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Chinese language is difficult to learn, sure, but outdated? No!

Updated: 2016-05-16 14:55:50

( Xinhua )

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Photo taken on March 22, 2012, shows part of Chinese woodblock printing work. [Photo/Xinhua]

Everyone knows that the Chinese language is one of the most difficult languages in the world, but is it "backwards" or "unsuitable for the modern age" as some in the West says it is? An article published on the Foreign Policy magazine explained that the criticism is no more than a revisit of colonial-period mentalities.

The Chinese language, unlike most other languages in the Indo-European language family such as English, does not use an alphabetic or syllabic writing system, making it difficult to learn for a native speaker of an Western language.

But as Tom Mullaney, the author of the article, argues, the criticism is rooted in a Western-centered mentality that anything not structured like the West is backwards and bad for development.

However, the criticism against the Chinese language fails to see that the literacy rate in China is higher than 95 percent, and that the country is also a hub of scientific innovation.

Also contrary to the belief that the Chinese language is unsuitable for the QWERTY keyboard, now most young Chinese can use the key board to input Chinese no slower than their Western counterparts.

It's understandable that the difficulty of the language can make some learners frustrated, but if a right attitude was put in more effort, one might not say the language is not worth learning.

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