The Puzzle of Motivation

The secret to high performance isn’t rewards and punishments, but that unseen intrinsic drive– the drive to do things for their own sake. The drive to do things cause they matter.

Remove that sense of purpose, and you remove all motivation.

Top 10 Reasons Not to Study Chinese

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.

  1. It won’t be long before everyone in China speaks English.
  2. Because such a complicated writing system is bound to be replaced.
  3. No one speaks Chinese outside of China.
  4. I don’t plan on visiting China at all.
  5. I’m never going to use my Chinese other than during lessons.
  6. It requires a significant investment (in terms of time) to make any progress. There is no quick solution.
  7. To learn Chinese you need to learn two languages, Pinyin and Hanzi (or equivalent).
  8. Because there are 4 tones and they all sound the same to me.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Top 10 Reasons for Learning Chinese

Lone Student by djkingThere are many different reasons for learning a new language. There is no right or wrong reason, and everyone has their own story. Learning a new language is a journey, and as with any journey there are ups and downs, times when things go well and times when you will want to give up. Every now and again, it is worth re-visiting the reason you decided to learn a new language.

My chosen language is Mandarin Chinese. So here are the top ten reasons (in no particular order) for learning Mandarin.

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