Réalité asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 4 months ago

I would like to study Russian and Chinese at the same time and intensively. Is it a good idea ?


My native language is French.

1 Answer

  • Pontus
    Lv 7
    4 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Well, you speak at least one foreign language already.  However, English isn't as difficult as Russian or Chinese for a French speaker.

    Although Russian is distantly related to French and English, the grammar is highly inflectional (such languages are notoriously difficult) and very little vocabulary is recognizable.  Although it's a different script, it's still an alphabet and a related one. It will be almost twice as hard as English (most likely, in terms of study hours). 

    Mandarin (or any other Chinese language) is extremely different from English and entirely unrelated.  It's script requires learning about 4000 characters for daily literacy (and there are at least tens of thousands more).  All Chinese languages have a reasonably complex tonal system (but the details vary), utterly absent from English or French (or Russian).  Grammar relies almost entirely on word order (although more familiar to English & French speakers, there are a ton of structures with specific meanings/functions).  Chinese verbs have no tense at all (and don't change form, for any reason), but Chinese does express verbal aspect (but not on the verb itself). Aspects are more numerous and often different from the few English or French have. 

    Chinese will be about four times harder than English for you (in terms of study hours). 

    Although, motivation and interest can lessen the importance of many difficulties.

    I am a native English speaker.  I learned French to competency (and taught it), started German (on my own) when I was intermediate in French, started Italian later on.  Many decades later I started Japanese (just as difficult as Chinese, for English or French speakers).  I am intermediate in the other three foreign languages, and continue to learn all four. 

    Japanese wasn't particularly difficult for me, as my fourth language, but it's still time consuming.  

    I recommend you start Russian first.  After a while, once you've tackled many of the most difficult concepts in Russian, then you could start a Chinese language. 

    Although you could reverse it and do Chinese first, if you have a greater passion for it. 

    Source(s): also studied linguistics and phonology (for my teaching degree)
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