Do you find Mandarin hard?
Whether something is "hard" or not depends on an individual's personal perception and how great one's motivation is to learn something. You have sampled it, how do you feel about the characters ? I personally love them and find it to be a refreshing break from having to learn how words are spelled. Also great is not having to worry about memorizing noun genders and having different adjectives and verbs to agree with all different genders. What is difficult here however, is the mistakes in the lessons. You may work hard to learn the order of the words in a sentence, the 4 tones, the characters and so forth. Then when you have it down but your answers are marked incorrect because they made mistakes (and 60 or so ppl have noted it in the reports), it can be very frustrating and it can take a long time to complete an otherwise easy lesson by having to insert the wrong word to match their wrong answer. Perhaps it will be rectified soon.
I feel the same the characters are nice I'm quite good in differentiating them, the way Japanese use the characters drive me crazy while in Chinese I don't have problems as you said no gender no verb agreement no conjugation.
Yes. I think the characters are easier than listening to spoken Mandarin. I have a hard time hearing the difference between different intonations. I got the same problem on other apps as well. I have a minor hearing problem
There is no conjugation of verbs, but there are different grammar structures (and context) that indicate whether "tense" is past, present or future. One of the deficiencies of Duolingo is that the focus is more on vocabulary than grammar. Learning would be easier if there was more emphasis on grammar and grammatical structures. Characters are somewhat difficult, and they can an impediment to literacy. That's one reason why Korean King Sejong Daehuang created the Hangul phonetic writing system. Hangul helped make the Korean people much more literate.
not at all! especially not after you learn the tones. if you work well visually you'll learn quick
I agree with you I'm a visual learner as you said above, the characters don't scare me the tones are the problem I think, I know a little about music I can play Piano but it doesn't help me with Mandarin Tones! I can only understand what people are saying by reading the characters but they speak really fast.
It's hard a lot, if you come from a romance language like me. Characters, constructions and accents are from another world. I would like to find a complete history of Chinese Characters (radicals etc), but I can't find it in Italian, only English, this is another difficulty.
Man... the accents are hard for me too this is why I prefer the Hanzi characters, Pinyin is supposed to facilitate the learning process but I can't hit the accents properly.
I get you. I once read Ma Fan (Trouble, 麻烦 it is pronounced like MA-FEN) and I said (MAH-FAN). Oopsies on my part.
Not really. Remembering the characters are the hardest part. But the grammar is actually really simple compared with many languages which helps a lot.
I do think that learning Mandarin with Duolingo is much easier if you take at least one semester of Chinese.
Once you have the basics down through a structured course, Duo feels much more effective.
EDIT: I do find speaking difficult since I have trouble remembering the tones. But reading, typing pinyin (not writing), and listening are relatively easy.
The characters are similar to Japanese and Korean. Korean is my first language, so sometimes I'll mix the two up and end up writing a sentence half Mandarin, half Korean. I hope, you have been finding it easier though.
Really? Korean doesn’t seem much like Chinese. You formulate words with pieces more like an alphabet instead of using characters. But since Korean is your first language, I must be missing something.
Unless you are talking about how Korean sometimes uses Chinese characters. However, I thought that was only an older practice which has been dying out ever since Korea developed its own writing system and no longer needed to rely on Chinese writing.
I don't have this kind of problem because I'm not Asian but it is harder for me to learn anyway!
Yes and no.
Yes because it's hard to learn every word, and it's difficult to learn how to write in Mandarin, and it's pretty hard to learn all the new sounds.
No because the grammar is easy, typing is easy (at least if you know pinyin) and it's one of the easier tonal languages IMO.
Yes, absolutely. If I didn't like it so much I'd probably have given up already lol. Actually, learning to read and write isn't too difficult for me, but I struggle a lot with listening and speaking. For some reason I just have trouble keeping up with spoken Chinese, especially when the speaker is talking fast. But when things are written out I can understand them just fine haha
I suggest that you watch Chinese movies, if you're not doing so already, to hear the rhythm and intonation of the spoken language by native speakers. It's not like the classroom. Your listening will improve. Imitate the intonation patterns (aside from the tones) to get the feel for speaking better. Speaking the Duolingo sentences may help a bit, too.