Why Is Chinese So Hard To Learn?

Chinese is notoriously hard to learn, and with good reason. It is the bane of many Asian students, who spend day and night studying it. Likewise, many westerners and foreigners alike struggle to comprehend the language, even after months and months of constant learning. But why is it so? Why is Chinese so hard to learn? In this article, we shall discuss the possible reasons behind this phenomenon. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s begin.

#1: High Stroke Count Per Character

Source: https://www.thatsmags.com/china/post/13288/most-complicated-chinese-characters

One aspect of Chinese that drives many crazy is the number of strokes required to write a single character. Each Chinese character has an average of 12 strokes, making it more complicated than its English counterparts. because of the complicated nature of each character, many struggle to write its characters when first starting out. Furthermore, the Chinese language has 8105 unique characters! Compared to the English’s language mere 26 alphabets, Chinese is a monster. It is exactly because of this that learning new words in Chinese is difficult and require a higher form of memory. Not convinced? The above image contains one of the most complicated characters in the Chinese language. Try writing that.

#2: Words Can Have Vague And Numerous Meanings

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A single character in Chinese may have different meanings, many of which might be vague and hard to apply. Unlike that of English, many Chinese words do not have a direct meaning and may only be used in certain conditions. This makes it very difficult for a learner or beginner to differentiate when to use a word and when not to do so. Thus, phrasing and conjugating words become challenging and require much skill to accomplish. For example, the phrase “反弹” means rebound. Yes, you might think that rebound only probably refers to the rebound of a credit card or basketball. However, “反弹” also can mean backlash or repercussions! As can be seen, Chinese words often have abstract meanings that can be hard to grasp.

#3: Words That Sound The Same Can Have Different Meanings

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This adds to the confusion of the Chinese language. Different characters with different strokes can sound the same! Yes, you read it correctly, many characters sound the same. As such, many phrases may sound identical and may be difficult to differentiate. Again, this makes conversation very difficult to conduct, as a listener might have to infer the phrase’s meaning by considering and analysing the immediate context of the conversation and the relevant sentence structures in which it is used in. This intuition is not so easy to pick up and it may take years before it clicks in your mind.

Conclusion

In short, Chinese proves to be a infamously difficult language to learn, not just because of its complexity, but also because of its unintuitive nature and heavy emphasis on memory. Of course, learning Chinese is not 100% rocket science and can be achieved. It would just take more time and effort to master compared to other languages. If you did enjoy this article, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Thanks for reading!

Thinking Of Buying Fast Food? Think Again

Fast food has become a highly convenient dining option for many of us. Now, almost every shopping mall has at least one fast food restaurant, be it McDonalds, KFC, or Jollibee. As most working adults are hard-pressed for time, eating at home has become a rare occurrence and it is a common sight to see parents eating out at fast food outlets with their children. On the other hand, many people love eating fast food simply because of its taste. Yes, even I admit that KFC’s crispy chicken is indeed delicious and mouth-watering. But have you ever considered how fast food affects your health? If you have never done so, I strongly advice you to read this article. For those who have, this article seeks to reiterate the effects fast food has on your health, especially in the long run. The Angry Birds 100% approve of this article, probably because they don’t want to end up becoming your next KFC meal…


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#1: Fast Food Is A Major Cause Of Heart-Disease

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Heart attacks happen when your heart tissues have their supply of oxygen and glucose cut off. This happens when coronary arteries in your heart become blocked as fatty deposits become stuck on its inner walls. For those interested to learn more, this process is called atherosclerosis, which is responsible for heart attacks. Major causes of atherosclerosis include high cholesterol and sodium intake, lack of exercise, smoking and high blood pressure. So what is the link between heart diseases and fast food then? The answer lies in the fact that fast food products contain high amounts of harmful cholesterol and fat. The risk of heart attack is higher for those who lack exercise and consume fast-food at the same time. In fact, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health showed that consuming fast-food once a week increases the risk of death from coronary heart disease by 20%.

