I speak Chinese as a second language. I disagree with the points listed by Moser in the article:
-- Because the writing system is ridiculous.
Why is the writing system ridiculous? Characters are mostly made up of two parts -- a radical and a phonetic marker. While more complicated than an alphabet, there is extreme logic in written Chinese. The radical tells you about the meaning 手（提），目（眼），口（吃）等等 and the phonetic aids in pronunciation.
-- Because the language doesn't have the common sense to use an alphabet.
This is ridiculous. Besides, Pinyin is used in early learning to understand pronunciation. I spent a good 8-12 months to learn two thousand characters, but after that initial time investment I found new vocabulary EASY to learn and know. In English there are words of Latin, German, French and other origins. It is way easier to learn a new Chinese word if you know the Character components than it is to learn new English vocabulary. The alphabet only aids in pronunciation, it often can give little to no hint of MEANING.
-- Because the writing system just ain't very phonetic.
Yes, Chinese writing is quite phonetic -- 方，放，房，防，比，毕，望，忘，亡等等. To call Chinese not very phonetic probably means you are not literate in Chinese...
-- Because tonal languages are weird;
I think like a quarter or half of human languages are tonal. The tones take time -- my native tongue is not tonal -- but can be learned with practice. My tones are awesome because when I learned to read I had to memorize hundreds of characters. When I memorized with flashcards I would say loudly each word. My tones are great today if I take the time and focus.
-- Because East is East and West is West, and the twain have only recently met.
Hasn't there been global trade and communication for thousands of years? That Silk Road that is being rebuilt has a long, glorious history...
I found in this forum, the speaker bilingual plate is almost Chinese. This is the reason why. We have the motivation to learn english. And the people who speak English without dynamics of chinese. Don't even bother to use Google translation.
seneca Post time: 2014-11-24 15:00
Perfect Google translation!
I just don't know what you have translated it from. So I canno ...
Here are some tips, Chinese usually use short sentences, using attributive rarely. For example, you want to say: China is a country with a long history, it has built the Great Wall. Instead of using the English sentence patterns: China which with a long history built the great wall.Phrase translation is usually more suitable for the use of machine translation. They are usually accurate.