Chinese grammar is far more strict and straightforward than its Japanese and Korean counterparts. On the other hand, Chinese sentences tend to have the Subject-Verb-Noun structure we're used to in English. This is not the case for Korean, which has a far more convoluted grammar that's very similar to Japanese's.
While the similarities between the two languages are noticeable, Chinese and Korean aren't mutually intelligible. Korean and Chinese people couldn't understand each other if they only used their native language in a conversation. That's because they're from different language families.
Relatively, Korean would be an easier language to learn. Thanks to its phonetic alphabet and more simplistic grammar rules, Korean is not the most challenging Asian language to learn. Chinese on the other hand is much more widely spoken. This means that finding study materials and practice partners would be easier.
Overview of the Korean language
Linguistically, Korean isn't related to Chinese but is similar to, but still distinct from the Japanese language. One of the hardest aspects of Korean is that it is a hierarchical language which means different words are used depending on who you are communicating with.
You will have the advantage of easily recognising cognate loanwords. Grammar and syntax however, will largely be specific to korean. There might be some familiar structures here and there, but overall it's not something you will be able to rely upon. Korean and chinese word orders are entirely different even.
Meanwhile, Korean grammar is likely the hardest, while tones in Mandarin are notoriously difficult for native English speakers to hear, and Japanese is the fastest spoken language in the world at over 7 syllables per second.
Other people who enjoy grammar and grammar-based languages find Korean the easiest since it doesn't have the complicated Chinese characters, and some weird geniuses may enjoy Japanese the most as it is the most challenging – difficult grammar AND Chinese characters.
Korean and Chinese can't understand each other. They have a distinctive language family, Chinese belongs to the Sino-Tibetan (also known as Trans-Himalayan family) while Korean is a Koreanic language (consisting of the modern Korean language collectively with extinct primeval relatives).
The Korean language belongs to the Altaic language family. It is related to Turkish, Mongolian, and Manchu (a Chinese dialect). In terms of grammar, Korean is closest to Japanese. It also shares many words of Chinese origin.
Indonesian or Malay is the easiest Asian language to learn. Moreover, with 77 million speakers, it's certainly worth considering learning as the easiest Asian Language! Thus, what makes the language so simple compared to other Asian Languages?
Gateway to Korean and Japanese - it would be easier for you to learn Korean and Japanese once you learned Chinese. These three languages all share sino-vocabulary. In Korean its about 60% of the vocabulary.
There's certainly nothing wrong with South Korea, however China has even more experiences to discover because of the vastness of the land. The culture is also more welcoming and inclusive than Korean culture tends to be. For these reasons, China comes out on top as the best place for teaching English.
Korean vs Chinese: Which one's the easiest to learn? In conclusion, the Mandarin Chinese writing system is far more complex than its Korean counterpart. Hangul is far easier to learn than Hanzi. But, while Chinese grammar is rather predictable and stable, Korean grammar has some extra layers of difficulty.
Although the Korean and Chinese languages are not related in terms of grammatical structure, more than 50 percent of all Korean vocabulary is derived from Chinese loanwords, a reflection of the cultural dominance of China over 2 millennia.
The language is written from right to left. This is difficult both conceptually and technologically — most computer systems were developed for left-to-right languages like English. Letters change shape based on whether they're in the beginning, the middle, or the end of a word.
According to English-speaking nations, Arabic is one of the most challenging languages to learn. As per their surveys and experiments, it takes an average English speaker almost eighty-eight weeks to learn Arabic along with the Arabic alphabet and grammar as per Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) dialect.
Again, knowing Chinese helps you learn Korean — but it won't really help in the grammar department. Counters — both Chinese and Korean have counters (Japanese does too, by the way). You use a different counter for people, animals, flat objects, long and skinny objects, etc.
A more detailed analysis using 65 alleles at 19 polymorphic loci was performed on six populations. Both analyses demonstrated genetic evidence of the origin of Koreans from the central Asian Mongolians. Further, the Koreans are more closely related to the Japanese and quite distant from the Chinese.
Chinese and Korean cultures are interlinked in many ways, and belong to the Confucian cultural circle, so that many Koreans learn Chinese more easily. The recognition and reading of Chinese characters help Korean people to understand Chinese language to a great extent.
Which means, it's one of the hardest languages to master. They estimate 2200 hours of study before you can reach fluency in Korean. Or 88 weeks of extremely intense study. But if you want a more accurate estimate of how long it will take you to learn Korean, you need to go deeper than the FSI estimate.
Korean and Japanese might be the easiest languages for a native Chinese speaker to learn. While Korean and Japanese belong to a different language family from Chinese, centuries of cultural exchange have filled Korean and Japanese with Chinese vocabulary, in fact, 60% of Korean vocabulary has Chinese roots.