Mandarin seems to be easier to read than japanese, chinese kanjis are a lot simpler than the japanese ones and they have only one meaning (on'yomi & kon'yomi readings are a nightmare in japanese).
Erm it depends. I don't speak much Japanese as I've never been too interested in the culture/going there but I'm fairly sure they are very similar. I know that when i watch Japanese shows with Japanese subtitles even without understanding Katakana or Hirgana i can almost always get the jist of what is being said. I'm pretty sure most of them are the same just spoken a different way.
Mandarin grammar is also a lot simpler than the japanese one. For example, there are 6 different ways to say "if" in japanese.
Mandarin grammar is extremely simple and logical. By far most sensible language grammar wise i have came across. In comparison to Korean where verb conjugation and respect levels are insane.
But what I don't like with mandarin is that there are 4 tones and the meaning of a word varies according to the tone.
For exemple ni hao can mean "hello" but with another tone it can mean "how are you ?".
Meh you just train your ears to understand it. It becomes pretty obvious after a while. Oh and "Ni hao" is hello and "Ni hao ma5?" is how are you. Literally means "You well" and "You well ?". Adding "ma5" (A toneless question particle) turns a statement into a question.
I listened to some mandarin and I ABSOLUTELY CAN'T TELL the difference between the 4 tones
Like i said you'll have to train your ears. Hang out with Chinese people and you'll learn it quick. Plus most basic Mandarin is spoken so fast that tones are irrelevant.
I even heard that taïwanese ppl have 9 tones instead of 4
Nope that's Cantonese. Taiwanese people speak Mandarin but instead of mainland China they use Traditional Chinese to write in (in comparison to mainland using Similplied Chinese).
If I remember well Korean also has this multiple tones sh!t but I'm not sure, can you confirm that ayrasaurus ?
Nope Korean has no tones but it's difficulty comes from how ridiculous the grammar can be at times. Coupled with multiple respect levels and tongue movement while speaking. Korean is very similar to Japanese grammatically with harder conjugations and awkward voice/tongue movements when you speak. That said it's a ridiculously fun language to speak and is very versatile in comparison to Chinese (especially at intermediate to low advanced level).
What I like with japanese is that even If It's a pain in the a$$ to read and write, It's very easy to speak, also even If the grammar is hard it follows a certain logic, once you get it, It's okay
Ye that's one of the good things about Japanese. I'll probably learn it one day as it's the same grammar as Korean and Turkish and I'll also have the Chinese Kanji so it makes sense. I just have not developed an interest in learning the language. I have few Japanese friends but I don't know much outside of traveler Japanese and i can't justify delving deeper into it atm. Got about 3-4 languages ahead of it in the que.
I would love to learn Mandarin for business purposes but this multiple tone sh!t really scares me. Do you struggle to speak and understand Mandarin ayrasaurus ? Would be great if you could give me some feedback about your mandarin studies, the difficulties you encountered and all that stuff...
Honestly i never have trouble understanding tones. It's a lack of vocabulary which can hurt me at times, but that said Mandarin is a incredibly simple language once you wrap your head around it. It's very easy to convey thoughts and ideas though I'd say without a large arsenal of idioms your speech will be very basic and vague. Mandarin is a language rich in idioms and small four syllable proverbs/idioms.
I know it sounds lame but mate the easiest way ever to learn a language is to just date someone from that area. Aka if you're learning Chinese date a Chinese chick as with Korean, Turkish, Arabic basically any language. It'll not only give you tons of motivation towards practicing the language but you'll get much more exposure to slang and colloquial speech of your given language.
I'm also a huge advocate of learning 2 or more languages at once. I find if you focus on one language your mind can wander and you can lose motivation, but if you're learning two you can have one day Japanese one day Spanish lets say. Basically it stops you from becoming too into one language and allows your brain to work even harder and allows you to develop an interest in multiple cultures. I found when i focused only on Korean i became an insufferable Koreaboo (basically everything i hate), but once i started studying 3+ languages i approached my studies way more logically and efficiently. That said I'm studying languages A. for business purposes and B. because it's my obsession. Not everyone will want to/have time for that.
No probs bro and good luck :3
Oh and though I'm no expert in Mandarin of Korean if you or anyone wants to learn the basics (perhaps it'll be easier from a native English speaker) I'd be more than happy. I actually tutor Korean at my uni so I'm fairly decent at teaching that language up to high beginner/low intermediate level.