Originally posted by no1marauder to AThousandYoung
I'm sure a Chinese (from China) could have written her book in half the time then.
There's at least one compelling reason why Chinese students have become
accustomed to working harder than most Western students. Learning how
to read and write Chinese is harder than learning how to read and write
languages with alphabets. In order to become literate, a Chinese student
must spend ample time memorizing thousands of characters. (It's necessary
to learn at least about two thousand characters to become functionally literate.)
Learning Chinese involves developing habits of disciplined hard work.
In my experience, learning 100 new words in Chinese took significantly more
time than learning 100 new words in English. When I once complained to my
Chinese teacher about the amount of work required, she stared at me and
scolded me for being lazy. I heard some of my Chinese classmates giggling.
To be honest, I did not like to study as hard as many of them routinely did.
Except for a favoured few (the children of high privilege), life in China tends
to be ruthlessly competitive for students. Chinese students are reminded
that they have to compete against others who are just as talented and
willing to put in an extra hour of work every day. So they too must be
willing to do an extra hour of work every day. And it escalates from there.