#2: Fast Food Is One Of The Leading Causes Of Type-2 Diabetes

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As mentioned before, fast food often contains high amounts of unhealthy cholesterol and fats, and is low in nutrition. In fact, fast food products contain high amounts of calories, low amounts of fibre and the infamous MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate. It is because of these reasons that fast food and obesity are very closely linked. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that most fast food products are addictive in nature, which is mostly because they are incredibly convenient and affordable for what they offer. Right, so how does this cause Type-2 Diabetes then? To begin, we must understand that Type-2 Diabetes is caused by decreased sensitivity to insulin, which is an essential hormone responsible for the regulation of blood glucose concentration. Since fast food products are high in calories, consumption of it will result in high blood glucose levels, which in turn results in a sudden spike of insulin to keep it under control. Those who are overweight tend to have a higher resistance to insulin, thus increasing their vulnerability to Type-2 Diabetes.

#3: Fast Food Affects Cognitive Function And Memory

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Fast food products contain a high amount of saturated fats, which is already a cause of heart failure. Firstly, the consumption of saturated fats decreases neurogenesis, which refers to the production of neurones. In fact, the impairment of neurone production might be a cause of dementia and depression. Additionally, increased consumption of saturated fats decreases memory and cognitive function.

Conclusion

It’s fine to consume fast food once in a while, but as with all things in life, it must be done in moderation. Overconsumption of fast food products can have detrimental effects for your health and even lead to death. As they say, without health, there can be no wealth. So, let us learn to pay more attention to our diets and care for our bodies, which are extremely fragile despite of their complexity.

If you did enjoy this article, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t done so! Stay tuned for my next article! Thanks for reading!

Here’s Why You Should Listen To Classical Music

So, many of you might have noticed that is the 3rd post for this week. You might ask, “What? I thought you said that you would be only blogging once every two weeks or sometimes maybe once a week?” (check out my blogging plans for 2021 at https://bestofwrite.com/2020/12/28/my-blogging-plan-for-2021/) Well, I figured that since I have some free time, why not blog? After all, it’s my passion!


Right, so let’s focus on the subject matter at hand. For this post, let us discuss the reasons as to why you should try listening to classical music. For instance, classical music has been shown to stimulate the mind and improve sleep quality. I personally listen to classical and orchestral music whenever I read or complete a task. You might say, “Hey! Classical music is boring and old! How could I possibly enjoy it?” While it is true that classical music might be considered old, they are gems of the past and are worth listening to. This article will show you why. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. (Do fill in your email in the newsletter registration section of the website) Without further ado, let’s begin.

#1: It Improves Sleep

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Studies have shown that listening to classical music helps to improve sleep. It helps to relax the mind and remove anxiety, thereby making sleeping easier. Research has shown that listening to classical music reduces nervous system activity, decreases anxiety and blood pressure. It helps to distract you from your thoughts and relaxes your muscles, getting you in the mood to sleep. This effect is corroborated and confirmed by the fact that children of all ages, including infants and school-going children, sleep better after listening to relaxing, classical music. Below is a list containing some of the best pieces of relaxing classical music to help you sleep.

  • Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy
  • Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt
  • Gymnopédie No.1 by Erik Satie
  • Nocturne No.2, Op.9 by Chopin
  • Moonlight Sonata, 1st movement by Beethoven

#2: It Improves Memory

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As mentioned above, the relaxing effect of classical music not only helps to improve sleep, but also improves memory. Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to memorise or learn something when you feel stressed? You’re not alone. Anxiety makes memory formation and retrieval more difficult, and stress has been shown to be one of the prominent causes of neurone death. Yes, you saw it correctly. Stress has been shown to kill brain cells and reduce their ability to function properly. On the other hand, listening to classical music has been shown to enhance memory retrieval and helps to trigger and strengthen neural pathways, thereby strengthening synapses between the respective neurones.

