in the Korean culture...vice versa as well.
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Post by J1N » Sep 17th, '06, 19:17

from what i know, chinese and korean have different sentence structures and such. in my opinion, chinese is definitely more versatile and since some korean words are derived from chinese characters, it'll help a lot learning chinese first. but it won't help you much for grammar, i think.

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Post by waqar » Sep 18th, '06, 14:19

I think i need to work hard :-( .

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Post by berserk » Sep 18th, '06, 14:26

Chinese and Korean originate from different language families, Sino-Tibetan and Altaic respectively, so learning one won't help you with the other. But learning Chinese is definitely more useful and practical since we're at the "dawn of the Chinese Century." In a couple decades, China may supplant the U.S. in terms of global influence and economic output. But if you adamantly plan on marrying a Korean or living in Korea, learning Korean would be the better choice (obviously).
abcd99 wrote:Well, if you know Chinese well, you'll notice Chinese also has many different politeness level. I can argue that the number of levels is more than that of Japanese. Try watching Chinese ancient series from time to time and see what I means. Try this one for example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_honorifics
That's odd, I speak Chinese and I've never used any of those honorifics except for the suffixes referring to family/relatives and occupational titles.

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Post by myke » Sep 18th, '06, 14:51

berserk wrote:Chinese and Korean originate from different language families, Sino-Tibetan and Altaic respectively, so learning one won't help you with the other. But learning Chinese is definitely more useful and practical since we're at the "dawn of the Chinese Century." In a couple decades, China may supplant the U.S. in terms of global influence and economic output. But if you adamantly plan on marrying a Korean or living in Korea, learning Korean would be the better choice (obviously).
abcd99 wrote:Well, if you know Chinese well, you'll notice Chinese also has many different politeness level. I can argue that the number of levels is more than that of Japanese. Try watching Chinese ancient series from time to time and see what I means. Try this one for example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_honorifics
That's odd, I speak Chinese and I've never used any of those honorifics except for the suffixes referring to family/relatives and occupational titles.
is that so..
so for me i think it better to learn chinses even though korean is also ok..
it depend what language do u want to learn n use it practically...
if u have the ability to learn both...so do it ..
it better that way.. :mrgreen:
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Post by kotaeshiranaihito » Sep 18th, '06, 15:21

abcd99 wrote:Well, if you know Chinese well, you'll notice Chinese also has many different politeness level. I can argue that the number of levels is more than that of Japanese. Try watching Chinese ancient series from time to time and see what I means. Try this one for example:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_honorifics

Edit: If you want to learn Chinese, visit this website:
http://www.chinesepod.com/

You can listen to the podcast for free. If you want to download anything from there, you need to pay.
Japanese has tons of honorifics as well. But like in chinese, only a very small number of them are used in conversation and even then it's rare. Even native japanese speakers aren't that good with them.

I just started my first chinese class this saturday and the tones really weren't that hard to grasp. Not saying that it was easy as hell and that I'm the tones master or anything, it will still take a lot of work, but it's not as hard as I thought it would be.

I had some friends take chinese in college and they told me the language was not hard at all. the simplified characters quickly become the hardest part, but even then I'm told it's not as hard as many believe. Even though japanese has fewer characters the onyomi and kunyomi make them harder to remember.

For those that don't know what onyomi and kunyomi are:
Onyomi and kunyomi are two different methods of reading the characters. Onyomi is completely japanese. Usually each character has it's own onyomi and that onyomi is sometimes followed by hiragana to finish the sentence (especially in verbs).

kunyomi is the pronunciation that characters get when combined with each, I'm pretty sure it's derived from chinese. Kunyomi sounds are usually following the left part of the character (of the character looks like two smaller characters mixed in one), and the meaning is derived from the right part, of course there are exceptions.

Kunyomi sounds are not always the same for every word. Sometimes they're a bit different.

Example: the character 山 means mountain and is pronounced "yama" in onyomi.
the character 火is pronounced "hi" and means fire.

But the kunyomi is different. When you put them together you get 火山 which is pronounced "kazan". The kunyomi of fire is "ka" and the kunyomi of mountain is "zan". the word means volcano btw.

