Learning Korean, Japanese & Chinese together | Comparison + tips
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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

100 Comments

  • The Thick taco

    I really wanted to learn Korean Because First I like kpop second i wanna go to south Korea Third My dream is going to a Korean High school🇰🇷 But at the same time im learning Japanese Because I Love anime And Japanese Movies and I also wanna go to Japan Tokyo to make friends and explore

  • Beautiful sadness

    Your video truly inspired me to learn more foreign languages. I'm Vietnamese and now I'm learning Japanese and English. Sounds strange because English and Japanese aren't similar but in Japanese they have Katakana to transcript some English words. Learning English before helps me to remember Katakana easier. I want to learn Chinese and Korean as well. Thanks for your tips which help me to find correct way to study these languages!

  • MetalGuitarManiac

    im a german native, speak english and try to learn japanese. so you are saying i should learn korean and chinese at the same time? i mean is it faster to learn japanese that way or is it enough to learn some chinese kanji and skip korean? ^^

  • 김랄라

    일어 전공인 한국인인데 요즘 중국어 배워요~ 제가 한국인이라 저는 일본어-중국어-영어 순으로 배우는게 편하더라구여! 영상 잘 봤습니다.

  • Genesiis A

    I just started learning Japanese I am barely on the K-column of hiragana [かきくけこ]
    When I’m an intermediate level I want to start learning Korean 👍🏻 I mostly want to learn Japanese because I want to become an exchange student in Japan 🇯🇵💕

  • Iván De León

    🇬🇹 I'm learning Japanese, French and Korean. The hardest part is the pronunciation for French and Korean. I'm a Spanish speaker and already know English I guess 🙂

  • Becky Lin

    dad's korean, mom's chinese, grandpa is half japanese. not a big deal for to know these languages due to my circumstances but very cool

  • Livy

    ayyy hello fellow south african,greetings from cape town im learning korean and japanese

    edit: i thought it was wrong to learn two languages at once but knowing that korean and japanese is slightly similar in some aspects makes me relieved thanks for the tips and motivation<3

  • Shepherd Zhang

    我是中國人。我感覺,懂漢字對於日語學習是一種干擾,讓很多初學者輕視學習日語的難度,也讓懶惰者過度依賴漢字猜測意思,而不願意下力氣認真記憶日語單詞的發音。

  • 小孩子才做選擇 我全都要!!

    A Taiwanese(word is like Chinese) watching a South Africa teacher teaching Korean Japanese and Chinese,
    saying English…
    Not a big deal.

  • アメリカKarlweiser

    The hardest part of the Chinese language, is not the writing, the writing is easy to get by if you memorise the stroke order, there’re thousands of characters but the way of writing them is basically the same with the stroke order. IMO, Chinese is the hardest to master though, the flexibility of the language and the endless references of its history/culture in the language add so many abstract phrases within the language.

  • Haterfen

    One year and a half ago I started learning Korean, as I already know Japanese at a intermediate/advanced level, and as you said it's so easy to understand the grammar part of Korean thanks to the fact they are quite similar grammatically (stem verbs, endings, particles, etc.), and now I wanted to give it a try with Chinese and knowing Kanji had really make it was easier to understand some parts of it. I thought learning Korean and Chinese at the same time would prove daunting, but thanks to your advice I think I can make it an easier experience. Thank you !

  • sunny

    watching this while having difficulty in spanish 4 makes me feel ashamed lol. but i feel so motivated now! after becoming semi-fluent in spanish, i'd love to learn japanese, or at least a little, as i'm visiting japan after i graduate.

  • 김Kpop Lifeu

    I'm intermediate at Korean and Chinese and is learning Japanese. I want to study abroad at either one of these countries (haha lol) I don't expect to be master or native speaker, just as long as I can survive a day with the languages.

  • Andy W.

    I learn all of them, PLUS Cantonese. It is quite useful to know the roots because it's older and has more similarities to Korean and Japanese. It's like Latin for Romanic languages

  • 김연어'

    한국어의 띄어쓰기 시스템은 세계 최고 수준의 난이도를 자랑하죠. 초반에는 헷갈리는 부분이 많을 테지만, 몇 달 정도만 투자하면 다들 쉽게 마스터하실 수 있답니다! 😉

  • Cal Irons

    I am an american, I am very white & blonde, however I speak Chinese fairly fluently.

    Anyway, I knew a girl from Korea who came to the US as an exchange student. We were both in a practice room practicing the Ravel string quartet (we are both violinists)

    Her friend called her when we were in the middle of practicing, they were speaking Korean. I remember distinctly hearing that "tushuguan" word (图书馆 , library)

    In my anoyance, ( I do NOT like interuppting practice time) I looked at her and said in a rather scolding tone. "you're going to the Library aren't you…"

    She dropped her phone & screamed at me in Korean, proceeding to spill all her music stand on the floor

    That was one of the better educated guesses I've made

  • Reyhan Oe

    I'm Turkish raised in Austria, learning English and Spanish at school. Additionally I'm learning Korean at home haha. That means I can speak Turkish, German, English, Spanish and hopefully Korean in the future 🙈

  • Spiros Pastromas

    I cant learn mandarin cause i cant get to the lessons because of the distance ,its so so sad 😭😭😭 could you suggest any other effective way of learning like an app or something

  • Spiros Pastromas

    I really need your answer could you suggest another way of learning than just taking lessons cause sadly this is not possible where i live

  • venus as a boy

    hi! I speak portuguese and english fluently. I got basic korean and spanish, and i've been studying german by myself for like a week. es ist sehr interessant!
    however, my favorite languages are french and japanese 💕
    do you think it is possible for me to start learning japanese while studying german?

