vip.hg118b.com Which foreign language is the easiest for Chinese to learn | Elephant Guild

Which foreign language is the easiest for Chinese to learn | Elephant Guild

Source: Time: 2020-01-08 14:08:10

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Why do Europeans learn foreign languages so fast? Is there a foreign language suitable for Chinese learning?
Text | Han Shizi
For most Chinese people, learning a foreign language is not a pleasant experience. Most people have been learning English for more than ten years since elementary school, and they still cannot use English fluently and fluently.
In contrast, foreigners, especially Westerners, seem to learn languages much more easily, and those with multiple languages are commonplace.
The rich language learning experts in Europe are even more difficult for ordinary people to imagine in China. The revolutionary mentors Marx and Engels most familiar to modern Chinese are said to have mastered dozens of foreign languages, and Marx can even "read the words of all European countries".
▍Marx consulted materials in various languages during the writing of Capital
Is it really so easy for westerners to learn foreign languages? Why do Chinese learn so hard? Is there a language more suitable for Chinese people to learn?
Europeans learn European
Europeans are better at learning languages than Chinese, not a stereotype created by Marx and others. Those whose mother tongue is a certain European language do enjoy very high learning convenience when learning other European languages.
Studies have found that native speakers of English can become proficient in Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and other languages after 23-24 weeks of study. After studying for the same length of time, the Chinese usually do not understand even American cartoons.
In turn, according to a 2011 survey reported by Reuters, Scandinavian countries in Scandinavia (including Sweden, Norway, and Denmark) not only understand each other ’s language The highest in the country.
It is Luxembourg who is better at mastering multiple languages. In addition to the native language of Luxembourg, the Holy Roman Empire, which is closely related to France in history and has always belonged to the German language family, has also listed French and German as official languages.
Every Luxembourgish is taught in German at the elementary level and in French at the secondary level, and many also speak English or Dutch. In Luxembourg's daily communication, media and government work, all three official languages are used, which does not make life difficult for Luxembourgians.
纪念 Luxembourg 2004 Euro 2 commemorative coin printed on both Luxembourgish and French
Why is it so easy for Europeans to learn other European languages?
Various languages in the world can be classified into various "linguistic families", "language families" and "languages" from the macro to the micro according to the similarity or correspondence between phonetics, vocabulary, grammatical structure and rules. , And sort out the "genealogy" of each language based on the affiliation between the languages.
Most European languages belong to the Indo-European family, which can be traced back to the original Indo-European language about 8000 years ago. Many languages also belong to the same language family and branch. For example, Marx's native German and English, which he has mastered and used to write, belong to the West Germanic branch of the Germanic family under the Indo-European family, and belong to the "family tree" "Close relatives".
Genealogical map of the Indo-European family (click to enlarge), you can see the closeness of the relationship between English and German in the lower left corner
Languages with such kinship often have a phenomenon called "mutual understanding" or "language communication", that is, people who speak a certain language do not understand or learn in advance. Able to understand or read another language.
Generally speaking, inter-lingual languages have speech, vocabulary (especially low-level words such as "you", "me", "he", "head", "hand", "foot") and grammatical structures There are strong similarities.
The closer the language is on the family tree, the more likely it is that they will communicate. Luxembourgish, which belongs to the West Germanic branch of German, English, and Dutch, can even be regarded as a dialect of German.
Marx's fluent French and Italian are also close relatives, and belong to the Italian-Western Romance branch of the Indo-European Romance family.
From "Comment vous appelez-vous?" In French (Chinese translation: How / You / Title-Yourself) or Italian "Come si chiama Lei?" (Chinese translation: How / You / Title / You) It was found that they were quite similar in terms of vocabulary, word order, grammar, linguistic logic, and even thinking.
More prominent examples are English and Frisian (a language commonly used in the province of Friesland in northern Netherlands), both Anglo-Frisian, belonging to the Indo-European-German family-Western Germanic branch. The position on the "linguistic family tree" can be said to be close.
The two are very similar visually: "What is your name" in English, or "Wat is jo namme" in Phrases (literally translated as "What / 是 / 你 的 / 名"), which is far from kinship Italian and French are significantly different).
English proverbs describe the similarity between the two languages: "As milk is to cheese, are English and Fries" (the relationship between English and Frisian is like milk and cheese).
In terms of vocabulary, the interoperability between close relatives is particularly impressive. Most of the words have the same origin, and the writing and pronunciation forms are very close. 56% of the vocabulary is common between English and German, which are also part of the West Germanic branch.
More extreme examples appear in the Romance family of languages such as French, Spanish, and Italian. Since the vocabulary of the same language is mostly homologous, and the writing and pronunciation forms are very close, the vocabulary commonality between them can be minimal 71% (eg between Spanish and Romanian), and 89% more vocabulary commonality between Italian and French and between Spanish and Portuguese.
Compare the following example sentences:
Spanish: Ella hecha siempre la ventana antes de yantar.
Portuguese: Ela fecha sempre a janela antes de jantar.
Chinese literal translation: she / close / always / window / before / dinner
Chinese Free Translation: She always closes the window before dinner
Therefore, a person who is proficient in Portuguese, even if he has never been exposed to or has learned Spanish systematically, can understand Spanish words more easily, and even understand what is spoken in Spanish.