But the kunyomi is not always the same. For example, here 富士山 the kunyomi for mountain is not "zan", it's actually "san". The word is "fujisan"-figure out the meaning.

For english speakers who have been brought up to distinguish words based on one simple letter, grasping the kunyomi is very difficult.

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Post by abcd99 » Sep 18th, '06, 18:08

It really depends on where you start. If you start from Japanese, learning Chinese isn't too hard and vice versa. I learnt Chinese first and then Japanese. To me, learning Japanese is much less painless than learning Chinese, even with onyomi / kunyomi. Kunyomi is easier to me because it sounds very similar to Chinese counterpart.

Chinese tones are pretty easy to understand. Just wait until you actually have to pronunciate it fast (like in day-to-day speech). I think long Chinese sentences make pretty good tongue twisters to westerners. Whereas, I have yet to find any pronunciation problems in my Japanese. :D

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Post by kotaeshiranaihito » Sep 18th, '06, 18:13

abcd99 wrote:It really depends on where you start. If you start from Japanese, learning Chinese isn't too hard and vice versa. I learnt Chinese first and then Japanese. To me, learning Japanese is much less painless than learning Chinese, even with onyomi / kunyomi. Kunyomi is easier to me because it sounds very similar to Chinese counterpart.

Chinese tones are pretty easy to understand. Just wait until you actually have to pronunciate it fast (like in day-to-day speech). I think long Chinese sentences make pretty good tongue twisters to westerners. Whereas, I have yet to find any pronunciation problems in my Japanese. :D
I guess pronounciations isn't hard for me because I speak russian as well. and russian has killer pronounciation.

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Post by abcd99 » Sep 18th, '06, 18:48

Difficulties in Russian pronunciation is different than the difficulties in Chinese pronunciation. Russian has unusual consonants that are hard to pronounce and vocal stresses, but Russian is by no means a tonal language. Chinese consonants are not as hard to pronounce, but the tones are. Tones are different from stresses.

Try this... Take a piece of Chinese newspaper and read it like a newscaster. Have a Chinese friend listen to you. If your tones are wrong (though you pronounced the other things right), your friend can't understand you. If your tone is approximately right, your friend can understand you, but perhaps with some difficulties. It's especially more difficult since Chinese language is right-recursive. (e.g. "Yesterday-night's wear-pink-dress's that young lady, is it?" as opposed to "Is that the young lady who wore pink dress last night?") So, if one mispronounce the word "young lady", the entire sentence is gibberish in Chinese.

That was also my first experience in pronunciation. I thought I did it right, but they couldn't understand me. Well, if all else fails, resort to English. :D

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Post by JPAU » Sep 18th, '06, 23:55

In my opinion coming from an Western background with not past asian language experience. Korean was easier for me to learn then Canto. Simply because the charecter structure.
But to be honest - after learning Korean, i realised that apart from yes things like Drama's. Its pretty much useless.
I wish i spent that time learning more about Cantonese.

Oh and Cantonese for the win! I never liked learning Mandarin. >_>
(Yes there is a bias)

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Post by waqar » Sep 19th, '06, 13:47

JPAU,

How come you prefer Canto over Mandarin :O .
I am getting into Mandarin as here in Singapore every one speak Mandarin and my wife speak a few dialects but her Mandarin is strong :).

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Post by seirin » Sep 19th, '06, 14:04

if you want an easy language to pick up, learn Korean. If you feel challenged and want a useful language to pick up, learn Chinese. I don't know about the Chinese grammar structure being easy. But I speak Cantonese and I can't write a proper sentence structure at all. I took some classes, but the teachers can't seem to teach me how to write a proper sentence, they only say its wrong and mark up my paper.

Also, I've read some of the short writings kids wrote in class (Someone post it online) They were pretty hilarious. There were so many spelling mistakes (using wrong character cuz they sound the same) and some sentencse sounded so "spoken" its not how its suppose to be written. Spoken and written language are abit different in Chinese maybe due to formality.

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Post by waqar » Sep 19th, '06, 15:13

seirin,

How long you took classes before you start speaking :unsure: .

