Episode 195. How to find the time for learning Chinese

195. How To Find the Time For Learning Chinese

Podcast Duration: 00:47:37
195. How To Find The Time For Learning Chinese

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27:33 Comments & Emails

Raiyan by Email

Hi Luke and Phil,

As of writing this email, I am overjoyed to tell you that I got started on my first Intermediate course characters. I finished the Foundation Course around 3 days ago. I started mid-March 2021 and it is now the middle of January 2023, which means it took about 22 months. When I finally opened up the “Foundation Course Complete” lesson, I decided to drink it all in and read the other comments where people expressed their feelings in that same moment. I realized, of all the comments I read, the time I had taken was more than even those who called themselves “tortoises.” My Chinese journey is my own, and I’m not fazed by it at all. However, it did make me think I should share some aspects of my road up to this point that affirm a lot of the guidance you have provided us throughout the course.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I did have a lot of those unfortunate “zero days” on my journey. I let my flashcard reviews go by the wayside and ended up getting into a vicious cycle of letting flashcard reviews pile up to the point where it would be extremely difficult to catch up on quickly, which kept me from doing any reviews at all and so they kept piling up. This happened on a couple of occasions. The most recent time this happened, around two months ago, I had about 600 total review flashcards piled up. I was not learning any new characters with all that review. When learning Chinese came to mind on those days, I would be intimidated by the piled up reviews and not do much more than be anxious about it.

I broke out of this cycle when I stumbled across some promotional content where you discussed the importance of the “zoom-in, zoom-out” approach where you stay committed to daily tasks so as not to get overwhelmed by the potential progress there is to be made, but then also zooming out once in a while to see the results of your commitment to your daily tasks. It was then I realized – I had not been appreciating myself enough for showing up on the days that I did and was instead just thinking showing up was only what I had to do in order to move towards character 592. Once I realized I need to appreciate myself more for showing up for my daily tasks every day, I then had an epiphany that I could slowly chip away at the piled up reviews and break it down into more doable chunks and catch up with my reviews over a number of days.

Once I realized this, I pretty easily caught up with my piled up reviews and started to learn new characters too – this time with the renewed mindset of appreciating myself for completing my reviews and learning even one character a day. In the past, I had a bad habit of when I was learning new characters, I’d do 4-7 in one sitting but couldn’t sustain this everyday and wouldn’t learn any new characters on days I felt burned out. When I began to appreciate daily tasks more, I became content with learning even one new character a day after reviews, which meant I made more steady progress.

Another thing to note, a lot of my “zero days” weren’t truly zero days since I had been in the UK the past year and made some Chinese friends with whom I exchanged text messages, read “chengyu” stories for kids, and various other activities that required me to use the Chinese I knew. So even when I wasn’t even doing flashcard reviews, I wasn’t exactly forgetting everything. I was happy being able to interact with my Chinese friends in their native language, which I couldn’t have done without MB.

Anyway, onward and upward for me. I hope with my renewed mindset, I can finish up the Intermediate course a lot faster, without all the zero days! Thank you so much, and I hope the details of my journey are helpful to you or anyone else on the course platform. For those struggling on their journey, you can always refresh, regroup, and continue moving forward.

Cheers (that one’s for Luke),



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Good question, thanks for taking the interest and time to ask me. I cannot believe that I said that 2 years ago. Just absurd.
I took Digital Marketing specially Affiliate this last year to have an income and didn’t give any time to Chinese. Sooo sorry to acknowledge this, I’ll give myself another opportunity. Thanks again. Great job all of you!

7 February, 2023