What it's about

Language is incredibly interesting and I'll probably study it for the rest of my life. Right now I'm studying Chinese and Japanese, though my Japanese is a whole lot better (my Chinese is practically non-existent).

People assume that they are similar, but the sounds are not--Chinese has tones and Japanese doesn't. Even their writing systems are no longer similar--mainland China simplified their characters in the mid-20th century.

The bottom line is this: Chinese is both totally oral and totally written, because the written language isn't phonetic, which means a whole lot of memorizing has to go on.

The book I'm using is Beginner's Chinese by Yong Ho. This guy certainly is a linguist who's created a user-friendly and intelligent book.

I don't use a Japanese book--I just read articles in my class. Right now I'm working on a translation for a Rush fan site. At least I'm not studying in a vacuum.

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