My native language uses Latin alphabet. If I want to start learning another language which uses another script as an adult, e.g. Chinese or Thai, I could start by learning the Chinese / Thai script first, and then slowly improve from there, like I presume a child learning it as their first language.

Or another option, since I already have another script (i.e. Latin) down pat, is I can learn and build a base Chinese / Thai vocab in its romanized spelling first (e.g in the case of Chinese, using Hanyu Pinyin), and pick up the spelling / writing in Chinese / Thai script later.

What's the pros and cons of the latter approach?

  • So you are not learning or needing to use Chinese characters? I would only consider using romanized language if your goal is speech or quick learning only. – user3169 Apr 8 '16 at 6:26
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    This is another example of an opinion-based question, which I think can be easily adapted to an objective question. Rather than asking what one should do, can you ask for the pros and cons of the different approaches?" Then the answer no longer depends on your specific (probably unknown) situation, and can apply to any future visitor with a similar question, but different circumstances. E.g. "What are the pros and cons sides to initially learning Chinese using a Latin alphabet?" – Flimzy Apr 8 '16 at 6:48
  • I guess I can adapt the question. But I'm also curious, in the end is it subjective, i.e. different method works for different persons? Also I will clarify that the scope for the question is at the beginning of the learning journey. – Ricky Apr 8 '16 at 7:17
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    By asking for pros and cons, you cover the "subjective basis." An answer can say "For some people, it's good because X, while other struggle with Y." – Flimzy Apr 8 '16 at 7:32
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    @user3169: That can be another approach, and in some cases it is probably better. But often having a list of pros/cons is going to be far more useful, not to mention possible. Describing ones' own situation in sufficient detail to provide a prescriptive answer often isn't possible or practical. – Flimzy Apr 8 '16 at 17:49

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