  • Serena Wang

    I always want to learn Japanese because it sounds rlly beautiful but every time ends in giving up😢I guess it’s easier for me to learn Chinese and English at the same time mainly cuz they have similar sentence structure e.g I(我) like(喜欢) dancing(跳舞).For Japanese and Korean they don’t follow this rule in many cases

  • Di Escombreria

    I learned Mandarin first (Taiwan characters, not communist characters), and I find that Korean is weird in sentence structure and has a ton more particles and a ton more endings for politeness. In Chinese, you only have 你 (normal) and 您 (polite) for the pronoun "you." Korean and Japanese seem far, far more difficult to me to think in. Perhaps that's because, as you say, Chinese word order somewhat resembles English (but not always). I wonder if people try learning Lao/Cambodian/Vietnamese and Thai at the same time…

  • 小楼夜上

    Japan and South Korea are countries that are deeply influenced by ancient China.
    South Korea’s daily language is 70% from China. Japanese-style Chinese characters also have the pronunciation of ancient Chinese characters.
    Korean characters (谚文Hangul) and Japanese katakana(片假名) hiragana(平假名) are also reference Chinese characters. You can find the same parts from them.
    Because modern China is behind the West, so modern Japanese and Korean are pronounced in English.
    Please don’t rise to national self-confidence and national dignity. It’s not shameful to learn like a strong country.
    Finally, you can refer to this video, https://youtu.be/6xIOfu2tzQM, Only Chinese pronunciation is unique.

  • Suspicious Shawol

    For me the easiest is Korean, I learned it even without learning at all, now I am pretty fluent at it and since I am good at it and I enjoy it I have plans to in future have a job like being translator or something. Also I learned Japanese and Chinese and even tho I think Chinese is way more harder, I enjoy it more but I am better at Japanese lol

  • Aniekuzz

    It all sounds so simple.. Korean is the easiest. But if you have the memory of a cucumber, it doesn't work that simple😂

  • 박시사

    Wow
    you speak 3 tree languages very fluently, much more surprising to me is your Korean, Japanese and Chinese pronunciations all sound natural like natives You are a Great polylot and astoundingly good teacher as well.
    I respect the way of teaching and your enthusiasm to multi Asian languages.
    thank you for uploading this wonderful video scripts to all the viewers around the world.
    감사합니다
    Jeju , Korea. Simon

  • Nexuko

    I just plan on learning Korean and then maybe Japanese

    I don’t have much willpower and time to learn languages so chances are I’ll drop Korean when it gets too hard and will move on with life

  • Billie Stan

    Im multilingual because I know:
    Croatian(my mother tongue)
    English(fluent)
    French(fluent)
    Spanish(needs little work)
    Italian(fluent)
    Korean(needs work)
    And im learning Japanese

  • Serena Zhu

    Chinese (Cantonese) is my native language raised in Britain so I’m fluent in English learning Spanish in school and working on my mandarin and Korean at home. Sometimes my brain stops working but that’s ok

  • Crab army Attack!

    I’m learning Japanese Korean and French, French and Japanese are super easy since I knew it when I was younger by watching tv 📺 even though I’m still on the road of learning I’m still trying to get out of grammar level French is going to get out of it soon but laziness got me so I only practice what I learnt (in Japanese) ok Korean it took me less than an hour to memorize all the 한글 unlike the ひりがなとカタカナ but since the beginning of my 13 year (which I still am) it’s hard because I never watched anything in Korean i can’t even remember bye sorry and thank you which I memorized in one second in Japanese and French

  • Anna Habrich

    I speak German and English but I am actively learning Spanish and Korean
    In the First School i went to (1 grade) we learnt French and Arabic
    I taught myself german until I went to a German school
    ( I cant speak any French or Arabic any more)

  • Pat Black

    Thank you very much! I'm learning Chinese right now and I am planning on learning Japanese and Korean as well
    I already know German (native language), English, French and Spanish and noticed a lot of similarities between German and English and also French and Spanish! I'm looking forward to doing this again with Chinese, Korean and Japanese 😀

  • Fernanda Garcia

    I actually thought pretty the same. But since my mother language is Spanish, I find out Korean pronunciation easier, then Japanese, I tried to learn Chinese as well but I like Thai better. But thank you for inspiring me even more ☺️☺️☺️

  • Cecilia2008_ gachalife

    I learned Mandarin, then Korean (1%) and now Japanese!
    (Sorry for the bad grammar.)
    Btw i'm still learning Mandarin because my parents can speak Mandarin. My grandparents also can speak Mandarin but i don't understand Mandarin a lot😂. But i can understand the basics.

  • moonchild enthusiast

    Lol I’m Ugandan-Japanese and I can only speak Luganda (Ugandan), English and some Japanese, I’m learning more korean and Japanese at this point , I’m younger than y’all think I am

  • Tenten Hatake

    Oh ! I'm doing the same !
    I'm french, sooo I learned English at school and now I'm learning Japanese, Chinese (mandarin) and Korean…
    I used to learn German and Spanish : but I wanna concentrate more on these 3 Asian languagues !!
    Thanks for your video !

  • No Name

    Hm super interesting to hear that others find Japanese grammar difficult and Chinese grammar easy. It’s completely opposite for me! Japanese really clicks for me while Chinese frustrates me to no end lol

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