In some foreigners eyes', the learning of Chinese has becomethe most difficult thing for them. The tones of Chinese andChinese characters all seem to be a difficulty.
Then what has made the learning of Chinese difficult?
Top 1 Because the writing system is ridiculous
It is absolutely true that Chinese is hard because of the hugenumber of characters one has to learn.
And Chinese is not very phonetic, which means that often youjust completely forget how to write a character, if there is noobvious semantic clue in the radical, and no helpful phoneticcomponent somewhere in the character.
Top 2 Because the language doesn't have the common sense touse an alphabet
The English is so easy because of the skills needed to masterthe writing system are 26 letters and they are written from left toright ,horizontally, across the page, with spaces to indicate wordboundaries.
In comparison, Chinese has nothing that corresponds to analphabet, though there are recurring components that make up thecharacters.
It can be said that the components of Chinese characters arearrayed in two dimensions, rather than in the neat one-dimensionalrows of alphabetic writing.
Top 3 Because even looking up a word in the dictionary iscomplicated
One of the most unreasonably difficult things about learningChinese is that merely learning how to look up a word in thedictionary is about the equivalent of an entire semester ofsecretarial school.
Chinese must also be one of the most dictionary-intensivelanguages on earth for there are various dictionaries.
Top 4 Because there's classical Chinese (wenyanwen)
Classical Chinese really consists of several centuries ofesoteric anecdotes and in-jokes written in a kind of terse, miserlycode for dissemination among a small, elite group ofintellectually-inbred bookworms who already knew the wholeliterature backwards and forwards.
Top 5 Because there are too many romanization methods and theyall suck
Perhaps that's too harsh, but it is true that there are toomany of them, and most of them were designed either by committee orby linguists, or — even worse — by a committee of linguists.
Top 6 Because tonal languages are weird
It's one of the most common complaints about learning Chinese,and it's also one of the aspects of the language that westernersare notoriously bad at.
As non-native speakers, you must memorize along with thevowels and consonants.
Intonation and stress habits are incredibly ingrained andsecond-nature.
Top 7 Because there is culture difference
One of the main reasons Chinese is so difficult for westernersis that the culture between the East and the West has been isolatedfor so long.
China has had extensive contact with the West in the last fewdecades, but there is still a vast sea of knowledge and ideas thatis not shared by both cultures.
When westerners and Chinese get together, there is often notjust a language barrier, but an immense cultural barrier aswell.