Why learn Mandarin vs Cantonese?
Over a billion people speak Chinese, and Mandarin is the most commonly spoken dialect and the official language of China. The difference between Mandarin and Cantonese is that Mandarin has less tones and is used in the mainland. Cantonese is used in Hong Kong and southern areas. Learning Chinese opens the door to a thousand years of Chinese culture that has impacted cultures all over Asia.
Is it hard to learn Mandarin?
Mandarin has relatively simple grammar compared to some other Asian languages, but there are a few features that make it a challenge. The writing system can take years to master, and pronunciation can be tricky. Mandarin is a tonal language, which means that the pitch of each syllable carries meaning. The most famous example of this is the sentence “Did Mother scold the horse?”, where every syllable is ma, but with a different tone. Check it out in your favorite translation app: 妈妈骂马吗? Don’t let these challenges stand in your way. Our classes will have you start speaking right away!
Fun Facts about Mandarin Chinese
The name Chinese refers to several languages that share the same writing system. Mandarin and Cantonese are two of the most widely spoken varieties of Chinese language.
Mandarin is also referred to as Putonghua by its speakers. Putonghua literally means “common speech”. It is a standardized version of Mandarin based on Beijing pronunciation, and it is the official language of China.
The Chinese writing system is not an alphabet. It is logographic, meaning that symbols are used to represent ideas. It is hard to learn to read chinese, but there is logic to this system of writing that makes it easier! Chinese characters are made of building blocks called radicals which contribute meaning or sound information and make it easier to learn! For example: In the character for 'feeling' 情, there are three radicals: 1) 忄 'heart’, 2) 丰 'plentiful' , and 3)月 'moon'.
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The Best Way to Learn Chinese
In as little as 5 months you'll be completing an entire language level with Indy Language Center. Earn an achievement certificate with each level completion, and fast track to fluency!
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