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Different alphabets (inspired by language threads)

Hi all,

There have been a couple of threads generated regarding language which I have enjoyed reading and contributing to. I am a UK expat living in Copenhagen, Denmark, and loving it. I'm taking classes in Danish at the moment and it's tough ... however the language does at least use the Latin alphabet (plus three extra letters) which is one thing I think I've taken for granted as I could at least read the letters, the pronunciation falling into place later. Anyway, having read one of the language threads I've seen that there are a couple of expats who now live in China who obviously use a different alphabet. That started me thinking about how I'd cope with the addition of learning a brand new reading system and so I'd like to ask anyone that has experience with this:

How did a completely different alphabet affect you and how difficult was it to pick it up? Is there an equivalent of 'just getting by' or do you need to learn everything in order to read things? Correct me if I'm wrong, but some alphabets are made up of sounds rather than individual letters ... I have no idea how I would get my head around that but of course I've never had to.

Really interested to hear/read people's experiences.

Nicola (Copenhagen)

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