View Poll Results: Easiest to learn major Asian language is...

Voters
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  • Japanese (it has the Kana!)

    4 66.67%
  • Mandarin (I you can't handle the tones you are a wuss!)

    2 33.33%
  • Korean (it has no stupid tones!)

    0 0%
  • none of them! (My native tongue is all I need to understand)

    0 0%
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Japanese vs Mandarin vs Korean

  1. #1
    Kakulin's Avatar Master of the Dragonsouls Male
    Join Date: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 47
    USA - Puerto Rico

    Arrow Japanese vs Mandarin vs Korean


    国際交流パーティー
    Tokyo International Party

    Once upon a time... after trying a few languages before deciding which one to learn (Mandarin, Korean, Russian, or Japanese)... I tried them all. Later I decided to go with Japanese since I found it to be the easiest to pronounce (by a significant amount) and the coolest sounding (might be tied with Russian in this area). It was tough for me to give up on Mandarin since it is the most useful and most important language to learn from that list (I will learn Mandarin later in the not so distant future though).

    Anyways I want to know which of the 3 major Asian languages (Mandarin, Korean, and Japanese) you found to be the easiest to learn.

    For me they go by this order (easiest to hardest):
    1) Japanese (very easy language to learn, especially for native spanish speakers)
    2) Mandarin (though the grammar is very easy the tones are kinda hard for native Spanish speakers, native english speakers might find them easy though)
    3) Korean (fun to learn language; I placed it 3rd because I only tried it for a very short amount of time, so I can't properly judge it)

    Now please tell me what you think.

  2. #2
    tanhql's Avatar 日本語の学生 Male
    Join Date: Jun 3, 2006
    Location: Singapore
    Posts: 181
    Singapore
    i don't study korean so i can't judge, but i find japanese difficult because of the hazy(not very distinct) particles and confusing verb groupings. the sentence structure is also confusing. the vocab is still alright.

    my mother tongue is mandarin, and of course i find it easy. no tenses, easy to learn sentence structure, it's just the tones and vocab that needs working on.

  3. #3
    jonny-mt's Avatar 無限馬鹿
    Join Date: Jun 23, 2004
    Location: Yokohama
    Posts: 69
    Japan
    My understanding is that Mandarin is actually the easiest to learn due to the simple grammar. What makes it difficult is the sheer number of characters and, as tanhql said, the tones.

    Personally, I'd love to speak all three. If I can, I plan on being taught Korean in Japanese due to the grammatical similarities and ready availability of native speakers over here and Mandarin in English for many of the same reasons. But that's just me :P
    今日の笑顔は明日の元気。
    And if you're bored...

  4. #4
    leonmarino's Avatar Back Male
    Join Date: May 19, 2006
    Location: Rotterdam - ロッテ
    Posts: 1,214
    Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Kakulin
    It was tough for me to give up on Mandarin since it is the most useful and most important language to learn from that list (I will learn Mandarin later in the not so distant future though).
    Why is it the most important? The most important today is still English, followed by Spanish and then Japanese, and not Chinese. This is because Chinese do a pretty good effort in mastering the English language when conducting international business. In a way, they adapt to us English-speakers. But the Japanese, due to their education system and perceived uniqueness, can't pronouce a word of English properly. It is therefore it seems a better opportunity to learn Japanese than Chinese. (And by the way with Chinese you do mean Mandarin right?)

  5. #5
    tonberry1's Avatar 後輩 Male
    Join Date: Jun 4, 2006
    Posts: 6
    Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by leonmarino
    Why is it the most important?
    I guess it depends on what you like and do and where you live.
    I understand that Chinese will become a really useful language all around the world in near future, but my work and interests have nothing to do with Chinese, so personally I'd put Chinese pretty low on my to-do list.

