Why Pinyin Just Isn’t Enough
Learning Chinese is hard. I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees.
You have 4 tones and over 3,000 modern Chinese characters. Now, add on the complex question of whether to learn simplified versus traditional characters … or both. It’s enough to make some of us want to give up learning Mandarin altogether. So you might wonder: Why bother learning characters at all? Don’t all Mainland Chinese people know pinyin? If I write down an address in pinyin to a taxi driver, they will surely understand. Why bother at all?