Kungfucius says: learn both!
But not at the same time. Get one language over a threshold first before you start learning the other language.
Learning a new language can be a fun and rewarding experience, and Japanese and Chinese are both fascinating and complex languages with rich histories and cultures. If you’re considering learning either or both of these languages, there are a few factors to consider to help you decide which one might be the best fit for you.
- Purpose – One of the first things to consider is why you want to learn the language. Are you planning to visit Japan or China, or do you have other specific goals in mind? This can help you determine which language is more appropriate for your needs.
- Difficulty – Both Japanese and Chinese can be challenging languages to learn, and both have their own unique set of grammar and vocabulary rules. Japanese uses three different writing systems (kanji, hiragana, and katakana), while Chinese uses a single writing system (simplified or traditional characters). However, Chinese grammar is generally considered to be simpler than Japanese grammar, so that might be something to consider if you’re just starting out.
- Time and resources – Learning a new language takes time and dedication, so it’s important to consider how much time and resources you have available. If you’re able to commit to regular study sessions and have access to resources like language exchange programs or immersion programs, you’ll likely progress faster.
- Personal preference – Ultimately, the decision of which language to learn first (or at all) should be based on your personal preferences and interests. If you have a particular affinity for Japanese culture or Chinese culture, that might be a good starting point.
In the end, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding which language to learn first. Both Japanese and Chinese are fascinating and rewarding languages to learn, and the most important thing is to find something that motivates and inspires you. Whether you decide to focus on one language or tackle both at the same time, the key is to have fun and enjoy the journey of learning something new.
Check out the other articles about how to learn Chinese: