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Is it Hard to study Mandarin if you are Greek?


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Hello everyone , I am half Greek half Russian ,i speak Greek, Russian ,Turkish and English.Now i want to learn and study Mandarin chinese and maybe later Korean . I want to know Is it possible if you know so many dissimilar languages to learn Chinese easily?

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It will be easier for you than it would be for someone who only knows one of those languages. None of the languages you mention will help specifically, but the more languages you learn, the easier it is to learn additional languages. I think knowing Mandarin will help you with Korean, because they are related in some way, but I don't know any Korean. Other people here will be able to explain better. Go for it!

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Advantage - it sounds like you've got a lot of language learning experience

Disadvantage - unlikely to be any good Chinese-Greek dictionaries for learners, textbooks with explanations in Greek, etc. You're going to need to learn via English or maybe Russian in some cases. 

Neutral - Greek is nothing like Chinese. French is nothing like Chinese either. Finnish is nothing like Chinese. English is nothing like Chinese. Basically we all start from zero...

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It won't be easy, but it won't be more difficult than for someone who is Italian or Swedish.

 

Supposedly speaking good Russian can be an advantage, since Russian has a lot of different sounds, so a lot of sounds in Chinese that are difficult for many foreigners are not as difficult for Russian-speakers. I don't know any Russian though, so not sure how true this is.

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Demonic_Duck

I can attest that having learnt some Russian helped me with the sounds of Chinese. I'd say the following is a pretty good correspondance for sounds that are found in both Russian and Chinese but not English (Russian-Pinyin):

 

а - a
д - d
т - t
у - u
х - h
ц - c
ч - q
ш - sh
щ - x
ж - r (not quite the same, but more similar than English "r")

 

On the other hand, there are no matches or near-matches between the Greek alphabet and the Pinyin alphabet other than ones already found in Russian or English.

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Unless you've really learned those other second languages so that they've become second nature to you, then intensive study of Chinese is likely to  push them to the back of your mind, and you're going to sacrifice a good part of your ability in those other languages in order to learn Chinese.

 

At least that's been my experience.

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Thank you everyone you were really helpfull. ..I will go for it and see how it goes.My lessons start two weeks from know .The lessons will be Chinese - English cos the teachers can't speak Greek,so it would be quite a challenge for me to Learn Chinese and translate it to English and then (in my mind English to Greek ) :-) But challenges are good right? So time to time i will send you information how that goes !! I was always keen on Asian Languages and culture .Hope to visit China someday too.

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  • 1 month later...
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niseyniseynisey

I'm Asian but my mandarin is terrible....... To the verge that I can't even communicate efficiently with my relatives when I'm back for holidays. :( 

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