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  5. Why are you learning Chinese


Why are you learning Chinese

So I love Languages and Culture and I have come to learn to love this language from a friend who is moving to Taiwan in a few months, and that is why I'm trying to learn Chinese. The question is simple why are you trying to learn Chinese? What is your story?

June 20, 2018



I first took the excellent HarvardX History of China class on EdX.org mainly because I am interested in History and I thought China was a big gap in my education. This got me interested in learning more about the language and found many reasons. Here are some - It has the largest numbers of speakers in the world. If your goal is to be able to communicate to the largest number of people, this is the best return on your time investment - Even if you don't plan to visit China, you'll run into Chinese speakers in many other places, like Chinese restaurants and stores, which will give you a bit of a chance to practice - A huge amount of internet and media content is been created by the 300 million internet connected Chinese speakers (which may grow to 1 billion in a few years). There is a lot of energy and creativity being put into this content, which will be invisible (like dark matter) without knowing the language - China has a rich history and literature, which one can understand better if you know some of the language - You can start to appreciate the unique art form of Chinese calligraphy, which if you like to practice can be relaxing - China influence in the world is increasing due to their high level of economic development and increasing trade with other countries. There may be job opportunities for those knowing the language.


My wife speaks it fluently (as well as English) and all her family only speak it. Visiting her family in China was beyond awkward for me when I could only just sit there staring at the wall not knowing what anyone is saying. Her parents are coming in 9 months to visit us and will be here for 3-4 months. I can't go through 3-4 months of having my wife translate everything they say because 1) She hates translating, and 2) her parents already think I am lazy for not having learned it by now (married 3 years - dated 1 year before marriage).


I started to learn on my own years ago, off and on. I found it beautiful and unique and relished the challenge. I've since become a bit of a sinophile. Although I am very busy these days, Duolingo helps me keep it in my life.

不怕慢,就怕站。(Don't be afraid of going slow, only of standing still).


I took a year of college level Chinese fifty years ago, now I am retired and need a routine in my life. Thanks, Duolingo!


Impressive numbers! I think you're the first Vietnamese 25 I've seen.


I have done a lot of exercises in Vietnamese and have sort of hit a wall. I hope to get the owl by September.


I am a Chinese-American. Growing up, we spoke Taishanese. Since nobody speaks that anymore, I decided to learn putonghua.


I hadn't heard of the Taishanese people until now. Thanks for the trip down the Wikipedia rabbit hole!


I'm learning chinese because my sister dared me to


This might be the best possible answer.


Because it is the most spoken language in the world and is also one of the most important


In my undergrad years I wrote my senior capstone thesis on the historiography of the Second Sino-Japanese War, and now, one hundred years later, I find my interest in the region rekindled. Hopefully it will open some doors, professionally speaking, as well.


For the lulz!

Well, it's a little challenge. I'm studying a bit every day, and I want to see what level can I reach if I do it for a long time.


I'm moving to China to teach at a boarding school! Want to be able to speak a little Chinese with the kids!


I'm learning Chinese because my family is Chinese and I also think it is a really interesting language.


Many reasons! I love languages in general but I have fallen in love with Chinese especially. I love the way it works, sounds and looks. It has become a project that I only get more and more passionate about the more I discover about it!


I have always viewed Chinese as "the hardest language ever" (other than Hungarian, or so I heard). Learning languages has been my passion since forever, and I am currently learning several languages. I was once taught the basics by my friend back in the past, and then gave up immediately after I realised the difficulty of distinguishing tones. I had not learnt Chinese since, not until I discovered that Duolingo finally released the Chinese course.

I conquered the course in about one month or less, but I still had problems in differentiating the 2nd and 3rd tones. And then I took a Chinese class, from the very beginner level. The laoshi helped me a lot with the tones, now I could hear the difference in my ears (when it is spelled character per character, but tones in a sentence are still difficult for me).

Now that the learning system in Duolingo has changed (before, there were no levels and had reguild learning system), I decided to re-learn everything I have learnt. I am currently around 1/3 of the tree, and I will continue to level up to the max level and make all the skills gold. :D

I have also tried the HSK level 1 (alhtough only once), and was surprised that I managed to pass 80/100. I am planning to try other HSK levels once I've finished leveling up all the skills.



