(I know a little Korean... and a little Mandarin...?)
Sigh. Just learned to recognize (barely and vaguely) my first Chinese written character. Can't say if it's Mandarin or Cantonese, or another dialect. But I don't know if dialects are verbal/aural only, or if they are part of written language as well...?? (Ex.: ya'll, youse guys, you'ins -- all supposedly regional English, though American-English)
Korean evolved from Chinese, so maybe that gives me a head start, but Korean is easy (well, that's subjective!)
I should clarify that learning the Korean alphabet was easy, and pronunciation isn't too hard, but an entirely new vocabulary to add to my English-base is definitely a challenge. Not to mention honorifics (like 3 ways to say hello depending on to whom you are speaking, their social status, etc.. For example, "hello":
안녕 , (Hi! (For kids)
안녕하세요 , (adults and equals)
안녕하십니까 (seniors and bosses)
Then there is "thank you":
고마워요 , Thanks
고맙다 , thanks
감사합니다 , thank you
고맙습니다 respectful thank you
At least Latin use similar letters and (near-Italian) pronunciation, which made it easy to learn! You know Latin, you can speak most European languages with ease... subjective opinion, again!
I guess I better hurry up and get fluent in Korean this next year, so I can begin my study of Chinese, which looks seriously daunting....
The kewl thing is, when Koreans hear me speaking and look around for another dark-haired Han, but then find their language coming from The Blonde! ㅋㅋ
Oh, and by the way, since Chinese is written as "characters", I learned the symbols for Tao are a person walking down a path from two symbols of a person with hair, path, and movement. Can you see it???