Is Mandarin really difficult?

There are many people as foreign speakers who wonder and question the fact of: studying Mandarin as a foreign new language due to its "difficulty" when learning, using and speaking it; even so, there are many opinions that affirm that "Mandarin" will be the language of the future and that it is extremely important to learn it and know how to understand it too.

The Chinese language is the most spoken language in the world, this is because China is one of the most populated country in the world, therefore the Chinese language is the one that has the largest number of native speakers. Just insane.

Even so, it is extremely important to know that the Chinese language is actually divided into several dialects and the official dialect spoken in China is called Mandarin and 70% of the population speaks Mandarin, in the southern areas of China there are other dialects which have been existing and have been spoken for years, but still, the majority of people who use Mandarin is bigger.

walking in Shanghai
China's Education Ministry says that about 400 million people - or a 30% speak Mandarin as it is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the whole world.
(Source by: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-23975037)

In relation to the Chinese writing system, there are two writing systems, one is called simplified Chinese and  the other one is the traditional one.

In ancient times, Chinese was written in traditional Chinese, but currently for several decades, they decided to adopt the simplified Chinese system.

Simplified Chinese Writing System: Its own name indicates that it is not easier because it definitely has fewer strokes than traditional Chinese, compared to this, traditional Chinese is a little more difficult because it has characters that are omitted.

Traditional Chinese has many more strokes and Simplified Chinese is literally much simpler. Simplified Chinese is now widely used in China, and usually when teaching the language, the simplified form of writing is also chosen.

Most places in China teach the simplified way of writing, and, of course, the spoken language in the country is Mandarin.

What people are most concerned about when studying Chinese is whether it is too difficult in terms of the grammatical structures of this language.

The answer is that it is not really that hard, this is can be a language that may have many changes or declensions or that has many structures, but rather that, what really makes it difficult for people is that, it is radically different from the native language or "mother tongue" they are used to speaking.

A clear example of the changes from one language to another could be Spanish and English, even though they are similar languages and different in other aspects, nowadays, many people prefer to handle "Spanglish" instead of one specific language.

'Normally what is difficult to learn for students is a whole new way of thinking, writing, and speaking in Chinese language.

The Chinese language in terms of pronunciation is actually much more complicated than Spanish language because it totally is a tonal language, it is based on intonation and its different sounds that for many may seem "strange" or "unusual"; therefore, as a tonal language, it has four tones.

Is there a difference between Chinese and Mandarin Chinese?

One is the official language of all China and the other is spoken only in Hong Kong, Canton Province and Macau.

Both languages have a script that is very similar but the sounds can be very different.

明月几时有?把酒问青天。不知天上宫阙,今夕是何年?我欲乘风归去,又恐琼楼玉宇,高处不胜寒。起舞弄清影,何似在人间?转朱阁,低绮户,照无眠。不应有恨,何事长向别时圆?人有悲欢离合,月有阴晴圆缺,此事古难全。但愿人长久,千里共婵娟。

The fact that there are four tones in this language is one of the most difficult things for most students when they start studying the language, there are four tones, but the issue is not the pronunciation but the vocabulary, sounds and sentences depending on every context.

The headache for a foreigner learner studying this language is completely normal, especially if the foreigner is not related to Asia or the Asian race.

Most of the foreigners who study Chinese, even if they are very advanced in the language and speak it very well, usually have a hard time with the tones because it is difficult for them to remember how certain sounds are produced and sound in this language.

Each character has its own tone. In Chinese, it is written with "unusual" characters, those characters are something that most people can normally do.

Nonetheless, many people are afraid of thousands of characters and drawing that exist within Chinese Language.

Each character in Chinese has its own logic; but, for many, Chinese language is simple and for others it is simply impossible to learn.

Each student needs to have a good dedication and enough time that must be distributed properly, to be able to progress at the time of putting everything learned into practice.

It is undeniable that Chinese language is becoming more and more relevant at an international level and learning this language can open many job opportunities for people who decide to learn it.

Kanji

Believe it or not, the places where you can learn the Chinese language the most, is in the local communities of this country, there are many people inside China who are very kind to foreigners when they realize that the foreigner is making an effort to learn and improve throughout their journey.

For the Chinese people, this is a feeling of pride and happiness ; it means that their culture is important for foreigners as well.

China is a country very rich in culture, with different beliefs, ways of thinking and ways of living, which is why it is an exotic country that attracts the attention of thousands of tourists annually.

Studying Chinese not only enriches any student in terms of the opportunities that this could bring, but also personally, learning a language actually has many benefits in the human being, it exercises the brain, makes you feel healthier, and above all, it provides motivation to anyone who realizes how useful learning a language is.