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The Winning Formula to Learn Chinese? Failure.

So far, we’ve seen together that motivation, focus, dedicating time and hard work are essential to succeed in learning Chinese. But something is missing in that winning formula: failure. Wait. What?

This article is part of the Learning Chinese Motivation Playbook
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You read right. Failure. Sometimes, learning a language can be difficult and it may be hard to feel good about making mistakes. But here’s something you need to know: it’s OK to get it wrong sometimes! Not only that, but mistakes are necessary to making real progress in Chinese.

Difference master and beginner

In fact, the Chinese say:

Shībài shì chénggōng zhī mǔ

Failure is the mother of success

Why You Need to Fail

Failing is important because it’s integral to your learning process. Making mistakes has many benefits I bet you didn’t expect. Here’s what failing from time to time can bring you:

  • Experience: understanding your mistake makes you improve
  • Knowledge: you’ll know how to avoid repeating the same mistakes
  • Strength: you can run into obstacles, stand up again, go forward and try again.
  • Motivation: all you can do after failing is to bounce back and improve!

Embrace Failure

In life, there are small failures that encourage you to go further and try again until you succeed: it’s called learning. It’s OK to not reach 50% in one of Baimei’s dialogue on your first try. You faced a small setback. We know it’s not easy to admit you failed, but it’s no biggie, you’re still alive and nothing bad happened. You’ll try again, improve and gradually get better at it.

Ups and downs are great because they make you experience the Chinese language and not be just a viewer. Once you’re in a “down” moment, you’ll enjoy the “up” moments that comes after even better.

Adjust Your Goal

When you fail at something, take this opportunity to think about why that happened. It’s not because you didn’t reach your Chinese learning goal as fast as you wanted to that you failed terribly. Maybe you were being a bit too demanding with yourself and set unrealistically high expectations? Failing is the sign you may need to adjust your goals, change your routine or how you organize your learning method. Ninchanese will be waiting for you, ready to adapt, so once you have your new action plan, you can practice anywhere you.

Today’s Task

Embrace your flaws and failures little Dragon and you’ll be in better conditions to learn Chinese! Fail and learn from your failure, know yourself better and it will teach you to be stronger and will give you experience and knowledge. Pick an exercise in Ninchanese, practice as usual and if you fail at something, observe what your mistakes are. Then practice again and try to improve! 🙂 I believe you can do it Little Dragon!

The Nincha Team

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  • Metroid_300 - December 19, 2017

    Excelent tips, and excelent app, it helps me to improve mi vocabulary and chinese grammar. Regarding to the point “Adjust your goal” I couldn’t disagree more. I may be wrong but I think the problem is not that people set the goals so high and then they fail trying to achive them. The problem is that most people set the goals too low, then they achieve them, and then they live their lifes complaining about what they have.

    Ninchanese - December 20, 2017

    When the struggle is real then, setting lower goals is good because you have a feeling of achieving something, better than dropping them. Then you can start by leveling them up bit by bit. But it’s true that you can’t achieve fluency in the Chinese language by setting too low goals.

  • Miluseld - March 29, 2019

    Cool site to read here a pleasure.

  • DanielcIg - December 26, 2019


  • AndrewJar - March 25, 2020

    Astonishing personality of expression. Keep it up!

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