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Anyone out there who learns Korean might like to check out the website provided by Sogagng University http://korean.sogang.ac.kr/ It is the best language learning website I have ever seen - nice graphics, good lessons, a bit of music, comprehensive coverage up to a good intermediate level.

And it's all FREE!

Why can't there be something like that for Chinese? I haven't seen anything remotely as good for any language, in fact. Does anyone know of anything similar (and free) for anything else?

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  • 1 month later...

Has anyone noticed the similarities between Cantonese and Korean?

e.g. with numbers there seem to be more similarities between cantonese and korean than there are between mandarin and Korean (being lazy I've only included the Korean romanizations)

2 i

3 sam

4 sa

6 yuk

7 ch'il

9 ku

10 ship

Pronunciation of certain countries e.g US= mi guk

and then both languages seem to have the same borrowed the same words from English too, bus, fax etc... :mrgreen:

Admittedly when someone speaks Korean I have no idea what they're saying (not surprising given the grammatical differences), but when you look through a korean vocab list when it's been romanized there do seem to be quite a few similarities.

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This question came up on a different forum I vist, so I'll just paste my reply I posted on that forum here (with a few edits):

Korean is actually in a different language family from all of the Chinese languages... in fact linguists don't even really know which language family to put it in since it seems to be so different from many other languages (there are some theories that say it may belong to the Altaic languages; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altaic_hypothesis... anyway I digress...).

However, even though it's not in the same family as the Chinese languages, roughly half of it's vocabulary has Chinese origins (This is not unusual... just like even though English is a Germanic language, roughly half of its vocabulary is derived from Romance languages, due in large part to the Norman Conquests of 1066). Many of these Sino-Korean words were borrowed over a thousand years ago, when what is now called "Middle Chinese" was spoken.

Although Mandarin and Cantonese both evolved from Middle Chinese, Cantonese and many of the other southern dialects were more conservative with the tones and final consonants. Since Korean kept their final consonants, unlike Mandarin, which lost many of them, Sino-Korean words appear to more closely resemble the southern dialects. The northern Chinese dialects like Mandarin were probably more heavily influenced by other languages since most of the time, invaders came from the north (that's why they built the Great Wall there), which may account for why there are bigger pronunciation differences with Mandarin.

Some people say that the southern dialect with which Sino-Korean words have the most resemblence is not Cantonese, but actually Hokkien (Fujianese, 福建話).

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HashiriKata
Since Korean kept their final consonants, unlike Mandarin, which lost many of them, Sino-Korean words appear to more closely resemble the southern dialects.

The same can also be said of Chinese loanwords in Japanese and Vietnamese.

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wushijiao

Have any of you started learning Korean after learning Chinese? If so, how much faster do you think your progress has been compared to other people who don't know Chinese?

I'm interested to know if it is a bit like a person who knows one romance language and then learning another (say, Spanish to French). Or, if the advantage of knowing Chinese is not quite that big.

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HashiriKata
I'm interested to know if it is a bit like a person who knows one romance language and then learning another (say, Spanish to French). Or, if the advantage of knowing Chinese is not quite that big.

I've tried Korean but I don't think I'm qualified to give a definite answer, because I already know Japanese, which makes learning Korean very easy. My guess is the advantage of knowing Chinese is there but as you said it, it's not quite that big. In addition, your knowledge of Chinese must be extremely good in order to recognise and to work out the equivalents in vocabulary & pronunciation, because all these will be hidden under the Korean script. As for the grammar, you'll be in a totally different world from Chinese.

Cheers,

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I learned Chinese first, and there is a certain advantage due to the fact that many words are similar, and concepts and culture are similar too. However, since the grammar is so different, it is still very tough for an English/Chinese speaker to learn Korean. It certainly doesn't compare from going from romance to romance language.

I wonder how it would leave me with (seriously) learning Japanese, since I have the grammar and the characters pretty much down already, and pronunciation is no big deal for English speakers. I think it would be relatively easy, if it were not for the very different pronunciation of the kanji.

