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!

Life Principles I Live By

Your beliefs, principles and faith determines how you live. These vary from person to person, depending on one’s background, life experiences and of course, upbringing. What you think, how you think, how you speak, all reflect your inner self. All these determines where you’ll go and how far you’ll go in this world. Today, I will share about the life principles I live by and why I do so. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter. Without further ado, let’s begin.

#1: Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated

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I think this life principle constantly eludes us, especially in the present world. All men desire happiness, love and care. However, do we consider the feelings and needs of others? Often we become selfish individuals, as we seek the ideals of the world. We start to think that the world only revolves around us. This way of thinking is prevalent in many people today, especially with social media everywhere and the inception of the internet. The reason as to why I think that we should all treat others the way we want to be treated is that no man is an island. The world does not revolve solely around us. All of us are part of the same race and have the same needs. Only if we work together, respect each other and care for each other can we achieve and move forward as one humanity. Don’t be afraid to give a hand to those who are in need and lift others up with you.

#2: Do What You Love And You Will Succeed

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In the past, many thought that success can be obtained through sheer hard work and willpower. Well, at least that was the thinking of the 20st century, especially for many Asians. The idea was that if you achieved more, you would be able to live a happier and luxurious life. While it is true that you might be more likely to succeed if you had more qualifications and achievements (again to some extent), you will not feel happy at all. Later, you will start to question the meaning of your success and you will start to detest every single day at work. Without a purpose or passion, success is meaningless and impossible to attain. What I believe is that as long as you do what you love and work towards it every single day, you will gain true success. Not only will you be granted great happiness, but you will also naturally be more determined and persistent. Look at Jeff Bozos and Bill Gates. Both of them have built a net worth of many billions of dollars and they could choose to retire any time. After all, the money which they possess is enough for them to live luxuriously till the end of their lives! However, both of them still choose to work everyday, because to them, their work is play. To them, they aren’t working at all, but doing what they love. I rest my case. Only when you follow your passion can you be happy and successful.

#3: Care For Others, Especially The Poor

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This builds upon principle #1. As humans, we have to be able to care for other members of our race. We should spread love and hope around the planet, and be united. As stated earlier above, we are not alone. We are not islands. We are all interconnected in many ways, even if we don’t perceive it. Yes, caring for others can be difficult and many of us may not have the courage to do so. However, all of us can play a part in helping each other. Some simple acts of love we can do is to donate to the poor, support your neighbours and build friendships. Many, including the poor, suffer not because of their circumstances or what they have went through. Instead, it is because of the indifference of others towards them. In other words, silence in the face of poverty, evil and suffering is the greatest evil among all evils. This is why I believe learning to care for others and the unfortunate is what defines us as humans and as a species. A single act of love is all it takes.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading! I thought that it would be nice to share some of my most cherished life principles with all of you. I hope that you did enjoy this article and learnt something from it. Stay tuned for my article!

Here’s How You Can Ace Your Exams

Many of us fear exams and the risk of going “blank”. With so much to do in school, how do we deal with and prepare for exams? Is there any secret to acing your exams? Well, there isn’t a fixed formula, but this article will provide some tips which you can use for your exam preparation. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter!

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#1: Start Revision Early

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Time is of the essence and procrastination is not an option. Starting revision early is one of the best ways to do well for your exam. The reason for this is that your mind requires time to process the knowledge which it has absorbed. Furthermore, many exams such as that of Biology and Geography have enormous amounts of content, which are impossible to memorise in short periods of time. By spreading your revision time out over a longer period of time (I’m talking months), you will feel less stressed and have more time for other activities. This also gives more room for potential procrastination lapses and allows for more flexible planning. Take my advise and don’t cram. Cramming never works as your mind is not able to take large amounts of information in a single sitting. Information will just end up overwriting other information and you will not be able to remember anything. In fact, the forgetting curve, founded by Hermann Ebbinghaus, estimates that 70% of learned information is forgotten the next day. You might be able to remember everything the day before the exam, but you won’t be able to recall anything the next day.

