To date, studies have focused on the acquisition of alphabetic second languages in alphabetic first language (L1) users, demonstrating significant transfer effects. The present study examines the process from a reverse perspective, comparing logographic (Mandarin-Chinese) and alphabetic (English) L1 users in the acquisition of an artificial logographic script to determine whether similar language-specific advantageous transfer effects occurred. Chinese-English bilinguals, English-French bilinguals, and English monolinguals learned a small set of symbols (six nouns and six verbs) in an artificial logographic script. A lexical decision task on the artificial symbols revealed markedly faster response times in the Chinese-English bilinguals, indicating a logographic transfer effect suggestive of a language experience- specific advantage. A syntactic decision task evaluated the degree to which the new language was mastered beyond the single word level. No L1-specific transfer effects were found for artificial language strings. However, when carrying out the same task in the native language, both the Chinese-English and the English-French bilinguals outperformed the English monolinguals, indicative of a bilingual processing advantage. The results are discussed in relation to possible differences in processing styles relating to logographic versus alphabetic languages, variably involving visual versus phonological coding.