I have read that one of the largest Chinese dictionaries contains 56k characters. Wow. Amazing, no? How could a person possibly memorize all those?! Imagine those Chinese kids going to school and learning how to write one character. (I hear that 3,000 under your belt is a good amount.) Oh boy! We learned how to write “Elephant,” today, only 2,999 left to go!
…But we must pause before criticizing another culture for it’s seemingly impractical language.
I want you to run this next scene through your mind in light of that previous one.
“Good morning class! Today we’re learning about silent E. It makes the vowel in the word long! Except for sometimes, like when you say simile, catastrophe or cliché, in which case the vowel before it isn’t long, and the E isn’t silent. But that’s beside the point. And does everyone remember yesterday’s lesson, about C? When it’s before an I, or E, it’s like an S, and if it’s before anything else, it’s pronounced just like a K. Unless you’re saying façade, but that’s French anyway. I mean English, but it’s borrowed French…And Wikipedia-knows-why we have a C in our alphabet in the first place…”
It may be a little unfair to criticize Mandarin, Japanese, or Cuneiform, when our own language has its cumbersome pet inconsistencies.
Be understanding of other scripts. After you’ve got that down, you can either fix, or accept, our improper language.