What hard lessons have you learned from Chinese language?

Time is a relative concept.

Chinese language has no concept of past and present tenses, like in English or other Indo-European languages. There is two important markers for verbs : one that expresses that something already happened 过, one that expresses that the situation has changed 了. For the rest, all you need to know is given by the context (dates, order of sentences, etc).

As a French native, we have almost 10 tenses just to express the past. To figure out that the description of life could be constructed around something else than time was mind-blowing.

This text was originally published in quora.

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