Speaking Mandarin Chinese can unlock doors in China that would otherwise stay close to you. It is the country’s official language, and most Chinese people can understand it, even if they don’t speak it. In many cases, talking even a little Mandarin will get you better service and a warmer welcome.
However, learning Mandarin Chinese takes time and effort. It’s not easy. Some argue it’s more complicated than any other primary language out there. So what exactly holds Chinese learners back?
Many Chinese learners put in tremendous effort but, for some reason, can’t seem to progress. It’s essential to realize why this happens to motivate yourself and avoid falling into these traps. With that in mind, here are the things that hold Chinese learners back.
1. Seeking Perfection
Chinese learners have the reputation of being perfectionists. And there’s no doubt that this can be a good thing — it helps students reach high levels of mastery in a given subject. But it also gets in the way of learning some skills.
In particular, many Chinese students find it challenging to accept mistakes as part of the learning process and will often spend too much time trying to correct them. This can cause them to lose sight of other aspects of language learning and even make their mistakes worse by practicing them repeatedly.
Chinese learners, like everyone else, have their unique challenges. One of the things that hold Chinese learners back is seeking perfection. This can be seen in many aspects of life in China, but it’s especially prevalent in education.
Chinese students are often taught to memorize answers instead of learning how to think critically, which means they don’t get much practice with critical thinking skills. They’re also trained to focus on getting good grades at the expense of learning material well enough to use it later in life.
The result is that many Chinese people struggle with basic logic and reasoning skills, which can make it difficult for them to understand complex ideas and concepts. One way to avoid these problems is to give your Chinese students plenty of opportunities for practice and feedback to develop their critical thinking skills.
2. Fear of making mistakes
In Chinese culture, it is a big deal to make a mistake. When you make a mistake, people will think you are not smart enough and won’t respect you. It’s like a sign of weakness and incompetence. So we tend to avoid making mistakes at all costs.
But if you don’t make mistakes, how can you learn? How can you improve? If we always play it safe and avoid making mistakes, then we won’t be able to improve ourselves or contribute to society.
This fear is so intense that it can paralyze you and make you not want to try. The fear of making mistakes is one of the biggest problems Chinese learners face when learning Chinese. It’s often the most significant obstacle between you and fluency!
The problem with this fear is that it’s completely irrational. You know it’s irrational because you’ve probably already made many mistakes and lived through them just fine. Why should learning Chinese be any different?
This fear exists because Chinese people are generally taught from a young age to avoid making mistakes in front of others, even if it means doing something wrong or not trying at all. This can result in many students being afraid to speak up in class for fear of being criticized by their classmates or teacher for saying something wrong or not understanding something correctly (which happens frequently).
So how do we overcome this fear? First, we need to recognize that there are no perfect speakers of Mandarin out there (even native speakers make mistakes). And secondly, we need to realize that making as many mistakes as possible is a great way to improve faster!
I think this fear of making mistakes holds many Chinese learners back from success in Chinese learning.
I want to tell everyone that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes! Making mistakes is part of learning! Some people may say: “But what if people laugh at me or make fun of me when I make a mistake?” Let me tell you something: no one cares about your mistakes except for YOU!
3. Not speaking Chinese with native speakers
This is especially true for those living in countries with few or no Chinese people. If you live in a country where many people speak your language, finding someone to practice with would be easy. But if you live in a country like mine where there aren’t many people who speak your language, then it can be hard to find someone who wants to practice with you.
Chinese learners often complain about how hard it is to find opportunities to speak Chinese with native speakers. They don’t have any close friends who can speak Chinese, and they don’t know any other people who can speak their native language either.
Many of us are afraid that we won’t be able to understand what they’re saying or have trouble pronouncing certain words or phrases. We worry that we’ll make mistakes and feel embarrassed about what we don’t know yet.
But here’s the thing: speaking with native speakers isn’t just suitable for practicing your language skills — it’s also a great way to build your confidence! You’ll learn by doing and get better at socializing in your target language and understanding native speakers’ accents and expressions more quickly than if you were listening alone.
The problem is that most people are not willing to take time out of their busy lives to help someone learn their language — especially if that person isn’t even a native speaker! And even if they did, they probably wouldn’t be able to spend much time with you because they’re too busy with work and other commitments.
So what’s the solution? The answer lies in technology. There are now many apps available for Android and iPhone devices that allow you to find people nearby who want to practice their Chinese or Spanish, etc., with someone else who doesn’t speak their language but wants to learn!
