Is it difficult for a foreigner to read a Chinese book in China although many interesting books are written in Chinese?
Most of your question is irrelevant, and should be : * “ It is difficult to read a book in a foreign language ? “.* Answer is : yes, and difficulty may vary according to your knowledge of the language and the specific book.
Despite all interesting texts in ancient Sanskrit, I can absolutely not read those languages - which makes it immensely difficult for me to read them. A Japanese may understand partly a text in Chinese without prior knowledge, while a German or Qatari won ‘t.
Some books are boring, unpleasant or dealing with totally new concepts, which makes them more difficult to read. Modern Chinese books are easier to read than classical texts, because the writing is less formal and closer to the spoken language. Novels are usually harder than non-fiction, because even if you understood the story you still may have missed the novel itself.
For a new learner, the slow pace make reading books in foreign languages difficult. Reading a French or English book will takes me a few hours, while it may require a complete week for one in Chinese. It is depressing to be stuck on page 10 after 3 hours of reading, which makes the reading experience in another language hard to sustain. It takes daily practice and discipline, which are not the sexiest part of the learning experience.
This text was originally published in quora.