15 Aug English vs. Chinese: The Key Differences
English is the most spoken language in the World, with 37.9 million native speakers and 753 million people claim English as their second language. However, Chinese is the most spoken native language on Earth thanks to the sheer population of China. China has almost 1.4 billion people, the USA, and Canada combined have 364,260,000.
Part of what makes English so popular is its versatility. Unlike Chinese, there are few dialects. It’s easy to get caught up on slang but in general, DayTranslations says any English speaker can understand another English speaker regardless of where they’re from.
A phrasal verb is a phrase that uses a verb with a preposition or adverb to make up a completely different phrase. In English, these are sayings like “act up,” “mix up,” “look up to,” or “try-out” says Dave’s ESL Cafe.
Phrasal verbs do not exist in China, they have no direct translation for these phrasal verbs.
Articles & Other Grammar
Something we use very often in English and many other languages are articles. These articles are terms like a, an, and the or le, la, and les in French.
Article use is something many Chinese native speakers really struggle with when they are learning English.
The Chinese language also doesn’t gender objects like it’s done in Spanish or French. Additionally, verb endings don’t change, says Fluent in Mandarin.
English is the #1 Language on the Internet!
More than 55% of the internet’s vast amounts of content is written in English, according to Unbabel.
English was chosen as the #1 language because of its geographical reach. While there are plenty of people who speak Chinese as a second language, it’s not nearly as many as English. English is very widely spoken all over the globe and is one of the few languages that is taught in every country.
In English, new words are put into the dictionary at least yearly. However, Chinese is extremely different. Because China often associates symbols with whole words, it’s difficult to make new ones.
They will frequently just put two words together to describe the object rather than making a whole new word.
Chinese Culture Values Etiquette
When it comes to business, it’s extremely important to read up on Chinese culture before embarking on your trip. A passionate business person flying off the handle after losing a sale or client may not be an odd sight in the USA.
However, in China, it’s extremely important to maintain your composure. It’s considered weak and disrespectful to cry or lose your temper at work in China, says CNN.
If you’re interested to see how sharp your Chinese skills are, check out our vocabulary quiz!