4. Feeling embarrassed
The truth is, most people are afraid to speak in public because they fear being judged. It’s not just Chinese learners who suffer from this fear, but it’s an issue that can be easily overcome with little confidence building. If you practice your language skills by talking to yourself in front of a mirror or by recording yourself, you’ll get used to hearing yourself speak and will find it easier to talk in front of others.
The next time you’re faced with an opportunity to practice your language skills (such as asking for directions), don’t let your fear stop you from using what you’ve learned! The first thing to remember is that Chinese is not a complex language.
There are four tones, but if you speak slowly and clearly, people will understand you. The second thing to remember is that fluency does not come overnight; it takes time and effort to become fluent in any language. One of the biggest problems for Chinese learners is that they often get frustrated when they cannot speak the vocabulary after a few weeks or months of study.
There are many reasons why people struggle with learning Chinese. Some people have limited time available for study, while others may have other priorities such as work or family obligations. Some people are more interested in reading than speaking, while others prefer conversation over reading practice material.
It’s also true that some people simply have no interest in learning Chinese and would rather spend their time doing something more enjoyable or rewarding than studying this complicated subject!
If you have been learning Chinese for some time, you will have experienced this feeling. It is a common reaction for beginners who are just starting with the language, and there are many reasons for it.
You may feel embarrassed because:
- You don’t know how to say something correctly or adequately (e.g., asking for directions in a foreign country)
- You don’t understand what someone said to you (e.g., ordering food at a restaurant)
- You can’t read or write Chinese very well and make mistakes when writing characters (or using Pinyin)
- You don’t know how to use the right tones when speaking Mandarin properly
5. Giving up when you don’t improve fast enough
Most of us will have tried to learn a foreign language at some point in our lives, but when we find out how difficult it is, we give up. If you are a Chinese learner who wants to improve fast, you need to keep doing this every day.
Chinese learners are often very hard on themselves. They want to get fluent as quickly as possible, and they want to be able to speak like a native speaker. But language learning is not like that. Language learning takes time and practice, especially if it is done right. And there is no such thing as being a “natural” in any language, except perhaps for your native tongue.
If you are learning Chinese, you need to understand some fundamental principles about how languages work before you can start learning Chinese grammar and vocabulary (or any other language). If you don’t understand these principles, you will probably be frustrated by the experience of learning Chinese or any different foreign language.
Here are some things to consider:
1. Have you been studying Chinese long enough? Look at how many hours per week you spend studying and compare it with how much progress you’ve made over time.
2. Are you studying practically? You may be looking with a textbook or online learning materials, but they might not be teaching you the right things or in an engaging way that helps you remember what you learn.
3. Are you practicing speaking Chinese as much as possible? If not, it can be hard to make progress because we learn best through practice and repetition. If your goal is to speak Chinese, try speaking Chinese every day, even if it’s just for 5 minutes at first!
6. Not tracking progress
In the world of language learning, there are many different types of learners. Some people are naturally gifted at learning languages, while others struggle with the same task.
There are several reasons why some people find it easier than others to learn a new language. One reason is that they have more study time or resources available. But another reason is that some people know how to track their progress and use this information as motivation; others do not.
The problem with this is that Chinese learners tend to be more passive. They don’t like tracking their progress and don’t want to test themselves. One of the things I see among Chinese learners is that they tend to be very passive in their learning. They’re not constantly tracking their progress and are not continuously testing themselves.
Chinese learners don’t like to talk about their weaknesses, but they also don’t want to be confused. This means that when they make mistakes, they can feel embarrassed and confused simultaneously.
As a result, many Chinese learners will stop trying to improve their Chinese if they can’t find a way to measure their progress and see how well they’re doing. They want proof that their efforts are paying off, so they’ll only work hard if there’s a tangible way for them to see what’s working (or not).
I think there are two reasons for this: One, it’s because they’re not used to doing it, and two, it’s because they want somebody else to tell them what they need to know.
7. Not adjusting your methods as necessary
The problem with this is that you need to be able to adjust your learning strategies for each language, especially when it comes to learning Chinese. This is because some languages are more accessible, but there are also different ways to understand each language.
In China, most people are used to learning in a classroom setting. However, this doesn’t mean they can only learn this way. There are many ways to learn Chinese outside of the classroom, and many of these methods are more effective than traditional classroom learning.
One of the most significant weaknesses of Chinese learners is that they don’t know how to adjust their learning methods as necessary. This can be seen in classrooms where students memorize vocabulary words rather than learn how to use them in real-life situations.
