Learning a new language for an adult takes guts, time for practice sessions, and can dent on your wallet. If you are learning a new language, congratulations. Most Singaporeans are by default Bilingual. However, business or social demands may cause you to want to learn a third language. It’s not as easy as what the ads say. You have to overcome psychological challenges and wrestle with the technical aspects of the new language, especially when you take up a mandarin course in singapore. But as Sun Tzu aptly said, knowing your adversary is the best way to win a battle.
Below are some of the challenges of learning a new language.
Immediately you’ve signed up. You will have to make a whole load of emotional and behaviour adjustments. You may have to deal with emotions such as fear of failure and low confidence levels. When you think more about what might happen rather than deal with what is happening and when you focus on what others have to say, you exacerbate fear. But, you can counter fear. If you’ve signed up to learn business Mandarin, avoid thinking about what your counterparts will think of your Chinese, and focus on learning.
Another psychological barrier is rigidity in your usual ways. Learning requires changing our perspectives about fundamental issues. Some languages, are written right to the left, others, such as Chinese, are written from top to bottom. Other languages have a gender aspect to inanimate objects. Rather than resisting the change, just accept the differences or better still, learn a little more about the root words and embrace the differences.
The most common psychological barrier you will experience is lack of time. Singaporeans are busy people and setting time aside for Mandarin classes in Singapore can be quite a challenge. However, you can always schedule some quick practice time on your smartphone or your work computer. Plus, as you re-organise your priorities, you’ll get more opportunities to learn the new language.
After dealing with the psychological barriers, you are in a better position to handle the technical aspects. However, there are some technicalities which stand out. At the top of the list is pronunciation. Wrong pronunciation sets you back in your learning curve. Some languages such as Chinese are tonal, and if you’re learning the mandarin language, you’ll discover that the wrong pronunciation could translate into an entirely different word. The only way you can overcome pronunciation challenges is by interacting more with Chinese speakers.
Another technicality which often springs up is writing. Many western languages are alphabet-based and don’t have more than thirty or forty characters. However, other languages such as Chinese have well over 50,000 characters and mastering these will take years. But you can help to make them stick by reading more books or joining Chinese social media.
The last technical challenge that often stands out is dealing with grammar and idioms. Languages like Georgian and Chinese have too many patterns, and a single word can be expressed in various ways including its’ conjugation or differing genders. Also, mastering idiomatic expressions can be a challenge especially in languages such as Chinese where there are different levels of formality
These challenges can sometimes be daunting. But they are not insurmountable. If you have taken steps to learn a new language, don’t let it stop with the Mandarin classes in Singapore. Start reading books, listening to podcasts or visit and interact with native speakers and you’ll be proficient.