Whether you are just starting your studies of Oriental or have been studying for some time, it’s of great importance that you’re conscious of your motivations for attempting to learn the language. The more clearly defined your motivations for learning Chinese, the better you will be at reaching Your own goals. Sure, you could be saying, “I already have known reasons for learning Chinese.” You may even have several apparently known reasons for learning Chinese, such as:

“Chinese is the language into the future” or
“Chinese speakers are in high demand”
“China has 1.3 billion people” or

I’m not saying they are bad known reasons for learning Chinese. They’re fine reasons. The thing is that they are not personal enough. It is crucial to have YOUR PERSONAL INDIVIDUAL known reasons for learning Chinese because those are the only ones that may keep you motivated you during the long and occasionally difficult journey of learning Chinese. Also, having more specific reasons is better. An individual who’s motivation for learning Chinese is “Let me research the effects of China’s Western Development project on ethnic minorities in XinJiang province” could have a much easier time than someone who’s reason is “I love kung-pao chicken.”

Having specific outcomes for learning Chinese may also enable you to learn Chinese much more efficiently. You see, if we consider the first three reasons given above, we’ll arrived at the realization that they don’t address a few key questions that everyone should ask themselves when coming up with 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 getting the right kinds of reasons might help a whole 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?”

Should you have clearly established your individual known reasons for learning Chinese, answering these questions will be much easier, and considering these questions will make sure that your reasons are the right ones for YOU. In this manner, your progress in learning Chinese will undoubtedly be much quicker.

Let’s consider the first question. “I am thinking about diaspora literature written by Taiwanese authors” may be your reason for learning Chinese. Well, given that they use the traditional writing system in Taiwan you’ll most likely want to learn traditional characters from the start. Or your reason could be: “I want to look for a manufacturer of widgets in China without going through a middleman.” If learn Chinese pdf is your reason, learning traditional characters may 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’s rather a HUGE task to go back and re-study all the characters in another system. So making sure to take into account this kind of question early on can really save you a HUGE amount of time.

It’s the same if you are trying to decide if you wish to just learn “conversational Chinese” or to be able to figure out how to read and write the characters aswell. Lot’s of individuals 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 is not a good decision for anyone who desires to achieve at the very least an intermediate level of skill in spoken Chinese. It can be the right choice for a lot of though, in a number of limited cases. Like in the event that you just want to impress friends and family by ordering several dishes in Chinese at the neighborhood ‘Sichuan Palace.’ Whatever your decisions may become, having individual and thought-out goals can help you in making your choice.

These are just a couple of ways that having thought-out and personal reasons will let you on the road to learning Chinese. Lot’s of other questions should come up all the time. In case you have clear motivations for learning Chinese, you’ll be more likely to make the right choices according to your personal unique situation.

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