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#2: Don’t Memorise Blindly

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Of course, memory is important. However, memorising blindly can do more harm to your test scores than good. It’s like having the material to build a house, but not having the blueprints to do so. Likewise, before memorising any content, do ensure that you have a clear understanding of the concepts behind it. For example, you could first read your textbook one or two times and check if you are able to understand its concepts. In the event that you do not understand any part of the textbook or material, do seek help from your teacher or instructor as soon as possible. Only after you are able to understand the concepts should you start memorising the content. This helps to facilitate better memory and recall. As Warren Buffet once said, “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” Memory and understanding go hand in hand. You cannot memorise without understanding what you are memorising

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#3: Use Flashcards

Source: https://www.chegg.com/play/life-hacks/productivity/flashcards-yay-nay/

Flashcards are a great tool for assessing how much you know and how much you don’t know. This helps you to identify your weaknesses and work on them. Using this strategy increases your efficiency manifold, as you spend less time working on what you already know and have memorised, and spend more time on what you don’t know and have forgotten. This is the exact reason why highlighting your notes and rereading your textbook is useless. This method, which uses passive recall, does none of the things flashcards can do. The danger of merely rereading your textbook lies in the illusion of understanding, where you might end up confusing fluency of the text with understanding. You simply have no idea of what you know and don’t know. Flashcards, on the other hand, use the concept of active recall, which prepares your mind for potential question-and-answer scenarios and strengthens retrieval pathways.

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Conclusion

This post is a short one, but I hope that the tips were of help to your exam preparation. The key to acing your exams is not intelligence, but rather your study strategy. To learn is not enough. We need to learn how to learn.

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

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Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Gamble

Some of us might end up gambling from time to time. We are enticed by the opportunity to earn some cold, hard cash. But is it worth your time and your money? Gambling has been shown to be a harmful and destructive habit which destroys relationships and induces poverty. In this article, we shall discuss this topic in further detail. Before you continue reading, do follow me and subscribe to my newsletter! Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

#1: You Will End Up Losing Money

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Many become excited by the prospect by earning large amounts of money in the casino or even illegal gambling dens. However, overall, you will only end up losing your hard-earned money. Let’s take a look at an example. About 85% of adults in the U.S. have gambled at least once in their life and the gambling industry takes in about $500 billion a year. Yes, that’s a lot of money. In fact, statistics have shown that over 95% of gamblers end up losing money overall. But how? This is because the games in casinos are handled in such a way that the casinos, otherwise known as the “house”, will almost always have the advantage. Furthermore, casinos leverage on the compulsion of gamblers to keep them coming back.

#2: Relationships Are Destroyed

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People who suffer from gambling addiction may find themselves siphoning large amounts of money from their precious savings and those of their loved ones, just to sustain their habits. Some might even engage in illegal activities so as to repay the debts caused by gambling. Furthermore, these addicts almost always spend large amounts of time gambling and report difficulty in quitting. Consequently, the time these people spend with their loved ones and family decreases, and naturally relationships are broken. A child might be ashamed of his father’s compulsive gambling behaviour, while a spouse might become increasingly suspicious and untrusting towards his/her partner. This is often worsened by financial difficulties caused by the aforementioned addiction.

#3: Mental Health

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By itself, gambling can be a highly stressful activity, with numerous highs and lows. As a gambler becomes increasingly consumed in the activity, he/she might experience mood swings, anxiety and decreased self control. He/she might find himself/herself worrying constantly about whether he/she will gain or lose money in the next run. Losing money can be extremely uncomfortable and demoralising for such individuals, thereby triggering explosive outbursts of anger. This is just the tip of the iceberg. After a long period of time and without changes to such behaviour, the individual might find himself/herself in financial difficulties. This is worsened by the broken relationships caused by gambling. As such, the individual’s stress might culminate to a point where he/she thinks of suicide. To add credibility to this point, research commissioned by a leading UK gambling charity, GambleAware, found that gamblers were six times more likely to have thoughts of suicide or attempt suicide.

Conclusion

Gambling is not a reliable way to earn money and most of you who have done so before might find yourselves losing large amounts of money. I hope that this article was helpful to you, and if it was, do give it a like! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my next article.