One of the interesting things of writing a blog is that you get to see how visitors actually found it. If you just clicked a link to this blog from Google, after keying in “Learn Mandarin in Singapore”, your keywords will show up in the blog statistics. (Of course I wouldn’t know it was you, I would just know that someone found our blog through typing this search term in a search engine).
There’s one type of search terms that upsets me. They are queries like:
Mandarin course in Singapore cheap
Learn mandarin online free
Learn language free
Free language course singapore
So what’s wrong with this? In an earlier post, I related that there is no easy way to learning languages. As much as some companies will want to make you believe this, there are some things in life that you cannot let other people do for you, and one of them is learning.
With no commitment to put in effort (time and/or money), you will not get there. You won’t get a degree worthy of the mention without commitment, and you will certainly not master a new language. You can save some time by getting a private tutor, or save money by engaging in a language exchange and cut down on lessons, but in the end you’ll need some time as well as some money (good materials are essential) to be successful in your language learning.
Of course, I am aware that not everyone can afford to fork out thousands of dollars for a full-time language course or to hire a private language tutor. But by searching explicitly for a cheap method to learn a language, you indicate that you have already made up your mind: it’s more important that your learning method’s cost is minimal than whether or not you sucessfully master the language.
Also, think about this: if you search for cheap methods to learn a language, what you will find are websites that are explicitly looking for people that look for a cheap way to learn a language. I would never trust someone selling a product for which the main sales argument is that it’s “cheap”. And how would a business offering a cheap way to learn languages still make money? There are legitimate ways, but the temptation to scam will most definitely be present.
Ironically, exactly because of the words I’ve used in this post, our blog will now start to attract more “cheapskates”. Maybe I should just not publish it…