Language forms an essential cultural identity of a community, it is the way people communicate ideas and emotions, it is the medium of recording, a necessity and an art form.
To find motivation behind learning a new language we first and foremost need to define a reason to learn it.
Reasons why you should learn Chinese
1.3 billion people of the total population identify with the Chinese language as their native tongue, making Chinese language as the world’s most widely spoken language. Out of these 1.3 billion people, roughly 1.1 billion people are Mandarin language speakers. Chinese is the official language of China, Taiwan and Singapore. These countries are the major emerging economies of the world and also provide a plethora of jobs in the market. Hence learning Chinese gives one an added advantage of easy interaction with colleagues along with better business and job opportunities. Learning Chinese is also very beneficial for foreign nationals working in China.
China has a rich cultural heritage, and is also one of the top tourist destinations in the world. China is well known for its cuisine, history and art. The best way to experience the true joy of travelling is not by an outsider’s glimpse but by integrating with the native people. By learning how to speak Chinese, you can easily interact with the Chinese locals.
“Knowledge is better than wealth. You have to look after wealth, while knowledge looks after you”
The above reasons apart one can learn Chinese simply because Chinese is an interesting language. Developing an interest in the subject at hand is the best way to never lose motivation while learning it. The script used in Mandarin language is very different from the alphabets used in most of the other languages. Pictograms form the basis of the Chinese language, which is one of the most ancient forms of communication used by man.
Chinese: An easy language to learn
Chinese may appear to be a tough language to master especially for people who have no experience or interaction with the Chinese, but this is far from the truth. Grammar which is often the most complicated part of learning any language is the simplest thing when it comes to the Chinese language. Nouns and verbs do not change their form because the Chinese language doesn’t have any plurals and tenses. There is absolutely no hassle of converting verbs and getting confused with specific details. Chinese language, especially Mandarin Chinese which is a simpler form of Chinese may not be as hard to learn as you might think.
As the no. of Chinese language speakers are increasing, so is the availability of online resources to learn Chinese. You can easily learn Mandarin online from the comfort of your home. There are numerous paid and free online courses available, which provide detailed study material for all levels of learners. Learn to speak Chinese by watching Chinese films, music videos and listening to podcasts, songs and radio shows. The best way to learn Mandarin is by combining a variety of study methods, this will also keep boredom at bay.
Make Chinese interesting
The novelty of learning a new language wears off with time, which is a very natural human behavior. We lose the passion and speed with which we began learning and hence the learning curve stagnates. To maintain the initial motivation, we need find ways to keep ourselves curious about the Chinese language.
Use different methods to continuously stay in touch with the language. Listen to music in the Chinese language and enjoy their rich karaoke culture. Music in the mandarin language is available in many genres such as pop, rock, country and folk music; there is something for everyone’s choice. Once you have learnt how to read a few Mandarin characters you can easily sing along to the lyrics. Sweet Honey Honey by Teresa Tang, The Ordinary Road by Pu Shu and I Believe by Roger Yang are some songs you can begin with.
Another way to diversify learning is by actually using the language. Even if you have just learnt the basics, you should try to speak Chinese language as much as you can. Take it up as a challenge to just use Chinese to communicate for a day, go alone to a Chinese eatery and place an order in the Chinese language. You can also start a blog in Mandarin Chinese which will also be useful for other learners. Make Chinese friends and ask them for constructive feedback.
Setting Goals and Staying Accountable
Doing a task without setting definite time bound goals is like navigating a ship without a compass.
Once you start with Mandarin Chinese learning, set a target which is specific. Define deadlines and stick to it. For e.g. you can set a target of learning say 20 new characters per week and to read at least 2 books in the Chinese language by the end of the month. Break down a bigger target into smaller achievable chunks.
Setting goals should also come with a responsibility towards it. Joining a classroom course or an online Chinese language course will make you more accountable.
Lastly don’t let setbacks demotivate you. Develop success from failures to make the learning process fun and enjoyable.