Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags:



bookmark detail

Ni Hao's Your Chinese? - James Fallows - International - The Atlantic
Linguistically, things in other foreign languages that are easy to forget in seven months, like verb conjugations or noun declensions, are just not an issue in Chinese. The grammar lacks the baggage of endings in Romance and Germanic languages, and certainly Russian and Japanese that can go in one ear and out the other of language learners. I am grateful every day for the lightness, by contrast, of throwing out a string of simple Chinese words, one after the other, and not really caring if they're nouns, verbs, or adjectives because they can often be all of the above!

I know, I know, there are some other constraints and some regulated word order, but by comparison with most other languages, Mandarin grammar is easy. And the Chinese somehow grasp the gist behind clumsy word order, and quickly rearrange my words for me, like tiles in a game of anagrams.
language  china  asia  education  learning  speech  attention 
february 2011 by allaboutgeorge
view in context