Abby (books2thesky) wrote in linguaphiles,

Tonal language speaker learning another tonal language

Tones are always emphasized, at least to English speakers, as the hardest part of learning Chinese ("if you aren't exposed to them at an early age you might not be able to distinguish them at all," etc.)

The question just occurred the me the other day, is it easier for tonal language speakers to learn a tonal language than it is for non-tonal language speakers? For instance, a Thai person learning Chinese or a Chinese person learning Thai? Even if the two languages have different tone systems, the person's brain would still be more accustomed to listening for tones and distinguishing them, right?

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