Have clearly defined reasons for learning Chinese

Apr 1 07:32 2009 Chris Busch Print This Article

This article explains how learning Chinese can an easier and more efficient process when you have clearly defined, specific, and personal reasons for learning the language.

Learning Chinese is easier with clearly defined reasons Why are you learning Chinese? Whether you are just starting your studies of Chinese language or have been studying for a while,Guest Posting it’s of great importance that you’re conscious of your motivations for wanting to learn the language. The more clearly defined your motivations for learning Chinese, the better you will be at reaching YOUR individual goals. Sure, you may be saying, “I already have reasons for learning Chinese.” You might even have a few apparently good reasons for learning Chinese, such as: “Chinese is the language of the future” or “Chinese speakers are in high demand” “China has 1.3 billion people” or I’m not saying these are bad reasons for learning Chinese. They are fine reasons. The problem is that they’re not personal enough. It is crucial to have YOUR OWN INDIVIDUAL reasons for learning Chinese because those are the only ones that will keep you motivated you during the long and occasionally difficult journey of learning Chinese. Also, having more specific reasons is better. A person who’s motivation for learning Chinese is “I’d like to research the effects of China’s Western Development project on ethnic minorities in XinJiang province” will have a much easier time than someone who’s reason is “I like kung-pao chicken.” Having specific outcomes for learning Chinese will also help you to learn Chinese much more efficiently. You see, if we consider the first three reasons given above, we’ll come to the realization that they don’t address a few key questions that everyone should ask themselves when making the decision to learn Chinese. In the coming days, we’ll deal with what these questions are and how to answer them. Right now, we’ll just consider two questions as a way to show how having the right kinds of reasons can help a lot when learning Chinese: 1) “Should I learn simplified characters or traditional characters?” 2) “Am I going to just learn conversational Chinese, or learn to read and write too?” If you have clearly established your individual reasons for learning Chinese, answering these questions will be much easier, and thinking about these questions will ensure that your reasons are the right ones for YOU. This way, your progress in learning Chinese will be much quicker. Let’s consider the first question. “I am interested in diaspora literature written by Taiwanese authors” might be your reason for learning Chinese. Well, since they use the traditional writing system in Taiwan you will most likely want to learn traditional characters from the start. Or your reason may be: “I want to find a manufacturer of widgets in China without going through a middleman.” If this is your reason, learning traditional characters might not be so crucial. Many people don’t really think about this question too carefully before deciding on which system to use when learning Chinese. With both systems, simplified and traditional, it can be a HUGE task to go back and re-study all the characters in the other system. So making sure to think about this kind of question early on can really save you a HUGE amount of time. It’s the same when you’re trying to decide if you want to just learn “conversational Chinese” or if you want to learn to read and write the characters as well. Lot’s of people are scared off by the thousands of Chinese characters and choose to stick with “conversational Chinese” and avoid learning the characters. I would say that this isn’t a good decision for anyone who desires to achieve at least an intermediate level of skill in spoken Chinese. It may be the right choice for some people though, in a number of limited cases. Like if you just want to impress your friends by ordering a few dishes in Chinese at the local ‘Sichuan Palace.’ Regardless of what your decisions may end up being, having individual and thought-out goals can assist you in making your choice. These are just a couple ways that having thought-out and personal reasons can help you on the road to learning Chinese. Lot’s of other questions will come up all the time. If you have clear motivations for learning Chinese, you’ll be more likely to make the correct choices according to your own unique situation. Read more articles about Learning Chinese at Chinacopia.

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About Article Author

Chris Busch
Chris Busch

Chris Busch has over two years experience living, working, and studying in China. He is fluent in Mandarin and familiar with many aspects of Chinese culture. His website, Chinacopia. is a valuable resource for China and Chinese related information.

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