A short while back I listed Top 10 Reasons for Studying Chinese. However, Chinese or even learning a second language is not to everyone’s taste. Since writing the post I’ve heard a number of people, both online (Tan) and in my Chinese class reconsider their decision to learn Chinese. In almost all cases the reasons were a change in personal circumstances, but it struck me there may be an equal number of good reasons not to learn Chinese as there are for learning it. So in the interests of fairness, here are the top ten reasons for not learning Chinese.
- It won’t be long before everyone in China speaks English.
- Because such a complicated writing system is bound to be replaced.
- No one speaks Chinese outside of China.
- I don’t plan on visiting China at all.
- I’m never going to use my Chinese other than during lessons.
- It requires a significant investment (in terms of time) to make any progress. There is no quick solution.
- To learn Chinese you need to learn two languages, Pinyin and Hanzi (or equivalent).
- Because there are 4 tones and they all sound the same to me.
- Because it is impossible to look up new characters in a dictionary or ask someone what character “X” means without actually showing them the character.
- It is just too difficult.
Despite all of these, I’m still sticking with it. But I’ll be the first to admit that every now and again I take an unplanned break from studying. For some reason the energy and/or interest fades away. The trick for me is to make sure both the interest and the energy return before too long.