Hello, everyone! As I continue studying Russian, I sometimes find myself thinking about how much easier it is to learn than Chinese. I am glad, because Chinese is incredibly hard to learn for a variety of reasons. The biggest reason Russian is easier than Chinese is the simple fact that Russian has an alphabet. The ability to read a language does wonders when learning it.
I have recently realized that my ability to read Russian has improved leaps and bounds from when I first learned the Cyrillic alphabet. I am even starting to learn exceptions, like «Ничего». When learning Chinese, you simply have to memorize the sounds associated with the characters. Not only that, but you have to memorize the tones as well!
In case you don’t already know this, the Chinese language uses a system of tones to differentiate words. For example, the word for «Horse» and «Mother» are the same in Chinese. The word is «Ma». But the words have different characters, and different sounds. If you say «Ma» with a flat, high pitched tone, it means mother. If you say «Ma» with a falling, then rising time, it means horse. The word «Ma» can also mean «Scold» or «Numb» depending on he tone used.
This adds another layer of challenge that Russian simply doesn’t have. When I read Russian, I don’t have to remember a system of tones that must be associated with each and every word. I have to memorize where to put the stress of the word, but that is simple and is usually a pattern based on prefixes, suffixes, and other factors. This makes reading (and speaking) Russian much simpler than Chinese.
That’s not to say Russian doesn’t have its fair share of challenges. But they are challenges I am confident I will overcome, just like Chinese. I can’t wait to immerse myself in the Russian language. My goal is to become fluent in twelve months. I know I can accomplish this goal. See you soon!
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