Learning Korean, Japanese & Chinese together | Comparison + tips


[Greetings in Mandarin Chinese] [Korean] [Japanese] I hope this video will motivate and inspire you to learn Korean, Japanese Chinese, or all three I’ll talk about these languages’ similarities, differences, how easy they are to learn, and some general tips on how to learn them. Some people ask me is it possible to really learn more than one language at a time? Yes! It’s very possible! Lots of people focus on one language just like you get athletes who play one sport But then you get triathletes, so I think of a triathlon that is a race where you do swimming running and cycling Similarly you can learn multiple languages at the same time and train your brain to treat these languages uniquely. Alright, let’s look at the similarities and differences between Korean Mandarin and Japanese Here is a table which kind of shows you the differences between pronunciation, grammar and, some other variables Consider the following sentence to get a basic overview of these languages. A sentence “I am exercising” or “I exercise” in Chinese it’s … in Korean its … and Japanese .. Did you pick up that the word for exercise is really similar in all three languages? Okay, let’s look at another word that sounds similar. It’s the word for telephone Chinese is .. Japanese is denwa and Korean is chong hwa And do you see that the Chinese and the Japanese words are written exactly the same? Chinese characters in Chinese are called Han su Kanji in Japanese and Japanese, also has two other writing systems called hiragana katakana Korean uses hangul, but sometimes you’ll find Chinese characters as well These are called hanja. Both Japanese and Korean have brought Chinese words into their vocabularies But they’ve changed the pronunciation to suit the sound system of their language. The word for library in Chinese … in Korean its do sa gwan and in Japanese to sho kan. The kwan, gwan, and kan all mean room So if you know this one character it’s almost like you get a whole bunch of other words for free When you see one character that you’ve learned being used in a multitude of other compound words Japanese and Korean grammar is remarkably similar Both of these languages use particles to indicate the topic, subject, object, location, possessiveness of a sentence Korean and Japanese sentence endings are also quite similar. In Japanese you will use a verb plus the structure te miru to mean to try something the miru part literally means to look. In Korean, the same way you want to say to try something is you take a verb and you add hae bo da to it and Can you guess? Bo da means to look! That’s really similar right? Okay Let’s look at some differences! Number 1! Mandarin uses tones and has five varying pitches. Japanese doesn’t have tones But intonation is quite important. Hashi and hashi! And though Korean has some liasons which makes pronunciation tricky at times It’s pretty much pronounced as it’s written And you don’t need to worry about tones at all! Number two: the alphabet Chinese is the only language out of these three that doesn’t have a distinguishable alphabet. For example You can learn the japanese and korean alphabets and be able to pronounce a word without really knowing what it means But you can’t do the same with chinese because you can’t decipher word with reference to a pre learned alphabet Each word is a character with a distinct way of writing it and of different pronunciation. Number three: spacing Korean is the only language of these three that put spaces between words That’s because the hangul alphabet looks pretty similar, and if you have a long sentence of hangul It’s a lot easier to just put spaces between the word. Now the important question How easy is it to learn all of these languages really? Well it depends on your background and your past learning experiences. In my case I started with Korean It was quite easy in the beginning because of the simple writing system But it did get a bit difficult at the intermediate and advanced levels because of the grammar However starting Japanese after Korean was quite nice because the grammar structures are pretty similar and After that I’ve started learning Mandarin. Mandarin seems difficult to any beginner because of a complicated writing system But once you’re past that it gets a lot easier because the grammar is quite similar to English However a Chinese person or somebody with a background in learning Chinese might find Japanese an easy start because of all the kanji So to summarize Korean is easy for beginners because of the very simple writing system Japanese is also easy because kanji only comes into the picture later, and you can get by with hiragana and katakana However both Korean and Japanese grammar get quite complicated done line. For a beginner, Mandarin Chinese might be difficult because of the new writing system and complicated characters But the easiest part of learning Mandarin is the grammar. You don’t need to worry about tenses at all and it’s very very similar to English. For Korean it’s definitely the writing system hangul is very logical and easy to read. And for Japanese learning hiragana and katakana is quite easy because it follows a logical order We start with the vowels ah e O and then you just add it to other sounds ka ki ku ke ko simple right? So, which one do you start with? I think Korean is quite an easy start. But sometimes the grammar and pronunciation makes it tricky when you go down the line However if you start with Korean and move on to Japanese it really won’t be that difficult Because when Japanese uses stuff like sentence particles to mark the topic and object of the sentence you’ll already understand what that concept is in Korean and just be able to apply it. You can then start bringing in Chinese because you’ll recognize a lot of Chinese characters If you’ve learned kanji. Here are four tips that are specific to learning these three languages If you want more language learning tips feel free to look at other videos on my channel Where I talk about more general language learning Number one: use the one language to help you learn the other For me the best Japanese textbooks I’ve ever used are those that are written in Korean for Korean natives to learn Japanese The reason it’s so easy is because the grammar structure is quite similar in both languages So my mind doesn’t have to make that big of a switch in terms of sentence structure when I’m trying to learn. I also prefer translating sentences from Korean to Japanese Instead of English to Japanese. Number two: I cannot overestimate the importance of listening This is so important for Mandarin which is tones. If you constantly hear a word being pronounced correctly around you You’ll be more likely to be able to say the word properly too. It’s easier to listen to a CD and repeat phrases than it is to look at a static piece of paper and try to pronounce a word without being able to check your pronunciation Number three: Incorporate the language into your daily life. Look for it wherever you can! Go to Chinese food stores And you’ll most likely find Korean and Japanese products as well Number Four: music Lots of k-pop songs have been made into Chinese and Japanese versions as well So you can take the same song and compare it in three different languages. You might be asking why you should learn all three? Well any new language you learn exposes new opportunities, new friends, and expands your worldview but in the case of Korean, Japanese, and Chinese your vocabulary acquisition will be a lot faster in Korean and Japanese if you know the Chinese roots So it’ll actually be more productive to learn Korean and Japanese at the same time instead of Korean and German for instance Because Korean and Japanese are so similar in structure that you’ll start to realize the patterns and it’ll be a lot easier to understand new concepts Lastly remember to keep track of your progress in each language It’s really rewarding to see where you started and where you are now I hope this video was helpful and motivating for you And that you’re excited to learn Korean, Japanese, and/or Chinese. See you guys in the next video. Bye

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