Ich habe sanskrit gelernt um die gita,den veda oder das eine oder andere sutra im original lesen zu können und altgriechisch wegen der philosophen und um das neue testament besser zu verstehen.da Ich in der schule dank guter lateinlehrer das lateinische besser als jede andere fremdsprache (Ich verstehe auch drei moderne romanische sprachen,englisch und kölsch) gelernt habe und die grammatik dieser sprachen der des lateinischen sehr ähnlich ist fiel und gefiel mir beides sehr leicht. zum chinesischen kam Ich durch mahayana-sutras deren sanskrit original verloren gegangen ist und die es nur noch in chinesischer sprache gibt und weil Ich das meist schlecht oder falsch übersetzte taoteking im original lesen können will . schon am anfang faszinierten mich die chinesischen schriftzeichen,weil sie unabhängig davon verständlich sind,welche lesung man ihnen zuordnet.wenn Ich lateinische texte komponiere verwende Ich sie oft wann immer es sich anbietet zur darstellung der wortstämme .Ich habe auch entdeckt dass sich mit ihnen viele deutsche worte ganz oder teilweise schreiben und lesen lassen Ich habe damit begonnen ein wörterbuch der deutschen sprache zu verfassen,indem viele deutschen silben durch chinesische schriftzeichen dargestellt werden .das chinesische ist eine potentielle universalschrift.man kann einen grossen teil der schriftzeichen in alle sprachen der welt importieren,ohne deren wortschatz zu verdrängen.sie erhalten einfach nur eine chinesische benutzeroberfläche.die durch universale grammatische symbole ergänzt wird.die entdeckung dass man chinesische schriftzeichen auch für viele (aber keineswegs alle )worte anderer sprachen benutzen kann habe Ich beim studium japanischer wörterbücher gemacht.zu diesen griff Ich weil Ich in der zeit als mir noch kein computer zur verfügung stand nicht imstande war die aussprache der chinesischen silben korrekt zu erlernen und weil Ich die aussprache nicht falsch lernen wollte.. die japanische sprache ist diesbezüglich einfacher,ansonsten aber schwerer. .es gibt noch weitere gute gründe chinesisch zu lernen. die chinesen sind zahlenmässig das grösste volk auf erden und ihre zivilisation ist eine der ältesten.bis zum sechzenten jahrhundert war das chinesische die wichtigste literatursprache der welt.fast die hälfte aller bücher die es damals gab,waren chinesische bücher.


I grew up learning Chinese, but as a child it interfered with me learning English, so I had to forego Chinese and lost much of it.

Now, Duolingo has Chinese, I thought I'd try recovering my latent language heritage.

I've had a terrible time with second languages in general: English was hard enough as a new first language. My high school French was a disaster. Over the years, I have picked up words from other languages but developed no fluency whatsoever in any other language.

With Duolingo, I've been pleasantly surprised how much progress I've made so far.

The tonal aspects of the Chinese language are quickly coming back to me (they probably never really left.) The writing, while not totally alien to me, is a bit of a more of a challenge especially with more complex characters.

Fortunately, Chinese grammar is very simple, so I don't have to struggle with that the way I had to with the Romance languages. I'm so happy not to have to conjugate any verbs or tenses!!


China is interesting i like to discover things about it that most outsiders don't know


I'm afraid I'll lose access to thousands of years of culture and history if i don't!


this is a very interesting sake


I love languages, and I love Duolingo, and when I heard so many people had been anxiously waiting for Chinese and then all of a sudden it was available, I just had to check it out and see what it was like. Well now I am totally hooked and I really love it!

[deactivated user]

    I've always had a fascination with different countries & cultures, and learning languages helps me delve deeper into that interest. While I have no specific reason for learning Chinese, I am enjoying the challenge of learning its writing system.


    Since I don't really have a choice (Chinese is pretty much compulsory till senior high school in my city)


    I'm learning Chinese because I've always wanted to, really. I was fascinated from the moment I saw the beautiful writing system. I am totally in love with Stephen Chow....even though he speaks Cantonese, really. :-) My grandmother used to host foreign students and had many Chinese students, to whom I would teach English in exchange for Chinese lessons! I learned quite a bit. When I was 16 I bought books and learned a little bit on my own and reached a level somewhere around HSK 2 (A2). I later asked my college to find a teacher for Chinese but there wasn't enough interest in the language when I was at college so it wasn't offered. :-( Then, finally, three years ago I discovered Peking University courses on Coursera, offering Chinese for various HSK levels, with tests, assignments, etc. This year I have finally reached HSK 4 (B2) level (the highest level offered on Coursera so far) and am very proud of this achievement. Now I aim to maintain what I've learned by using Duolingo, otherwise I may forget. I sometimes go and chat to Chinese people in my area who have shops here. It's great!


    Wow, fantastic and very encouraging, thanks! I hope to someday achieve a level like this in Chinese. I think it is easy to achieve a good level in other languages, but a language like Chinese is a big challenge.

    Can you write sentences in Chinese characters from memory, or is it more a matter of being able to recognize and read the characters?


    I can write from memory, but it has taken a lot of repeated writing and keeping a daily diary in Chinese, this helps to repeat what I learn in a meaningful way. ,


    I love to lern new languages and I love asian girls. I want to speak in chinese with a chinese girl, and I want a chinese girlfriend too.


    At first it was just for fun, and because i'm convinced it will make me smarter in the long term, I think learning more languages is good for your brain, plus potential for future job prospects, but then I ended up dating a Chinese girl, and well, that motivated me to start taking it more seriously.


    My girlfriend is born in Austria but her parents are Chinese. Her parents german is really awful and their english is even more awful, so I started to learn Chinese.

    It's very hard for me to learn but I'm just always remembering myself how great it would be to have a real conversation with my mother in law without a transmitter. :-D

    Keep on guys, we can manage it !! :)


    As a Chinese-American, I am curious why her parents moved to Austria. There aren't many Chinese people there, are there?


    im learning it because so many people speak it. and then, i grew up in china town of my city, but somehow i never learned it?? that seems wrong to me. i should already know it. so im learning now.


    i've always wanted to learn another language aside from my native english. after trying to learn german, which most of my family speaks, and struggling with the grammar, i became very disheartened.

    when someone told me about mandarin chinese, they mentioned that the grammar was very simple and much more similar to english (no conjugational verb tables, yay!).

    i think chinese is very beautiful in it's written form and much more complex. i also like the idea that being able to speak chinese will allow me to speak to 1/7 of the entire world population (although i still haven't met a native chinese speaker yet)

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