Sat 18 Dec 2010
I came across this video explaining what it takes to “master” a language. There is a rule of 10,000 hours in order to master anything. It would take 30 years of 1 hour per day to master a language, 10 years of 3 hours per day, 5 years of 6 hours per day and so on.
Then why is it that people can go overseas and speak very good in whatever language they are studying etc… The point is “good” but not “master”. There is another rule called “pareto principle” describing the 80-20 ratio of achieving something. This means it would take 20% of time to achieve 80% results, but 80% of time to achieve the remaining 20% of results leading to mastery.
So this brings me back to my Cantonese. I could say I speak it “well”, but far from near native. It also be maybe people are adjusting themselves when talking to me since I would need a mighty lot of years to get that last 20%. Anyway, this is a good video and makes me realise how much hard work you need.
The 10,000 hours principle explained: