|>>|| No. 24017
> Spoken Mandarin Chinese is fairly easy. The grammar is very straightforward
Well, you appear to be learning Mandarin Chinese at the moment, and I'm not stusying Chinese, so I shall not debate this statement.
> the pronunciation is easy once you've got past the issue of tonality.
> Hanzi characters are a pain in the arse, because you need to memorise thousands of them just to achieve basic literacy.
These statements are proving my point, not yours, aren't they?
> Computers have made life easier, because of the input system used to type Hanzi. You just type the word phonetically in the Latin alphabet, then the computer shows you a menu of characters matching that pronunciation, a bit like predictive texting. As long as you can recognise the character, you don't need to remember exactly how it's drawn.
That's a nice invention that does make life easier, no doubt about that. But one is probably not going to bring a laptop with themselves everywher, because it is normally heavy and doesn't fit in conventional bags. Is this character input method available for smartphones? If not, it is useful only if one is indoors.
Also, what if you have to, shall we say, leave a short hand-written note to your Chinese-speaking colleague? Then one still has to draw the characters themselves, don't they? And that brings back the notorious pain in the arse, my point being that handwriting is still not completeley obsolete and ousted from our lives despite of the great advancement in IT.
> Back in the bad old days, you needed to memorise both the character and the exact order in which the strokes were drawn, because that's how alphabetisation works with Hanzi. If you couldn't remember the stroke order, you couldn't look up a word in the dictionary or a name in the phone book.
And this proves my statement once again.
So all in all, I am not convinced that Chinese is easier than Russian for a person whose mother tongue is an alphabetic language and hasn't got tonality. However, it might be easier for you to study Chinese than Russian if your mother tongue uses characters instead of an alphabet.