Is Japanese easier to learn than Korean? Or vice-versa?

I want to try and learn another language and I have thought of what type of language to learn. I want try Japanese or Korean but I want to try only one language so I can concentrate on my main studies (like Maths). I can only speak English but I learned Mandarin since I was 6 (But I kind of forgot quite a lot) and I am currently learning Spanish. I also listen to K-pop quite a lot (hehe) and I know A FEW phrases in Korean.

4 Answers

  • Dr. N
    Lv 4
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It really all depends on how you see it. There are some easy aspects of the Japanese language, and some easy aspects of the Korean language. Both languages have a similar grammar and word order, and use particles, honorifics, and so on. If your study one language you will definitely have an advantage when learning the other.

    Here are things which make Korean easy:

    -Spaces between words: Japanese sentences write their characters all together, but not in Korean.

    -A phonetic alphabet: The Korean uses a phonetic alphabet so each character represents a sound, while the Japanese uses a complicated syllabary called Kana with a total of 92 characters.

    -No need to learn Chinese characters: Japanese uses Kanji, which consists of more than 2000 characters that you have to know to read an average newspaper, and while Korean has its Chinese characters you don't need to learn them.

    Here are things which, however, make Korean hard:

    -Complicated pronunciation: Korean has many multiple versions of the same consonant, vowel, or diphthong which may sound the same to a non-native speaker and can be difficult to master.

    -More complex grammar: Korean has a similar grammar to Japanese, but it's more challenging. For example, Koreans use two particles where Japanese would use one.

    Now here are some things which would make the Japanese language easier to learn:

    -Simple pronunciation: The only sound that isn't familiar to English speakers is the 'R' which is a flap with the tongue, sort of like an 'l' and the 'fu' which is made without the lips touching.

    -Gender and Noun Cases: Japanese Nouns, like English, do not have any gender that you need to memorise. If you are studying Spanish, you know how hard masculine and feminine nouns can be. Also, the nouns don't change in the plural. So 'Nezumi' could mean one mouse or ten!

    -Verb conjugation: Japanese verb conjugation is fairly limited and only two tenses exist, and a few other conjugations which you'll have to know, but that's about it.

    And finally, here is what will make Japanese hard:

    -Kanji: There are about 2000-4000 characters from Chinese that you will have to learn if you wish to master an advanced writing level in Japanese. The complicated part about Kanji is that they are often pronounced differently depending on the context, and you'll just have to know the readings by heart.

    -Formality: There are many different ways to say the same thing, but you have to use the right one when you are talking to a certain person. The Keigo (multiple polite forms) of the language is quite difficult to get used to.

    -No spaces: Japanese sentences are written without spaces between words.

    You will really just need to try your best when you study these languages. They are both beautiful, very mysterious and wonderful languages to know but you have to accept that both of them are hard. I myself am learning Japanese and I really enjoy it, but the choice of whether you will choose Japanese or Korean will be yours. I wish you luck on your studies!

    Source(s): Check out this website which compares the two languages:
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  • 4 years ago

    I'd say Korean. I studied eastern by myself for roughly three years, and that i have to say that it used to be lovely hard. Jap has three writing systems, Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji, whereas Korean best has one. Hiragana is quite effortless (I learnt it in a couple of week), but I could in no way remember Katakana, and Kanji was once simply asdfghjkl; so frustrating! Whereas Korean simplest has the one writing procedure, Hangul, and it is SOOO a lot simpler. I learnt it in around three days (and that is SLOWLY over 3 days, i'm speakme like half an hour a day), whereas when I was learning Hiragana I spent hours and hours each and every night making an attempt fairly rough to recollect it). Hangul makes use of a phonetic approach, so it is much more like our alphabet, whereas eastern is syllabic, which is much more problematic for westerners to be trained, as a common rule. Grammars are usually an identical to each other, from what I've visible up to now, neither is relatively that tough to get your head round once you re-route your mind into it. And that i look to be studying Korean quite a bit rapid than jap; i can say, learn and write so many more random words and phrases than I would in eastern I began finding out jap on account that of tv shows, track, etc., but i might must say that Korea is so a lot better for stuff like that (or is that me simply being biased, lol?). Supply the culture a are trying! It's excellent! As soon as you're sucked into okay-Pop you'll be able to under no circumstances go back! Yeah, eastern is getting slightly more preferred, however should you relatively wanted to learn it i would not let it put you off. I am hoping this helps you decide, and have fun! Each are fairly first-class languages!^^

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  • Shansi
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    Speaking-wise: Japanese is a lot easier.

    Reading-wise: Korean is a lot easier.

    Both languages are quite regular and there almost no exceptions in any rules. The only big obstacle in learning Japanese is the writing system.

    As a whole, I think Korean is easier.

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  • 7 years ago

    I'm a Chinese American who has tried to learn both and personally I think Japanese is way easier to learn than Korean. There are less sound combinations in Japanese when compared to Korean and Chinese. I picked up so much Japanese just from watching J-drama because the sounds are easier to reproduce. As for Korean, it's harder to learn and even when you learn the words, you might still have an accent. The only time when Japanese is harder than Korean I think is when you have to learn Kanji...but by then, you should've already acquired sufficient Japanese to have conversations.

    Source(s): my own learning experience
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