First, a fun video!
(That being said, I’ve thought about changing the title of this blog to Letters to My Friend, Canova because she’s really the only person that reads this blog at this time.)
Other things to note about languages:
Chinese is really not a single language so much as a family of languages that are sometimes termed “dialects.” The language most often taught as “Chinese” is Mandarin, the language spoken around the Beijing area of China.
Mandarin is also sometimes called the “Standard Dialect” or something like that and is the “official” language taught in schools throughout China.
The Chinese languages are “tonal” in nature in that a specific kind of “tone” to each syllable can alter the meaning of the word. I’m not sure that we use tone to convey different meanings in the word in English, but “tone” in English refers more to the emotional quality of the voice.
Japanese and Korean lack tonal systems, but depending on the region, they have a sort of “pitch accent” of words.
In regards to the characters, Korean is the easier of the two to learn because most of the hanja have a single pronunciation as opposed to the multiple pronunciations we learned that Japanese has.
However, in addition, Korean is largely written in hangul as oppose to hanja, and you can learn to read the Korean alphabet very quickly.
Korean grammar, however, is more difficult than Japanese grammar because there are more variations in verbs and levels of politeness; Japanese has two major levels of politeness, and Korean has six.
Japanese uses other writing systems as well- hiragana and katakana, which are “abbreviated” versions of various kanji and are used as a syllabary to spell out words.
Think of hiragana as writing a kanji in cursive extremely fast, and then katakana is “printing” that fast abbreviation.
Katakana’s shape resembles kanji more than hiragana because of the blockiness.
It’s postulated that one day, Japanese will also stop using kanji and will write sentences in the hiragana and katakana.
Now, another fun video!