Chinese or Arabic: What Is The Harder Language to Learn?

By OptiLingo • 4 minutes read

Most people avoid languages like Russian, Arabic, and Chinese because of the belief that they’re extremely hard languages to learn. To be fair, difficulty is relative. Still, if you’re a native English speaker, both Arabic and Chinese will take you longer to learn than the Romance languages simply because they’re very different from English. Is Chinese or Arabic the harder language to learn? Find out.

A Word of Caution About “Difficulty”

You cannot overlook the importance of passion and motivation when looking at how difficult something is. For people who have no passion or need to learn something, completing that task can seem impossible. No matter how challenging it actually is. So, if you’re interested in learning Arabic or Chinese, it may actually be much easier for you to learn than a related language like Spanish.

How Hard Is It to Learn Mandarin Chinese?

Chinese has a unique writing system that is extremely difficult to master as an English speaker or someone accustomed to the normal Latin alphabet. To add on that, if you are looking to study Mandarin, be prepared to memorize thousands of special characters that make up the language. This is contrary to the Latin alphabet which has only 26 characters.

chinese alphabet

The difficulty of writing Mandarin is only half the pie. Speaking is even more challenging. This language’s tonal nature makes it very challenging to speak as well. Cantonese is the most popular of the several Chinese dialects and its widely spoken in southern China, Hong Kong and most of South Asia.

This dialect has quite different written characters and pronunciations all of which are challenging to learn. Mandarin itself has four different tones. This means that a single word can be pronounced in four different ways and have four different meanings. A good example is the word “ma” which depending on how you say it can mean “mother,” “horse,” “scold,” or “rough.”

How Hard Is Arabic to Learn?

arabic alphabet

The biggest challenge in learning Arabic is that it has more than a dozen dialects. These varieties vary depending on the region the language is being spoken. Some of the dialects are more complex to learn than others. So, if you are looking to learn this language, you should first choose which dialect you prefer.

Unlike Chinese which has thousands of characters, Arabic is quite close to the Latin alphabet system as it has 28 script letters. This makes it quite easy for an English speaker to get the hang of it. Despite this, the language is still quite challenging to learn. This is because most of the vowels have been excluded from words in this language. The right to left writing system will also be a significant challenge to you as you are likely used to the traditional left to the right system.

What’s The Best Way to Learn Chinese or Arabic?

chinese or arabic

Both Chinese and Arabic can be incredibly difficult if you don’t rely on the right language learning strategies. To save you time and frustration, here are some tips you can use to help you learn Chinese or Arabic without much difficulty.

Listen to Chinese or Arabic Sounds

Start by familiarizing yourself with sounds. By familiarizing yourself with the sounds, you can easily identify who is speaking various dialects of both Arabic and Chinse. And it’s important to tell them apart because you don’t want to confuse the different dialects as you learn.

Listen to Conversations in Arabic or Chinese

Repeatedly listen to conversations and words. No matter how hard it might be for you to learn the language, repetition will help a lot. Through repetition, your brain will get used to deciphering the new language pretty quickly.

Learn Arabic or Chinese While You Have Fun

Learn through interesting activities. It has been tested and proven; learning by doing interesting things like watching Chinese or Arabic movies or listening to their songs is very effective. You will find out that you know the language sooner than you expect.

Practice Arabic or Chinese Regularly

Practice on a daily basis. It might seem like too much of a commitment to practice the language daily, but the result will be very good. Through daily practice, you will be making huge steps to master the language thoroughly.

How Can You Learn Arabic Or Chinese Fast?

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to learn either Arabic or Chinese, then you’re in luck. There are a lot of resources out there available for you. The key is to focus on trying to speak as much as possible and avoid any program that has you memorizing long lists of vocabulary words or grammar. All that will do is bore you. With a bit of hard work and consistency, you can start speaking like a local in Chinese or Arabic rapidly.


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