Karl_ wrote:Mm! Romance languages are a nightmare for conjugation. Especially when it all changes according to grammatical gender too. I'm learning a little bit of Italian and I don't think I'll ever remember all the verb forms, I'm a lost cause really. I'll stick to pointing at things and mumbling "per favore... grazie..." I think.
It was noted in the comments that (at least according to what these people were saying!) Mandarin doesn't have tenses at all, it's all context cues: something like *I play now, *I play yesterday, *I play tomorrow.
I'm working together with a guy editing a book on emerging tech in China and had some fascinating conversations with him about Mandarin (he's fluent). It just sounds so utterly different, even to other Asiatic languages like Japanese.