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Post by seirin » Sep 20th, '06, 01:05

waqar wrote:seirin,

How long you took classes before you start speaking :unsure: .
I spoke Cantonese at home since I was a kid. I just didn't have any formal training until I was a teenager. But I was kinda too old to join the kids to study so I didn't fit in. I took classes in university too. None taught grammar. They just tell you to read then there's discussion. Then they tell you to write a composition. I've asked several teachers why my sentences are wrong. How its wrong, but none can tell me. They just say that's not how you write the sentence. So basically its useless. They just tell me to read more. I guess you gotta learn from reading other's writing and following their style.

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Post by hmm_yeh » Sep 20th, '06, 03:00

If I were in your position, I'd learn Chinese first because I think that's really really difficult language to learn, I'm not implying that Korean wouldn't be hard. It also depends on your major, if you were a business major, learning Chinese first would be the best because China's economy is rising. it will be a matter of time until they surpass the US. Just my opinion.
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Post by waqar » Sep 20th, '06, 13:29

I think i will need to read more newspaper in future :).
Anyway i will ask my father-in-law to help me (he is good Chinese writer :D).

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Post by Keymaker » Sep 20th, '06, 13:35

Which language to learn first Korean or Chinese
The thread title...sounds a bit confident, don't you think? Haha, Better to choose an East Asian language and do your best to learn it than to sound retarded in two different East Asian languages.

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Post by waqar » Sep 20th, '06, 13:40

I know one guy who learn

Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Korean :O .

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Post by kotaeshiranaihito » Sep 20th, '06, 15:32

waqar wrote:I know one guy who learn

Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Korean :O .
I knew a girl who speaks japanese, english and german, but it wasn't because she worked hard. she was born in Japan and japanese is her native language, but when she was very young she went to live in germany-where she learned english and german.

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Post by nikochanr3 » Sep 20th, '06, 18:12

hmm_yeh wrote:If I were in your position, I'd learn Chinese first because I think that's really really difficult language to learn, I'm not implying that Korean wouldn't be hard. It also depends on your major, if you were a business major, learning Chinese first would be the best because China's economy is rising. it will be a matter of time until they surpass the US. Just my opinion.
china is about 15%to 17% of the size of the US economy. Because of the amount of trade the 2 countries do, unless china were to grow exponentially the drop of the US to their level would almost prevent them from passing us for a LONG time.

If you mean % growth or something like that im in. In total, that doesnt make sense.
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Post by slider5 » Sep 29th, '06, 18:42

All I can say is good luck as Chinese Mandarin is hard and I speak Cantonese! I think Korean is easier to learn as they have less syllables and consonants. Its seems when I watch Korean films or dramas I pick up words allot easier than Mandarin ones.

The 2 languages are totally unrelated so learning one will not help you with the other unlike knowing Mandarin and Cantonese which is a dialect rather than language.

Korean is easier in my opinion, but I think learning Mandarin will be allot more useful in the future.

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Post by Shadowz » Sep 29th, '06, 19:02

very true. It is harder to find Cantonese classes. If you get the chance, learn Canto :-)

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Post by BiDanShi » Sep 29th, '06, 19:05

I think you should learn Korean first :) im learning it right now and its a lot of fun, mostly becuz i speak japanese, so the grammar makes more sense... but anyway you should not just learn korean first becuz its more fun. most importantly: the whole world is learning or wants to learn mandarin. so in a few years time a lot of people speak mandarin. so it would not be more special than say: French or German. So start with Korean and then move on to Mandarin, cuz im not saying learning mandarin isnt important.
運命の出逢いは偶然の出逢い

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Post by lanems » Oct 11th, '06, 03:39

You word that question like it wouldn't take a lifetime to learn just one of them... Depending on your age and your native language, learning Chinese or Korean can take a very long time. If you don't have an immediate need or immediate environment where you can use the language expect to take 4 or 5 years before being able to function with any kind of basic fluency in any new language. Being able to ask for directions, order food and buy tickets is a big jump from being able to follow or participate in a conversation with native speakers...