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HashiriKata
I wonder how it would leave me with (seriously) learning Japanese, since I have the grammar and the characters pretty much down already, and pronunciation is no big deal for English speakers.

If you do it seriously, you may find Japanese (to you) is the easiest language you've tried. Still, bear in mind the if clause there. 8)

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wushijiao

Thank you woodcutter and Hashiri Kata for the answers! :D

I am thinking about learning another language, and to be honest, I'd like to pick one that has some connections to a language I already know (call me lazy). I love learning Chinese, but because it has no relation to any European language it is just so time consuming. But I suppose Korean is time consuming as well.

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HashiriKata
Something tonal without cruel grammar

Define "cruel grammar"!!! :evil:

For those who want to learn another language in which they can make use of their knowledge of Chinese (and which doesn't involve "cruel grammar" :mrgreen: ), nothing can beat Vietnamese: large Chinese word stock but without having to learn hanzi, no pesky grammatical conjugations, plenty of singsong tones to keep you musical, etc.

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HashiriKata
Phong ba bão táp không bằng ngữ pháp Việt Nam !

Just ignore what rmontelatici said, he only wanted to illustrate what Vietnamese writing looks like. Thanks rmontelatici! :D

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't get how one can get differences between Cantonese or any other Chinese dialect and Korean or Japanese or something. A Chinese syllable can often mean twenty, thirty, forty plus things while having a limited amount of actual syllables. Any similarities have to be coincidental.. if a Korean word sounds similar to a Chinese word and has the same meaning, it won't share the dozens of other meanings the Chinese word can have depending on tone value or context.

Awesome site btw... real professional

www.chinawestexchange.com is good for Chinese.. also has pronounciation for every syllable in every tone in both canto (i think?) and mandarin if you go into a lesson about Initials.

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I don't get how one can get differences between Cantonese or any other Chinese dialect and Korean or Japanese or something. A Chinese syllable can often mean twenty, thirty, forty plus things while having a limited amount of actual syllables. Any similarities have to be coincidental.. if a Korean word sounds similar to a Chinese word and has the same meaning, it won't share the dozens of other meanings the Chinese word can have depending on tone value or context.

If you are curious enough, learn one of the languages and find out how 8)

I am taking Japanese lessons now, I think my Cantonese+Mandarin background helps a lot, both in grammar and in vocabulary.

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I am taking Japanese lessons now, I think my Cantonese+Mandarin background helps a lot, both in grammar and in vocabulary.

Coming at the matter from the opposite direction (that of having spent 10+ years with Japanese before taking up Chinese), I've found this to be true more for vocabulary than for grammar. When hearing a new word in Mandarin, I can in many cases (though still less than half) guess the characters and thus the meaning from knowing Japanese. This is of course only true when the word uses the same characters, though, which is more common for abstract concepts (which were learned by Japan from China long ago akin to the way that English borrowed from French) and 19th and early 20th century technology and Western concepts (for which Japan used Chinese characters to coin terms that were then borrowed by China, such as 電話 and 労働). The fundamentals, though, which existed in Japanese before the introduction of Chinese characters, don't have anything in common.

As far as the grammar goes, knowing Japanese hasn't been much help at all in learning Mandarin. Considering that the two languages don't belong to the same language family, I'm curious as to how the grammar has helped someone working in the opposite direction of myself.

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You are right that overall the two languages don't have much in common, but here and there I can still find similarities between Japanese and Chinese that are not found in English.

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You are right that overall the two languages don't have much in common, but here and there I can still find similarities between Japanese and Chinese that are not found in English.

I'm just curious as to what it is specifically that you've found in common, aside from some vocab. The only other thing that comes to my mind (though I'm not very far advanced with Chinese) is the concept of using "counters," but in most of the cases, the counters themselves are different. Mind you, I'm curious as to any other similarities with a view to using what I already know to help me improve my Chinese, so any input would be appreciated. When I first started Chinese, the hardest thing for me to do was to get used to the SVO word order . . .

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