Many students come in with great enthusiasm and motivation, but they don’t do well because they don’t adjust their methods to the way they learn best. Some people learn better by watching, others by reading, and others need to be actively involved in doing something.
Some people learn better when they can see the whole picture – all at once – while others need to see it in parts. Some people can read something once and remember it forever; others have to read it repeatedly before they finally get it into their brain.
Some people can listen to a conversation between native speakers and then repeat what they said perfectly; others have trouble merely understanding what was said even after hearing it several times!
If you want to become fluent in Chinese, you need to make sure you’re using the proper method for your needs. If you think memorizing vocabulary words will get you there, then maybe it will work for you; but if not, you might need to consider other options like reading or to watch Chinese shows or movies on YouTube or Netflix (depending on where you live).
8. Being stubborn in your learning choices
If you are a Chinese learner, you may have already encountered this problem: You have tried different ways to improve your language skills, but nothing seems to work. You can’t even remember the most specific words or phrases. If this has happened to you, then there’s a good chance that you are stubborn in your learning choices.
Stubbornness can keep Chinese learners from improving their language skills. The problem with being stubborn is that it prevents us from discovering new ways of learning and growing as individuals. Instead, we become stuck in our old routines and methods of thinking because they are what make us feel comfortable.
We don’t want to put ourselves on a limb by trying something new because we’re afraid of failing or looking stupid in front of other people. When you choose a method that doesn’t fit your needs or learning style, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You won’t be able to learn very well, and you’ll probably give up on Chinese altogether.
Here are some common mistakes that Chinese learners make when choosing a Chinese course:
Choosing a course based on price alone. This is a big mistake! It’s much better to pay more money for a course than less money for one that isn’t as good. A good course will help you learn more quickly and easily, saving you money in the long run!
Not choosing a course based on how well it fits your needs or learning style. Don’t just choose any old course because someone told you about it or because it was cheap! Take time to look at various courses and pick one that fits your needs best. If you don’t know what those needs are, ask yourself these questions: Do I prefer listening or reading?
9. Not having fun
Chinese is a complex language to learn because it differs from English in many ways. It has no alphabet, for one thing. It’s tonal, meaning a single word can have four or five different meanings depending on how you say it. And Chinese characters look like nothing you’ve ever seen before — they’re not even letters!
One of the things that hold Chinese learners back is not having fun. But learning should be fun! Here are some ways to make it happen:
Use mnemonics to remember characters. In English, people use acronyms and rhymes to help them remember things like phone numbers and bank account numbers. That same trick works excellent for Chinese characters too! Use an image or word that sounds like the character to help you remember it better.
Watch movies with subtitles in both languages — original language first, then English — and see how much you can understand without looking at translations! Or read books with simple vocabulary and short sentences while listening to them out loud with music playing in the background (it doesn’t matter what kind of music!) — this will make reading feel less like work, which will make you want to do more of it!
10. Relying too much on the internet for your learning
This can be a problem because some things are better learned in person or with friends than online. Knowing how much time you should spend studying online versus studying in person or with friends is essential.
Too much online study time can lead to bad habits such as skipping class or not practicing speaking with native speakers because they feel they don’t need it anymore since they’ve already mastered everything they need online.
Another thing that keeps Chinese learners from progressing is having too many distractions when studying from home or at school, such as social media, texting friends, and playing video games instead of looking for a test.
When it comes to learning a language, there are many different methods and techniques that you can use. You can go to a school and learn through textbooks, or you can find online courses to teach yourself at home. One of the most popular learning methods is searching online for articles or videos that teach you how to speak a new language.
This method is not as effective as many people think it is. Some great resources on the internet will help you learn a new language faster than any other method out there. But relying too much on the internet for your learning will only hinder your progress rather than help it.
One reason why relying too much on the internet for your learning might not be working well is because these websites usually lack proper grammar explanations and explanations about how to use certain words in real-life situations. You need more than just basic vocabulary to learn properly and effectively.
The internet is a great resource, but it can only take you so far Here are three reasons why:
1) You can’t hear the pronunciation of words in real-life context – If you don’t hear how words are used in conversation or sentences, it’s hard to learn how to pronounce them correctly.
2) You don’t get enough practice speaking – When you’re reading articles online, you’re not practicing with real people who will correct your mistakes and give feedback on what they think works well and what doesn’t work so well. That’s why when we use our Pronunciation Trainers (based on real-life conversations), people can see their confidence and fluency improve so much more quickly than when they rely on reading alone!