“Neurones that fire together, wire together.”

Donald Hebb

#3: They Are Precious Relics Of History

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There is a reason to why classical music was able to stand the test of time. Some of the greatest classics still continue to be played and enjoyed by many. The classical period has produced some of the most legendary pieces of all time, which never fail to captivate audiences and listeners of every age. In fact, many of these pieces are used as background music in movies and musicians of all kinds are required to study them, with good reason.

Conclusion

Classical music still plays an important role in the evolution of culture and heritage. For many, it has become an integral part of their lives, something they can’t live without. For musicians, the classical period is an essential part of musical history that has helped to shape our overall understanding of music and its associated cultures. This is exactly why classical music is something you and I should listen to. If you did enjoy this post, do consider giving it a like! Do follow me and subscribe my newsletter if you haven’t done so. Stay tuned for my next articles!

Is Stress Good For You?

Stress is something we all face very frequently. It could be because of our deadlines closing in, relationship problems or more. Sometimes, we even start to panic and act recklessly. But could stress have any benefits for us, or is it 100% harmful to our mental and physical wellbeing? In this article, I will discuss how stress can be harmful, yet beneficial if used correctly and appropriately. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without any further ado, let’s hop right in!

How Stress Can Be Harmful

#1: It Causes Anxiety

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When you are pressured, you naturally start to worry. Negative thoughts start to invade your mind and you start to imagine all the worst case scenarios possible. You start to have difficulty sleeping, cold sweat and become unable to concentrate. Even when there is no danger, you start to see it everywhere. Your body becomes overly alert and wary. If left untreated or unresolved, this could potentially harm your physical and mental wellbeing.

#2: Difficulty Controlling Your Emotions

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Irritability is a common symptom of stress, too. We naturally become defensive as stress triggers the fight-or-flight response in our bodies. This builds upon symptom #1, where anxiety can lead to your body perceiving normally harmless events as threats. When this happens, you naturally lose self-control and may even throw tantrums. Many people end up acting recklessly if they are unable to control their emotions or thoughts.

#3: Bad Habits Start to Resurface

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Your levels of willpower decrease as the feelings of stress kick in, and self-control is lost as well. When this happens, old habits start to pop up again. For example, some people start stress-eating while others start chain smoking in a bid to reduce their feelings of stress. Suddenly, you can’t stop what you are doing as it is too addictive and you relapse on the bad habits you had once kicked.

#4: Lowered Immune System

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Stress reduces the body’s ability to fight off antigens and you become more vulnerable to becoming infected by numerous diseases. Your body’s ability to recover is also impeded due to inadequate sleep, which is caused by excessive worrying. Feelings of anxiety also causes your heart rate and breathing rate to increases, thereby causing feelings of tiredness.

However, if controlled and contained, healthy amounts of stress can be helpful too.

How Stress Can Be Beneficial

#1: It Provides Motivation

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A healthy amount of stress helps to fight off feelings of laziness and procrastination. It creates a sense of urgency that urges you to act. This helps in completing tasks and avoids the last-minute rush. “But how?” you might ask. For a student, the heaps of content tested in an exam and the fear of failure is enough to spur him/her to revise early. However, as you have read above, do not stress yourself excessively.

#2: It Makes You Battle-Hardened

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A healthy amount of stress can help us to be resilient. While it can feel overwhelming, it can train us to be calm and detached in times of crisis. As as result, we are not easily beaten down and are able to make sound decisions even when times are desperate. The feelings of fear and anxiety are now insignificant as you have been trained for it.

Conclusion

Stress is part of a meaningful life. Without it, we would not have the motivation to do anything. However, too much of it can destroy and shut us down. In other words, stress is a double-edged sword. The key to it all is moderation; not too much and not too little. A good amount of stress can help us to achieve our goals in life and push us on. If this article was in any way helpful to you, do consider liking this post. Thanks for reading!