Why is language study important?
1. It will give you a fuller, more balanced view of life around you.
2. You will be able to know all levels of society, not just those most influenced by western culture.
3. You can speak to many people in their "heart language". It can make much larger emotional impact when someone speaks to you in our own language.
4. It honors Chinese friends & grants you greater entrance into their lives.
5. It enables you to function as a full-fledged member of society.
Difficulties Common To All Language Learning
If you have never learned a second language, you may notice some things that frustrate you, but that are common in language learning process:
Word order in a sentence can sometimes be different from your native tongue.
Some words in one language have no good translation in another language. This works both ways. There are words in English like "privacy" that do not have a goo equivalent in Chinese. By the same token, the Chinese word "Guanxi", most often translated as &puot;relationships" does not have an exact equivalent in English.
There may be some sounds that don't have an exact equivalent in your native tongue.
Even if your work enables you to work primarily through a translator, try to learn at least a few new phrases each time you interact with Chinese friends or colleagues.
4 Simple Strategies for Language Learning
Strategy #1: Humble yourself; Become like a child
Strategy #2: Language Immersion
Strategy #3: Take Control of Your Language Learning
Strategy #4: Use Chinese in Your Devotional Life
To many, the Chinese language can seem an insurmountable obstacle. While Chinese is quite a challenging language, especially for Western learners, the hardest part is laying the foundation. Chinese is challenging, and takes time and patience to learn. Overcoming the 3 obstacles described below, will enhance the journey of language learning.
Obstacle #1: Tones. Mandarin Chinese is known as a tonal language. There are 4 primary tones: high flat tone, rising tone, rising and falling tone, and falling tone. Different words within the Chinese language can sound the same phonetically, but depending on the tone used in the word can mean completely different things.
Obstacle #2: Characters&The Written Language. Not only does Chinese sound different to our western ears, but it also looks different in written form. Unlike English and most European languages, which have a relatively small phonetic alphabet, Chinese has thousands of Chinese characters, The reason for this is that Chinese characters, rather than being phonetic, are ideographic. This means that each character in Chinese represents and idea, rather than indicating a single word.
Obstacle #3: Mindset. The biggest obstacle in learning Mandarin is not the tones or the thousands of Chinese characters, or tother differences with English or your first language, but rather our own preconceived ideas and the "mind blocks" that are formed about how difficult the language is or how impossible it is to become fluent. The truth is, if we perceive Chinese as an insurmountable language we will not be motivated to learn.