3) You don’t get to see how grammar works in real-life situations – This goes hand-in-hand with point 2 above (not being able to hear).
11. Expecting too much from your textbook
The problem with textbooks is that experts write them for experts, and this is because they’re often used in classrooms. The problem with using them at home is that you’re not in a school, so it’s easy to forget how many resources (and other people) are available to you when you’re learning Chinese.
In other words, you’ll be disappointed if you’re looking for a perfect fit between what you want to learn in Chinese and what’s available in your textbook. You’re better off finding resources that match your learning style and getting on with it even if they’re not perfect.
Why? Because language learning is hard work. And if you get hung up on finding the perfect resource, you’ll spend more time searching than studying. I’m not saying there aren’t good textbooks out there (there are!). But if you look at it from this perspective:
Your textbook is just one part of your study plan. And even if it does everything perfectly, it will only provide a fraction of what you need to know for fluency in Chinese.
You probably know that textbooks tend to be very different from each other in terms of their approach to teaching Chinese. Some are designed for beginners, while others are aimed at intermediate or advanced learners. Some assume no prior knowledge of Chinese, while others think you already know some basic vocabulary and grammar rules before starting their coursebook series.
So don’t get hung up on trying to find “the one” textbook that contains everything you need – because it doesn’t exist! Instead, focus on finding resources that match what works best for you personally and get on with learning Chinese even if they aren’t perfect.
The problem with textbooks is that they’re usually written by people who are not native speakers, so they make many mistakes. I think this is why so many students get frustrated with their textbooks. But something else can be just as annoying: expecting too much from your textbook!
12. Not practicing enough
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Chinese language learning is probably the difficulty of the language itself. This can be true, particularly for learners with little or no background knowledge of Chinese before starting their studies. However, many other factors determine how well a learner will do in the long run.
One of these factors is how much time and effort they put into practicing after finishing their lessons or classes. This can be difficult for those who live in countries with few opportunities to practice their Chinese skills outside of class. For example, if you live in Japan but don’t have any friends who speak Chinese, then it might be difficult for you to practice speaking with them unless you plan.
The problem with Chinese study is that there are many different ways to learn Chinese, so many resources are available. This can make it difficult to know where to start.
Here are a few tips on how to practice enough:
- Find out what kind of learner you are. Some people like to listen, while others prefer reading or writing. Find out which way suits you best, and then get more practice in that area. If you’re still unsure what kind of learner you are, try different methods until one sticks out as more accessible than the others.
- Set clear goals for yourself, such as “learn five new words today” or “study two hours today.” Make sure these goals are realistic, so they don’t become overwhelming (like “study eight hours every day”). Once they become routine, they’ll be easier to stick with!
- Try listening to podcasts or watching videos in Chinese instead of English whenever possible! Not only will this help increase your vocabulary and improve your listening skills, but it will also help you build up an impressive library of resources for later use!
- If you want to learn a new language, you must practice it as much as possible. This may sound obvious, but it’s something that many people neglect when they’re learning Chinese.
- You might think that if you just sit down and study for an hour or two every day, you’ll be able to learn the language quickly. Unfortunately, this isn’t true — at least not for most people.
13. Learning simply to pass exams
I am not saying that learning to pass exams isn’t essential, but it’s not everything. Many students learn to pass an exam and then move on with their lives, forgetting everything they know. This is a huge mistake!
To succeed in life, you need to build a solid foundation of knowledge and skills. Only by doing this can you hope to achieve your goals and dreams. We all know how important it is to learn something new every day, but many people don’t follow this advice because they are too busy with work or other obligations.
However, if you want to be successful in life, you need to make time for learning new things every day because if you don’t do this, it will be impossible for you to reach your goals. Learning shouldn’t only be seen as a means of achieving success; it should also be seen as an end in itself because once you start learning new things every day, then there’s no limit on what you can achieve as long as you keep working hard at it.
Chinese students spend more time studying than any other nationality, but this does not necessarily translate into better test performance. In fact, according to a recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Chinese high school students rank second to last among their peers in mathematics, science, and reading literacy. What’s more, they also had the highest percentage of students who reported doing “no homework” at all.
This may be because Chinese students are taught that learning is merely a means to an end: passing exams and getting good grades. As a result, many Chinese students learn just enough to get by — they are often unable to apply what they have learned or even form basic concepts in their heads.
