Differences Between Chinese and English Language

Differences Between Chinese and English Language

Differences Between Chinese and English Language

Cultural differences

When learning languages, you must know the difference between your native language and the language you want to learn. If you compare language to a person, grammar is his bones, words are his flesh and blood, pronunciation is his appearance, and culture is his character. German is rigorous, Spanish is enthusiastic, English is simple and active, while Chinese makes people want to explore.

There is a big difference between Chinese and English in terms of cultural differences, such as the word “diligence”. In English, if you don’t know that “diligence” is diligent, you can use simple words that you know, such as He works very hard. This sentence is simpler, but actually more authentic. Or we can also say: He is very passionate about his work. Great job!

In China, “diligence” is considered an advantage, but in the West, words like “passion” are more appreciated.

For example, foreigners think “ambitious” is a great quality, but if it is translated into “ambitious”, it is not very good in Chinese. Some people suggest that it should be translated into “aspiring” and “motivated”, which fits our culture very well.

Of course, the point is not how to translate, but we intuitively feel that because of different cultures, we speak different ways. While learning English, we have to understand the culture of the language and know their style.

Differences in pronunciation

The most obvious difference between English and Chinese is that they sound very different. Foreigners listening to Chinese people speak Chinese sounds weird, like a quarrel. These are all because the pronunciation habits of English and Chinese are very different.

The most obvious difference is that Chinese pronunciation is dotted, and every word is clear and powerful. English pronunciation is streamlined, and a sentence is connected and smooth. For better rhythm, English has some pronunciation habits that we do not have in Chinese.

For example: weak pronunciation, the “d” of “and” is pronounced very lightly, but the typical Chinese accent pronunciation is very hard and pronounced as “and “. There is also continuous reading, which is not in Mandarin, but there are many in English. For example, we all know “half an hour”. These three words can be pronounced as a single word. This is actually for the sake of being lazy and speaking faster.

Many people say that foreigners speak English too quickly and can’t understand them, or they can’t speak as fast as foreigners. In fact, they have not practiced weak reading and continuous reading ,actually after practicing, you will find that it’s really not that difficult.

Of course, the most important and obvious difference is intonation. Chinese language is mainly falling tones (because it needs to be clear and powerful), but English is mainly rising tones, except for the falling tone at the end of some sentences (because of rhyme).

Differences in text

Obviously, English and Chinese look very different.

Chinese characters are evolved from hieroglyphs and are for the eyes to see. When you see a Chinese text, you don’t necessarily know its pronunciation, but you can guess its meaning. English means pronunciation, and is for ears. When we see an English word, we can know its pronunciation, but we don’t necessarily know its meaning.

Therefore, the logic of our writing is fundamentally different.

Do you find it difficult to memorize English, especially long words? For example, “beautiful, beautiful, b, e, a, u, t, i, f, u, l”, many people memorized each letter of each word, and then filled the draft paper with this word. And such recitation of words is the most inefficient, and it is also not advocated.

Many long sentences in English and many short sentences in Chinese

Since English is a “rule of law” language, as long as there are no errors in the structure, many meanings can often be expressed in a long sentence; Chinese is just the opposite. Because it is “ruled by man”, the semantics are expressed directly through words, and different meanings are often expressed Expressed through different short sentences.

Example: Interest in historical methods had arisen less through external challenge to the validity of history as an intellectual discipline (physical and mental exercise, training; discipline, ethics, command obedience; discipline, punishment; disciplines, subjects) and more from internal quarrels among historians themselves.

Translation: People are interested in historical research methods, not so much because of external challenges to the validity of history as a knowledge discipline, but more because of internal quarrels among historians.

The original English sentence is a typical long sentence, consisting of 27 words, without any punctuation marks in the middle, and completely relies on the grammatical structure to reduce the meaning of the entire sentence: less through. . . and more from constitutes a complex adverbial modifier arisen. In Chinese translation, the important content of “generating interest” is expressed in a single sentence, and two different reasons are expressed in different sentences, and the entire sentence is reduced to zero.

More omissions in English, more supplements in Chinese

English pays great attention to sentence structure on the one hand, and likes to use omission on the other hand. There are many types of English omissions, including the omission of nouns, the omission of verbs, the omission of syntax, and the omission of context. In the parallel structure, English often omits the words that have appeared before, while Chinese often repeats these omitted words.

Example: ①Ambition is the mother of destruction as well as of evil.

Ambition is not only the root of sin, but also the root of destruction.

②Reading exercises one’s eyes; Speaking, one’s tongue; while writing, one’s mind.

Reading trains people’s eyes, speaking trains people’s articulation, and writing trains people’s thinking.

English Lessons in Hong Kong

Mandarin Lessons in Hong Kong