  6. #6
    Gaijinian's Avatar Male
    Join Date: Jun 3, 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Posts: 445
    United States
    Quote Originally Posted by leonmarino
    Why is it the most important?
    If you enjoy it, it is important.
    これからも絶対頑張る〜

  7. #7
    leonmarino's Avatar Back Male
    Join Date: May 19, 2006
    Location: Rotterdam - ロッテ
    Posts: 1,214
    Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijinian
    If you enjoy it, it is important.
    Haha, that's true! I learned a few words of Cantonese a while ago, just for fun. I mean, Chinese restaurants here are more often run by Cantonese speaking people and I wanted to be able to order in their language.. I can say "do you understand Cantonese" pretty fluently now. That's about all I can say too really.

    But the original post was about which language was the most useful. I took the word "useful" in the context of international business. China is indeed an economic power to reckon with, and for the years to come. But as I said in my post right now the Chinese are doing a pretty good job at learning English. So for usefulness -> being able to speak to people who don't speak your language (English in this case): Japanese.

    I also heard Russian is an useful language to invest in, but that is a tad off-topic.

  8. #8
    nice gaijin's Avatar
    Resident Realist Male
    Join Date: Aug 8, 2005
    Location: All Over
    Posts: 4,289
    USA - California
    I can say "I don't speak Chinese" in mandarin pretty well. Just by knowing a few different words, it's actually pretty easy to create a sentence as long as you get the tones right (which takes some practice). I think all three of the languages in the poll have their advantages and disadvantages.

  9. #9
    Kakulin's Avatar Master of the Dragonsouls Male
    Join Date: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 47
    USA - Puerto Rico
    Mandarin is spoken in every country in the world, that's why I find it more important than Japanese and Korean. I have never in my life seen a Japanese or Korean person face to face (only on TV and Internet). But I see Chinese people almost every day (in college, in the mall, in restaurants, etc.).

  10. #10
    Elizabeth's Avatar 先輩 Female
    Join Date: Apr 22, 2003
    Location: アメリカ
    Posts: 9,528
    United States
    Quote Originally Posted by Kakulin
    Mandarin is spoken in every country in the world, that's why I find it more important than Japanese and Korean. I have never in my life seen a Japanese or Korean person face to face (only on TV and Internet). But I see Chinese people almost every day (in college, in the mall, in restaurants, etc.).
    You are an American, correct ? And there are certainly Japanese in this country (along with virtually every other) whether you see and can identify them correctly every day or not since Japan is still much more accessible to travel and immigration than China. If you're looking for a source of easy conversation partners than maybe that is best although I would still go with the culture that interested me the most.
    たとえ辛くても、永遠に続く苦しみなどないでしょう。

  11. #11
    nice gaijin's Avatar
    Resident Realist Male
    Join Date: Aug 8, 2005
    Location: All Over
    Posts: 4,289
    USA - California
    well, he's in Puerto Rico; I'm not too sure about the population statistics for the island, I'd trust that he doesn't have ready access to many Japanese conversation partners.

  12. #12
    Gaijinian's Avatar Male
    Join Date: Jun 3, 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Posts: 445
    United States
    Funny how it went from easiest to most important...

  13. #13
    Kakulin's Avatar Master of the Dragonsouls Male
    Join Date: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 47
    USA - Puerto Rico
    I don't think the Japanese know that Puerto Rico exists.
    Most immigrants on the island are from the Dominican Republic, China, continental USA, Colombia, Poland, Russia, Venezuela, Cambodia (adopted children), and a few others I might not remember right now.

  14. #14
    nhk9's Avatar 先輩 Male
    Join Date: Aug 27, 2004
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    Posts: 404
    Canada
    I speak the first two and is learning Korean (for a couple of years now). I'd say that if you can get over the vocab hurdle in Korean, you are going to have no problems. I'd say that all 3 are easier than German, or any other languages with gender and lots of declension. They all say that Korean is the hardest one to speak among the 3 and I do have to agree. Chinese is not that bad since you can search out the tones in dictionaries. Most of the time a word will sound the way that it is described with pinyin, so one would not really have to guess how to say the word, provided he/she has knowledge of the pinyin system. On the other hand, Korean is more like Kansai-ben in which some words are pronounced in a certain way not necessarily shown by how it is spelled. You just have to memorized how particularly a word is pronounced.

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