One of the most common reasons to give up on something is this: It’s taking too long. This familiar refrain is often heard in language learners. People impatient to master the language will give up after a few months of classes because they feel that they are not improving fast enough, and lose their motivation to continue.
The truth is, learning any new skill takes time. While certain circumstances may make it necessary to pick up a new skill quickly, other times, there is really no need to hurry. Everyone has their own style and pace of learning, so there is no need to feel bad that you are taking longer than others to become fluent in a new language. Indeed, some people spend years to finally feel comfortable speaking the language!
If learning Chinese has made you feel like reaching your desired level of proficiency is taking longer than you expect, take heart by switching up your perspective! Here are some ways you can look on the bright side while you take your time with the language:
1. It takes time learning about a new culture
Language learning is not only about intelligence and memorisation. To truly learn a language, one also needs to consider the culture of its speakers. And this takes time!
Getting to know another culture is like getting to know a person – it takes time for you to warm up to it and uncover all the nuances. Culture is also not something you can read in a textbook and discover in a day. You need to gradually learn as you go, and sometimes this means making mistakes as well.
2. It’s an investment
When you invest in something, you need to put in time, money, or effort, and reap the rewards after some time. Notice that the results will only be valuable after a period of time!
In the same way, learning a language takes time and effort. At first, it may seem like you are losing out. But if you keep at it and tide through the toughest beginning stages, you will soon reap the rewards of your hard work.
The rewards of learning a new language is numerous – this new skill can make you more employable, grant you a more agile mind, help you in your travels, and give you a huge sense of achievement, amongst others.
3. It’s fun
As some people like to say: It’s the journey that matters. If it will take you years to master a new language, why not buckle up and enjoy the ride as well?
Learning a language like Chinese is tough, but it is also a lot of fun if you allow yourself to enjoy the process. Once you stop stressing over why you are not learning as fast as you wish you could, you can pause and feel proud at how far you’ve progressed.
A nifty trick is also to make the process enjoyable for yourself! Turn study time into little games for yourself, and give yourself mini rewards like a snack after a successful study session. When you find ways to make yourself look forward to learning, you won’t be so fixated on your progress. And who knows? These fun study elements may just help you learn even faster!
So, if your goal is to learn the Chinese language, we’ll have you know that it’s perfectly alright to take your time. If you find yourself getting impatient or frustrated, take a look at these points and remind yourself that taking time to learn something isn’t always a bad thing.