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Post by waqar » Oct 12th, '06, 13:32

My wife speak Chinese but in Singapore every one speaks English (a lot of Chinese kids even don't know how to speak Chinese :O ).
I am going to join University for Chinese learning and can practice with my wife and my father-in-law :).
I will learn Korean as well, may be some time in future i will share my experience here 8) .
Pertaining to my age, i am aware it is big difficult to learn language when one get older i am in my late 20's but still not that old that i will take very long to learn a language (aja aja fighting) :).
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Post by chsaf » Oct 16th, '06, 15:19

i think it is easier to learn korean first, but then i think it would be better if u learn chinese first since it is spoken by a huge number of people on this planet

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Post by Aulcard » Oct 22nd, '06, 08:29

I am currently studying at a university in Japan. One of the Korean students also studying here was trying to encourage me to learn Korean... despite having told me numerous times that the pronunciation was extremely difficult for foriegners to learn. She tested me on some pronunciation and I just couldnt get it right. I seriously couldnt tell what I was doing wrong, as far as I was able to tell I was copying her tones as well as I possibly could, but she told me it was totally wrong.

Despite the fact that just learning Japanese to a level at which I can finally feel some kind of satisfaction at my progress will probably by itself take quite a number of years, I still would not mind learning another language later. Definitely Korean or Mandarin. After reading the comments on this post I am somewhat leaning towards Korean.. even though it would probably be insanely hard for me, the similar grammar to Japanese should make things easier.

I just cant believe the university I was attending in Australia actually cancelled the Chinese course altogether... that makes no sense to me at all. Surely there cannot be a shortage of applicants..

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Re: Which language to learn first Korean or Chinese

Post by kaasbris » Nov 1st, '06, 04:43

waqar wrote: 1- I learn Chinese first will it help to learn korean easier or Vice Versa?
2- Or learning Chinese or Korean don't help each other any way?
1./2. NO. Chinese and Korean is simply too different.

Korean/Japanese grammar structure is similar, while Chinese grammar seems rather similar with English/French.

For business, I am not sure what to choose, since serious businessman from East Asia speaks English anyway. :scratch:

Just choose where your hearts go, so that learning can be fun. :mrgreen:

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Post by wai_muna » Mar 1st, '07, 11:01

1st chinese word=torche(thanks)
1st korean word=biane

hiihihiih

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Post by Néa Vanille » Mar 1st, '07, 11:21

Aulcard wrote:One of the Korean students also studying here was trying to encourage me to learn Korean... despite having told me numerous times that the pronunciation was extremely difficult for foriegners to learn. She tested me on some pronunciation and I just couldnt get it right. I seriously couldnt tell what I was doing wrong, as far as I was able to tell I was copying her tones as well as I possibly could, but she told me it was totally wrong.
Korean pronunciation isn't easy, no doubt about it, but I wouldn't be too discouraged by you not being able to repeat words correctly. Korean is a language that is almost impossible to parrot because, due to its phonetic differences to English and Japanese, you need basic knowledge of the sound system and the way things are written in order to pronounce them correctly. Learning the alphabet helped me a lot with the pronunciation. Koreans compliment me on my pronunciation these days and even tell me that I sound almost like a Korean.

Korean is also a flat language and you won't need to learn any tones. Therefore, I'd say that Korean pronunciation can't be that much harder than Chinese pronunciation (though I'm not 100% sure, I never attempted to learn Chinese yet.) :lol

Before I started learning Korean, I was also in the difficult position to decide which to learn first. I originally wanted to learn Mandarin first, but eventually got sucked into Korean entertainment and decided to try to live in Korea, as I find to be it a very fascinating place to live in with high and safe living standards. I do want to learn both Japanese and Chinese after I feel secure with my Korean (hopefully after about 2 years of living in Korea), though. Since I'm still young, but have many languages to learn ahead of me, I fully plan on moving to China after the completion of my language education in Korea. In retrospect, I don't feel like my decision to learn Korean first was such a bad one - Korean writing can be learned in a day, but learning how to speak Korean takes a lot of time. With Chinese, it's the complete opposite, so it seems to me like spending time in Korea now and in China later is a rather good strategy to follow.

If the question was learn EITHER Chinese OR Korean then, as much as I love Korean, I'd probably pick Chinese. Nobody can deny how important the language is and you can practice it almost everywhere, with so many Chinese around.

