I want to learn Mandarin, but I lack the motivation. :(

What motivates you to learn Mandarin?
Are there fun YouTubers that you like to watch?
Are there interesting Podcasts that make you want to keep going?


Everyone might have a different motivation. In my case I like Chinese language and culture, but not only that, my gf is Chinese so my dream would be to become fluent and be able to speak to her, her parents, friends completely in Chinese. Other goals of mine are being able to read books and enjoy movies/tv series without problems like if it was my own language. Motivation is something personal. Chinese isn’t easy and sometimes you may discover that you don’t lack motivation, but you might feel discouraged. Well, in order to make it less frustrating you should consume materials that are approximately at your level or slightly above. I admit I also read/watch content that is way above my level and it could be frustrating at times, but it shouldn’t be. In that case we should just accept that it’s normal that we don’t know many words and we shouldn’t try to learn all the words either. Some will stick, some won’t. I could name some podcasts for Chinese language learners, but I don’t swear by any of them. I actually like watching tv series, because they use colloquial Chinese that is used in daily life (if you choose well). Sometimes I also watch historical dramas and while I enjoy them, they also use particular words not used in everyday life that could be interesting but less useful to know). I like watching tv series, because there is a plot, you may get passionate about it and keep watching to know how the story ends and episode by episode you are more familiar with the characters and the situations, the way actors speak, so there often is also a lot of repetition (that is important for learning). If you watch random videos on youtube instead, each of them could be different. If you stick to a kind of topic or genre it’s easier for the brain to pick up vocabulary relative to it. Always switching is more challenging. I don’t know what your level of Chinese is, so I don’t know if you already can consume this kind of material without feeling too overwhelmed or you need to focus more on the basics.


As someone with a lot of hours.

  1. My motivation is to understand the people around me since I live in a chinese speaking demographic since I didn’t like not understanding nothing.
  2. There are plenty of stuff! Anything you like in english could also be translated in chinese as well.
  3. You can try checking out Mandarin Corner

I was in Taiwan at North Central University 中央大学 and for my first class the teacher encouraged us to take part in a school play that is usually reserved for people who have studied for 6 months or more.

This experience really jump started my Mandarin as we practiced our script every day going over over every sentence in terms of pronunciation, understanding, correct tones, etc.

I remember particular how hard the 3rd to 2nd to 5th (blank tone) tone was for me when saying 我觉得 (Wo3jue2de5), but after two months of prep I had it down.

Then for the big day we performed our play in front of 200 plus people, which was insane.

TLDR: I find if you need motivation maybe visiting or taking a class in the country/region (finances and time permitting of course) then this is the best motivator.

Currently doing an office exchange in France, where I can practice my French and my motivation is up 200% to master French.


I’m confused.
If you really want to learn Mandarin, why aren’t you motivated to do it?
If you lack the motivation to learn Mandarin, why do you want to learn it?


There is a difference between having the desire for a thing and having the motivation to do what it takes to obtain that thing.

Someone may want to lose weight, but does not understand how to build and maintain the habits/motivation to do so.

Simply put a lack of motivation does not equate to innate lack of desire, and the right combination of attitude and habits can build the motivation needed to obtain said desire.