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Changing the language on your OS: does it actually help?


I have a dream that one day, I’ll be able to change my phone and computer to Mandarin and then STICK TO IT. But for months, I’ve switched back and forth and back and forth. I want the immersive environment, but every time my computer throws me a curveball (like a long, potentially serious notification), or if I’m in a rush to do something, I switch back to English with my proverbial tail between my legs.

Has anyone changed their OS and stuck to it? Any pointers?


I’m like you. I go back and forth, but I always end up going back to English if I’m learning something new, or there is a problem.


It’s only going to be helpful if you are using the new words to actively learn. If you take those characters that you don’t know and make them into flashcards and learn them, then yes, it can be beneficial, and you should keep doing it until you feel comfortable in that operating system. You’ll then start noticing those key words on other websites, apps, etc. and you’ll be able to see your progress.

If you aren’t actually learning anything or are clicking and guessing at meanings, it won’t be helpful.

Passive immersion does not work. You aren’t going to be able to stare at the characters and magically understand the meaning and how to say them. Combine a bit of active studying of the characters and then the passive reinforcement of seeing them every day will help them stick.


You are absolutely right. As soon as I gather some free time, I need to make this a concentrated project.