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Post by Ueda Jiro » Mar 1st, '07, 14:34

IMHO, Chinese is definitely much harder to learn.

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Post by kobe23 » Mar 1st, '07, 22:32

I find most Asian languages harder to pick up than western languages, especially English. Seriously, if Chinese and Korean was as easy to learn as English, I think we'd all be speaking it by now :) Anyone from a non-english speaking background can learn it with consummate ease, yet an Asian language like Chinese is incredibly difficult to pick up even when you associate with Chinese people all day long.

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Post by kclass » Jan 13th, '08, 09:41

I speak Chinese, Japanese and a little Korean, and I don't think it's right to say that one language is harder than another. Different languages are difficult for different reasons.

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Post by Néa Vanille » Jan 13th, '08, 10:20

When I hear people say that Korean is easy, I just giggle. They pretty much just admitted they don't have a clue about Korean beyond being able to read and basic conversation - the difficulty increases exponentially once you've mastered the basics and move onto the REAL grammar, the sheer endless array of vocabulary and hundreds of different conjugations. I've been learning Korean full-time for 6 months now and I can guarantee you it's HARD, and I even speak better than your average person after 6 months. The main problem is the huge vocabulary - it seems like there are always 10 different Korean words for 1 English word.

My original plan to study Chinese after Korean has faltered a little, because by now, I feel much more passion for and interest in Japanese, despite Japanese being far less useful than Chinese. :( I just can't bring myself to develop an equal kind of burning passion to learn Chinese I do for Korean and Japanese. I don't know whether I should just force myself to become interested in Chinese for economic reasons, or follow my heart and start on Japanese after another 1.5 years in Korea. Hard.

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Post by kobe23 » Jan 13th, '08, 13:24

Doing anything in life without passion is extremely hard, and learning a new language is no exception. I've been meaning to learn Chinese for over 10 years now, yet I haven't even been able to pick up a single word :P I'm just not interested in it, even though it is the most useful language to know besides English.

Korean however, I'm very passionate about. But I still haven't managed to pickup a single word either. I'm probably too lazy or incompetent. Or both :scratch:

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Post by kclass » Jan 22nd, '08, 11:07

Hi!

I speak Korean and Chinese, Chinese much better than Korean though. I learnt Chinese first, and I'd probably do it that way again.

Chinese would probably be easier because where I live there are a lot more Chinese speakers. Also, Chinese seems to be more popular, with more resources around for learning it. Seriously, I've found KoreanClass101.com for Korean and not much else.

All the learning 'tricks' that I learnt picking up Chinese meant that I was much better off learning Korean, from limited learning resources. If I had started with Korean, I think it would have been much harder.

Another thing that helped was that more than half of my class in university (in Shanghai) was Korean! That so many Koreans are learning Chinese was a big help.

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Post by mjf » Jan 22nd, '08, 11:40

I think it's better to learn the Chinese first because If you can write the tradition Chinese character, you can have a simple communication with the Japanese by writing, but not all Japanese would knew Chinese character only those middle class one or above are more likely to knew it, that's what I've been told.

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Post by hoosdathu » Jan 25th, '08, 10:42

well chinese or korean first depends on ur needs, doens't it?

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Post by viviers_x » Feb 19th, '08, 05:59

i'd learn korean. :]
since i'm so obsessed with the people now.
already know chinese. my mother tongue.

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Post by ImL0st » Feb 19th, '08, 06:08

Depends on which dramas you watch the most, and which're you gonna sub? Hahaha. Just kidding :-)

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Post by pongalong » Feb 19th, '08, 06:21

hm, i'm chinese, well taiwanese to be exact, and i may be biased, but i believe chinese to be the easier language to learn because there aren't so many grammar rules as there are in korean and plus, chinese/mandarin has a more direct pronunciation to it than korean does. koreans tends to slur their words when they speak and everything kind of flows together. don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful language, but it seems very hard to learn.

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Post by kurotori_83 » Feb 24th, '08, 06:13

I think it depends on why you would want to learn the language and the urgency of learning it.

I do want to learn the Korean language first so that I can at least get the sense of the conversations in all the Kdramas that I'm watching. :D

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