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Are you wondering what the easiest languages to learn for Chinese speakers are?
East Asian languages seem easy to learn for Chinese native speakers. But not all of them are.
That’s why, in this post, we will show you the most accessible languages that Chinese speakers can learn in no time.
Which language is considered easy to learn?
There are many different factors that determine whether a language is easy or hard. It mainly depends on your willingness, capability, and similarity with your native language.
So, it’s up to you to determine whether you want to learn the language you’ve chosen, or you are going to make excuses and avoid learning it.
Languages that belong to the same language family groups are considered to be easy to learn.
So, logically, the easiest languages for Chinese speakers are languages similar to Chinese.
Or perhaps not?
We’ve summarized the top 5 easiest languages Chinese native speakers can learn fast and efficiently.
Now, let’s take a look because some of them are quite a surprise.
Well, this isn’t such a surprise, is it?
Korean is much more related to the Chinese than many people think.
It is even more related to the Japanese, as well.
So, basically speaking, Korean may be the bridge that connects Chinese and Japanese.
More than 60% of Korean vocabulary comes from Chinese, and in everyday speech, there are even more common words, called hanja.
Korean, like Chinese, consists of short and long vowels.
Learning tones is easy because Korean is also a tonal language. It has five tones, while Chinese has four tones.
Word order is quite flexible. Even though it is crucial to put a noun or a verb in the sentence, whether you make a mistake by placing them at the end of a sentence, native speakers will understand what you are trying to say.
In Korean, there are no tones. However, intonation is something you have to pay attention to, which syllables have emphasis.
The difference is in the alphabet—the Korean alphabet (yes, the alphabet, not characters called hangul, consists of 24 letters. Fourteen of them are consonants and ten vowels.
The grammar is a little bit more challenging than Chinese, mainly because of different speech levels.
Japanese is the language that English, Spanish, and probably other European native speakers consider as one of the hardest languages to learn.
Most learners, yes, but no to Chinese learners.
Even though they are two different languages, Chinese and Japanese have historical bonds. On the other hand, there are also many differences between Chinese and Japanese, but they do not necessarily mean that learning Japanese is difficult.
Learning new characters is in the Chinese’s genes, so learning a couple of thousand new ones for them is a piece of cake. The writing system in Japanese, kanji, is based on Chinese characters. More than 50% of kanji characters are used in both languages with similar meanings, so here’s one more benefit from characters.
The easy part that both speakers don’t even think about is gender and numbers. In Japanese, like in Chinese, there are no genders nor numbers.
Characters that present numbers are quite similar. For example, number one in Chinese is pronounced as ‘yi’ and in Japanese ‘ichi,’ while three is the same in both languages, and it is pronounced ‘san.’
Japanese has an honorific system, which means determining if your speaker is superior to you or not.
Many other speakers find usage of postpositions more than challenging. Even though there is no such thing, it doesn’t make Japanese hard for Chinese speakers.
Unlike Chinese, Japanese doesn’t have tones, so learning it is even easier.
Logically, languages from the same language family are easier to learn.
Even though Thai and Chinese belong to the same group, Sino-Tibetan languages, they are quite different.
However, that isn’t an obstacle for Chinese speakers to learn this language with little effort.
Both Thai and Chinese are tonal languages. Thai has five tones while Chinese has four.
In Thai, you can find many languages that come from Chinese.
Compared to Korean and Japanese, grammar is much easier to learn, mostly because their writing systems make learning challenging.
Word order is flexible. Even if you make a mistake by putting words in the wrong place in the sentence, native speakers will understand what you want to say.
Since the Indian language is influenced by Thai, the writing system is based on phonetic symbols, unlike Chinese, based on a pictogram.
Differences in grammar are mainly in placing adjectives and adverbs in the right place in the sentence. In Thai, they are placed after a noun, unlike Chinese, where they go before a noun.
With 77 million speakers, Indonesian is the official language in Indonesia and spoken in Philipines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the Netherlands.
At first sight, Indonesian is one more complex language but take a look once more. No genders, numbers, verb tenses… Although it isn’t the easiest language to learn in the world, it sounds perfect to start learning right away.
Good relations between Indonesia and China as two of the biggest countries in Asia keep growing stronger.
Besides rice and noodles, it’s hard to name similarities that Indonesian shares with the Chinese. Not only that the two languages are entirely different, but they also don’t belong to the same language family groups.
Therefore, it’s quite difficult to name some of the apparent similarities between Chinese and Indonesian.
There are some things, though. If we take a look at grammar, in both languages, grammar is pretty straightforward.
For that reason, let’s give priority to the main features of the Indonesian language.
Indonesian uses the alphabet, which is, just like the language, known by the name Bahasa Indonesia.
Indonesian has six vowel phonemes, which can make differences in word meanings.
Like Thain, Indonesian isn’t familiar with gender and numbers. They are usually defined by the contexts or referring to a man or woman precisely.
There are no verb tenses. Adverbs or word clauses express them.
Now you can say that you’re surprised.
Yes, Esperanto is, indeed, one of the easiest languages to learn for Chinese speakers.
On second thought, it’s so easy that any speaker can learn it.
There are no similarities between Esperanto and Chinese. They are so distinct that the only thing that bonds them is the term ‘language.’
And yet, Chinese speakers can learn it no to time.
Esperanto isn’t even a real language but constructed.
The main purpose was to unite all the people on the planet so that they can easily communicate. So, linguists and scientists created Esperanto.
It’s a mix of French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Slavic languages. The most accessible parts of the mentioned languages were taken to create one unique language whose name means ‘hope.’
Interestingly, this language is quite popular in China. Whether it’s because Esperanto is much easier to learn than English or like the idea of one language that can help people communicate, its popularity grows in China.
As you can see, there is no one easiest language that Chinese natives can learn.
Some are easier because of their simple grammar. Others, on the other hand, are more accessible because of the similar vocabulary.
With so many resources available today, no language is impossible to learn. For some of them, you need a little more time than for others.
Out of more than 7.000 languages in the world, there is a language out there for everyone.
Do you find these languages easy to learn? Choose one, book a lesson with a Justlearn tutor, and find out.
There are many different factors that determine whether a language is easy or hard. It mainly depends on your willingness, capability, and similarity with your native language. So, it’s up to you to determine whether you want to learn the language you’ve chosen, or you are going to make excuses and avoid learning it.
Korean, Japanese, Thai, Indonesian, Esperanto
Japanese is the language that English, Spanish, and probably other European native speakers consider as one of the hardest languages to learn. The set of characters, kanji, and kana gives a headache to most of the language learner. Most learners, yes, but no to Chinese learners. Even though they are two different languages, Chinese and Japanese have historical bonds. On the other hand, there are also many differences between Chinese and Japanese, but they do not necessarily mean that learning Japanese is difficult.
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