Ron Yu    
July 7, 2021

Why Chinese is so hard

Learning a foreign language like Chinese requires motivation (such as passing the HSK3 test within three months). This can be made more challenging without good teaching materials that are compelling, and support.

Support can come in many forms, supportive learning communities help but also with technology.

In Chinese, there are many characters and many appear similar such as 王 and 玉 but have different meanings – unless you equate ‘king’ with ‘jade’. These characters are formed by different radicals that may be difficult for some students to see.

Characters that have one meaning in a standalone form, for example 腦 (brain) or 電 (electric) have a very different meaning when combined mean something different電腦 (computer). So it is important to know how characters combine to form words.

Finally, there are also different ways to express the same word depending on where you are. For instance, 計算機 and 電腦 both mean ‘computer’.

Technology can help you navigate this very complex space – when employed properly. More on that later.