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My Chinese Learning Philosophy

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Two years into my Chinese learning journey, I am often asked for advice from those looking to start theirs. People often want to know what drives me to keep learning in spite of how difficult the challenge seems. 
Through conversations with numerous Mandarin scholars I have learned that people can be divided broadly into three camps, as regards their motivations. The first camp contains those who have noticed the economic rise of China and believe that learning Mandarin will secure them great wealth and prosperity. Second, there are men who wish to impress Chinese women. And third, there are those who enjoy the process of language learning so much that doing so serves as an end in itself, requiring no additional rewards. 
Those who fall into either of the first two camps - and there are a great many - invariably fail in their quest. A single introductory class should be enough to convince the most materially driven pupil that there are surely easier ways to make money. As to those men w…