This becomes especially apparent when they are faced with problems that require critical thinking rather than rote memorization; they struggle because they have never been taught how to think critically about anything but exams themselves!
In contrast, learners who begin studying Chinese as adults tend to be more motivated and self-driven than those who start as children — if only because they know, it will benefit them directly in their careers or personal lives.
14. Not having a clear learning objective
It’s essential to have an objective before you begin any lesson. If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s easy to get distracted. In China, many students can read English well, but they have no idea why they need to learn English. They think it will be helpful in some way in the future, and they don’t even know what kind of job they want.
So if you have a clear learning objective, you can study more effectively. For example, if you want to get admission into an overseas university, you should learn English with a focus on this goal.
Before you start learning Chinese, you must have a clear goal of what exactly you want to accomplish by learning this language. This will keep you focused and motivated throughout your journey of studying Chinese and also help you avoid distractions that may come along the way.
If you don’t have a clear image of what kind of person you want to become after learning Chinese, then it’s likely that you won’t be able to achieve any significant results in this language.
This doesn’t mean that if you don’t have a clear idea of what kind of person you want to become after learning Chinese, all hope is lost! It just means that it would be easier for you to have a clear idea of what kind of person you want to become after learning Chinese.
There are many reasons why people want to learn Chinese. Some people study Chinese just because they love it, and some want to use it professionally in their careers. But whatever be your reason, you must keep in mind that learning a language takes time and effort. It cannot be done overnight, in a week, or even in a month.
You need to be patient while learning any language, especially when learning Chinese. There is no shortcut for anyone who wants to learn the language quickly without putting much effort into it.
15. Lack of focus on listening and speaking
As a beginner, you should be focusing on listening and speaking. You should be able to understand what people are saying and then formulate your response in Chinese. This will take time, but it is possible for anyone who is determined enough.
There are many reasons why people don’t want to speak Chinese. One could be because they think it’s too hard or risky to say in public. After all, there are so many mistakes that can happen.
This is untrue! If you’ve ever learned any language before, you know how difficult it can be at first. However, if you stick with it long enough, things will eventually become easier as you progress through different levels of proficiency.
The good news is that there are tools that make learning Chinese easier than ever! With these tools, you must sit back and relax while the software does all the work for you! Chinese is a complex language for English speakers because it has many different tones and requires extensive memorization of characters.
If you are looking to learn Chinese, it can be discouraging to find out that you need to know thousands of characters before you can read or write anything. Learning Chinese can be fun and rewarding if you approach it with the right attitude. You must ensure you have the right tools for learning Chinese before starting your lessons.
You will also want to make sure that you choose a program that focuses on listening, speaking, and writing rather than just reading or writing. One thing that holds people back from learning Chinese is a lack of focus on listening and speaking.
For example, many students spend too much time memorizing characters without practicing pronunciation or conversational skills. This makes them feel frustrated when they discover how difficult it is to communicate with native speakers in China.
16. Giving up too soon
Chinese is a complex language to learn. But if you give up, you’re doomed to fail.
I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’ve seen plenty of people who were able to master Chinese, even if it took them years or decades! But if you want to learn Chinese fast, you need to be willing to put in the time and energy required to make that happen.
Giving up on a goal is easy if you don’t see any progress. If you haven’t learned anything in a week, you might decide it’s not worth the effort. You may be tempted to think that learning Chinese is impossible.
But how much time have you put into studying? Is it possible that your brain has already reached its limits after only one week or even two weeks of studying? You may have heard the saying “practice makes perfect,” but research shows that practice doesn’t always make perfect.
Practice can sometimes make things worse! Practice makes perfect when you are doing something new and challenging for the first time. But as soon as you become good at something, it becomes automatic and no longer requires conscious effort — which means there’s no more room for improvement.
For example, when you first learn how to ride a bike, every time you fall off, it seems like a disaster because it takes so much effort to get back on again. But once riding becomes automatic and effortless, falling off doesn’t seem like such a big deal anymore because getting back on again is easy.
Where can you learn Chinese online?
HAO Chinese Tuition Center is a top primary Chinese tuition school in Singapore. We offer Chinese language courses to students of all levels, from beginner to advanced. Our teachers are highly qualified and experienced in teaching both Mandarin and Cantonese. Our classes are conducted in an interactive and fun manner, helping students to learn the language quickly and effectively.
We have class schedules for different time zones so that you can choose the one best fits your schedule. You can also choose from various levels based on your current proficiency level.