>>4946>This. I have no first hand experience with Chinese, but Kanji "transferring" from Japanese to Chinese is a pretty spotty statement.
I disagree, for the following reasons (keep reading).>>4945>Yeah, well unless you know the Chinese pronunciations, you're kind of dead in the water.
I was just implying that the shift isn't technically that dramatic; although of course, if you're like me and don't like chinese that much to actually go as far as suffering with the pitch pronounciation, it's not worth the hassle. That depends on the person, though.
>How similar are their grammatical structures?
Japanese can be thought as a Subject->Object->Verb language (SOV), while chinese is a Subject->Verb->Object (SVO) language. So, Japanese is like Latin and Chinese is like french/italian/spanish (or even english, if it comes to that). For example:
Japanese: 貞子はりんごを食べる [sadako wa ringo wo taberu] = "Sadako eats apple"
"Sadako" (personal name), "Wa" (particle to establish the topic, can be thought to mean "As for X/Speaking of X"), "Ringo" (Apple), "Wo" (particle to state the object; in this case, "ringo", apple), "Taberu" (Shuushikei, aka "dictionary form", of the verb "to eat").
Literally in english: "As for Sadako, apple eat" -> "[Speaking about] Sadako, [she is] eat[ing] [an] apple".
Chinese: 麗吃蘋果 [Lì chī píngguǒ] = "Lì eats apple"
Lì (personal name), "chī" (to eat), "píngguǒ" (apple)
Literally in english: "Lì eat apple".
In this example, chinese translates more 1:1 to english than japanese, but that's only because it's a very simple sentence.
There are many other differences (verbs get conjugated through particles instead of proper conjugation, some constructions differ slightly, some verb are different, like "taberu" and "chī" here, and even words like "ringo" and "píngguǒ"), but if you get them it's really easy to read
chinese, or at least get a pretty good idea of what something says. Of course it won't be enough, but it's easier to learn Chinese if you know/understand japanese already than starting from zero.
Consider this chinese song:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is_Z2K7guKs
I read it as follows:
"I" "Love" "Beijing" "Tian'an men",
"Tian'an men" "Over" "Sun" *A character not used in japanese*
"Great "Chief" "Mao Zedong" "Chairman"
"Finger" "pulling" "Us" "towards" "front/ahead" "Proceed"
And a rough translation as I understand it:
"I love Beijing Tian'an men (The Door of Heavenly Peace),"
"The sun over Tian'an men *something*,"
"Great leader Mao Zedong Chairman,"
"Pulls us towards the front (as in "makes us progress" sense)".
And this is the translation as provided by wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Love_Beijing_Tiananmen
"I love Beijing Tiananmen,"
"The sun rises above Tiananmen."
"The great leader Chairman Mao,"
"Leads all of us forward."
A pretty good guess, even if I say so myself. Tian'an men parses to japanese as Tian'an mon, and the translation is 1:1, while in english it gets ridiculously long (The Door of Heavenly Peace).
Now that I know that 升 is a simplified form of 昇 ("to rise"), I can easily see why it becomes "Over Tian'an Men, the sun rises". Comparing to the japanese grammar (天安門の上に太陽が昇ぼる), we can see it's almost be the same except for the kana (if we take it off, it becomes "天安門上太陽昇", vs "天安門上太陽升").
"Great Leader Mao Zedong Chairman" is, again, 1:1 with japanese in sense, while you have to work it a bit in english so it makes sense.
"Leads all of us forward" is very different of how I'd put it in japanese, but it is still fairly understandable.
Again, I'm only trying to point out that it isn't that painful to start leaning chinese if you already understand the japanese "touch" or are used to its quirks. It really depends on whether you want to do it or not.
Of course there are differences but they aren't really THAT big. Or at least, I don't see them.