Everyone wants to succeed in speaking Mandarin fluently, but few ever make it past a few phrases that are barely decipherable to Thinking Mistakes Our Brain Makes native ears. The question, though, is whether this is a testament to the difficulty of the language, the entirely foreign way of thinking about and learning a language, or our complete inability to follow through to achieve our goals.
May I suggest that it is a combination of the three, but that the greatest hindrances can be ranked in order from greatest to least in this way:
Our inability to persevere in order to reach our goals
Opposing methods for teaching and learning a pictorial language
Complexity of the language itself
Honestly, it’s not the complexity of the language that is our greatest hindrance! Anything complex can be broken down and explained, given a good teacher and a cooperative student. But somehow, we still manage to feel overwhelmed and wrongly assert that the language cannot be learned because we do not have the stamina needed to take the language and make it our own.
Understanding the Struggle
On a note regarding human nature, the definition of “good” and “cooperative” are highly variable. To the dedicated Chinese teacher, most students do not seem to be cooperative. To most willing students, the Chinese teacher does not seem to be “good” because they cannot break components down into their smallest pieces and explain why a certain structure behaves in a certain way. Please, do not let these cultural perceptions of what is “good” and “cooperative” stand in the way of you attaining your goal!The real challenge in learning a language and for our lives is the fact that we see everything in the world through our own lens. We believe ourselves to be right based on a “set” standard that we learned as we were growing up. The reality is that everyone has their own “set” standard and must spend a great portion of their lives opening their minds to the values that others have. How else will we be able to interact with humankind?