Obviously, when people learn a language that is close to their mother tongue, they do n’t even need to study it deliberately. They only need to maintain daily contact to grasp it. And as mentioned earlier, even if the languages are not so close, as long as they are generally close relatives, learning is relatively easy.
▍World language and language map (click to enlarge view)
Scandinavian languages such as Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, etc. mentioned earlier, because they are descendants of Old Norse and belong to the North Germanic branch of the Germanic family, kinship, geographical location They are very close, so it is not difficult for the Swedes to understand Norwegian or Danish. And these languages are also Germanic, so Scandinavian people can speak fluent English almost as long as they have a normal English education.
It is especially convenient for Europeans. Most of the "mainstream languages" that learners in the world are mostly European languages that Europeans are good at.
Of the six working languages of the United Nations, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic, European languages account for four. Many other European languages, such as German, Portuguese, and Italian, also have an impact on the number of users, as well as on culture and geography.
工作 Six working languages on the official UN website
The same is the case of learning these languages. The native language genealogy of the Chinese is too far apart, which is naturally far beyond the reach of Europeans.
However, is there such a close language in Chinese that it is easier for Chinese to learn?
孤单 's Chinese
the answer is negative. Modern Chinese, the mother tongue of most Chinese, cannot find any "close relatives" in the language genealogy.
谱 Chinese-Tibetan language pedigree (click to enlarge view)
Unlike the lush branches of various European languages, Chinese belongs to the ancient and withering branch of the Sino-Tibetan family on the "family tree". If we don't consider Wu, Cantonese, Hakka, etc. as independent languages, then modern Chinese is like a lonely leaf with no relatives at all.
Among the existing languages, the ones most closely related to modern Chinese are only the Tibetan-Burmese languages, such as Tibetan and Chinese, which can be regarded as distant relatives.
However, the ancestors of these languages had separated from the Chinese ancestors about 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, and today they have homology only in basic underlying words such as numbers and personal pronouns. For contemporary Chinese, Tibetan sounds like a foreign language no matter it sounds or looks, and knowing Chinese is not helpful for learning Tibetan.
However, the majority of native Chinese speakers do not need to be discouraged, because in addition to kinship, another factor may also improve interoperability between languages: long-term cultural exchanges.
Except for a few "isolated" languages such as Basque, most of the "mainstream languages" have a certain degree of communication. Some languages, although not related to each other, are geographically very close and have long-term two-way cultural exchanges, such as English and French.
比例 Proportion of source of English vocabulary
There are also some languages that have long been affected by geographically close, but different language families, strong languages and their cultural influences. Among them, we are most familiar with the influence of Chinese on surrounding Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese languages.
In these cases, there will be many words in one language that are close to or even the same as other languages. As a result, there is "commonality" between words, which may be expressed in writing form or in pronunciation. On the other hand, it is more likely to have both.
Such as French and English, although the language groups are different, due to historical, geographical and cultural exchanges, they have 27% vocabulary commonality.
Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese have a similar relationship with Chinese, and the vocabulary is much more common than English and French. Although these languages do not belong to the Sino-Tibetan language family, they are considered to belong to the Altaic language family or an unknown language. However, their civilization has been affected by China for a long time, and many words have been "imported" from Chinese, even written directly in Chinese characters. .
▍ This "East Asia Daily" report on October 17, 1963 that Park Jung Hee was first elected as South Korean President, may be read by any Chinese without much effort to understand the general meaning of the news
Today ’s Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese have “Chinese characters”, which are historically borrowed vocabularies from Chinese, which account for about 60% or even 70% of the total vocabulary in these languages, and The vocabulary commonality of Chinese is equivalent to that of close relatives. As mentioned earlier, Spanish and Romanian, both Romans, have similar vocabulary.
The similarity between Japanese and Chinese in terms of vocabulary is well understood by any Chinese who has seen Japanese. For example, the famous "Article 9 of the" Japanese Constitution "(" Peace Clause "), part of the original text is this:
Japanese nationals, justice and order, keynotes, international peace, sincerity, desire, national warfare, and the use of force to intimidate and force, international dispute resolution methods, and permanent renunciation. .
The Chinese translation is like this:
Japanese nationals, sincerely seeking international peace based on justice and order, will forever give up war, threat of armed force, or use of force as a means to resolve international disputes.
In Vietnamese, something like "C? Ng hòa X? H? I Ch? Ngh? A Vi? T Nam" (Vietnamese Chinese character means "Republican Socialist Vietnam", meaning "Socialist Republic of Vietnam") Chinese words are not uncommon. Korean is also full of Chinese words such as "???" (sigyongnyu (written Chinese character is "edible oil"), "???" (songbyeoryeon, Chinese character "send farewell") and so on.
Although this phenomenon does not allow us to be unskilled in these languages, it still allows us a certain degree of ease in remembering words and even guessing the meaning.
Especially the Japanese, which uses a lot of Chinese characters in writing, such as the "Constitution of Japan" above, can make many Chinese people have a heartfelt pride after reading it, as if they have mastered Japanese.
For the only Chinese who is proficient in Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Vietnamese are obviously friendlier than English or French, but unfortunately for many people, they have become the object that the Chinese must resist.

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