One of the common reasons that intermediate students of Chinese Mandarin tend to give up is due to the frustration of not seeing much progress in their learning. Granted, there are going to be days when you feel like you are not making any progress, or days when you perhaps even feel like you are losing your previously built skills.
In light of this, I would like to share five Chinese 成语 (chéng yŭ, idioms) with you that I hope will help you to push through difficult times.
成语 (chéng yŭ) are Chinese expressions that have a wealth of meaning in them. In other words, they are idioms! They are usually four characters long, and are probably some of the best examples of “less is more.” Furthermore, they are very flexible! Most of the time, you can use them as an adjective, verb or adverb.
The first one we have is 半途而废。
半途而废 means to give up halfway through a journey. This is the trap that I hope you will be able to avoid after reading this article. Literally speaking, it means “halfway through the journey and then you give up.”
|半途而废||bàn tú ér fèi||To give up halfway through|
|途||tú||way, journey, road|
|废||fèi||to abandon, to give up|
When you feel like you are going to 半途而废, I want you to keep in mind that 熟能生巧。
熟能生巧 means “practice makes perfect.” Literally speaking, it means that if you become very familiar with a task through practice, you will become skilled at it.
|熟能生巧||shóu néng shēng qiăo||Practice makes perfect|
|熟||shóu||to become familiar|
|生||shēng||to be born|
|巧||qiăo||to become skilled|
Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” In other words, you may tend to make certain little mistakes repeatedly. However, if you make it your goal to reduce the frequency of such mistakes, you will perfect those skills.
While 熟能生巧, you can increase your efficiency by making sure that when you do practice, you 全力以赴.
全力以赴 means “to go all out,” or “to do something with all your might and will.” If you are practicing something halfheartedly, then your result will also be halfhearted.
|全力以赴||quán lì yĭ fù||To go all out|
|赴||fù||to face something|
A common trait that I have noticed in my students is that they love challenges! There are even students who are learning Chinese Mandarin just because they want to challenge themselves! Whenever I face something difficult, I think of my students and I learn to embrace the challenge instead of getting frustrated. This mindset will guide you a long way! So, become 爱不释手 toward challenges!
爱不释手 means you love something so much that you can’t let it go. Learn and train yourself to love the challenges that you face when you are learning Chinese Mandarin; it will make the learning process much more enjoyable and interesting.
|爱不释手||ài bù shì shŏu||To love something so much that you can’t let it go|
With perseverance and a desire to overcome the challenge of learning Chinese Mandarin, your language skills will one day reach the level of 如鱼得水! 如鱼得水 means “like a fish in water.” Being that it is natural for fish to thrive in water (since it is their natural habitat) this expression refers to being a natural.
|如鱼得水||rú yú de shuĭ||Like a fish in water|
|如||rú||to be like|
在学习汉语的旅程中， 常常会遇到挫折。 很多中级阶段的汉语学生会因为没有明显的进展而半途而废。 我希望当你遇到挫折的时候， 可以全力以赴， 抱着爱不释手的心态勇敢得面对在你面前的挑战。 正所谓熟能生巧， 中级学生也是需要不断地加强汉语能力， 直到达到如鱼得水的程度！ 加油！
zài xué xí hàn yŭ de lǚ chéng zhōng ， cháng cháng huì yù dào cuò zhé 。 hĕn duō zhōng jí jiē duàn de hàn yŭ xué sheng huì yīn wèi méi yŏu míng xiăn de jìn zhăn ér bàn tú ér fèi 。 wŏ xī wàng dāng nĭ yù dào cuò zhé de shí hou ， kĕ yĭ quán lì yĭ fù ， bào zhe ài bù shì shŏu de xīn tài yŏng găn de miàn duì zài nĭ miàn qián de tiăo zhàn 。 zhèng suŏ wèi shóu néng shēng qiăo ， zhōng jí xué sheng yĕ shì xū yào bù duàn dì jiā qiáng hàn yŭ néng lì ， zhí dào dá dào rú yú de shuĭ de chéng dù ！ jiā yóu ！
You will often encounter obstacles during your Chinese Mandarin learning journey. In fact, there are many intermediate students who give up halfway because they don’t see any obvious progress. However, I hope that you will go all out when facing a challenge. You should fall so deeply in love with challenges that you find it hard to let go of them. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” Even as an intermediate level student, perseverance is still needed to get to the point that you are able to speak Chinese Mandarin as if you were born to do it. Good luck!