Learning

My parents rang today. They needed help to connect to YouTube on their tv. What shouldโ€™ve been a five-minute explanation turned into an hour-long frustrating conversation ๐Ÿ˜’ Not only did we have to work with the tv, but we also had to work with my mumโ€™s smartphone, since they were using that to talk with me. And theyโ€™re not all too comfortable using that either. Itโ€™s hard when theyโ€™re older now and all this technology is so new to them. So I tried to be as patient as I could be, but it can be so hard sometimes ๐Ÿ˜“ But we managed to get it sorted and they now have YouTube all set up again, at least ๐Ÿ‘

We watched more of One Punch Man tonight. There are only two seasons with 12 episodes in each, so weโ€™ll probably finish the whole series before the work week is even over ๐Ÿ˜† Iโ€™m enjoying this anime, and itโ€™s inspiring me to study more Japanese. I might watch another anime after this one, maybe one that has simpler language so I can follow more of the dialogue. But letโ€™s see. Entertainment is trumping study-worthiness right now ๐Ÿ˜‚

A pretty non-eventful day

There were four new cases in HK today, all imported cases from Pakistan. They anticipated this increase, as a number of people were flown back to HK recently after being stuck overseas. Hopefully they can isolate these cases and make sure there are no local transmissions.

And it was a pretty non-eventful day closer to home as well. I worked on my next YouTube video and then did some Japanese language study. I feel like Iโ€™ve been neglecting my language learning lately, so Iโ€™m trying to spend a bit more time on them now. Iโ€™m trying to make sure I just do even just five minutes a day. Five minutes a day is still better than nothing!

Iโ€™m also started reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Itโ€™s quite good! Iโ€™m enjoying it ๐Ÿ˜Š He injects a bit of humour throughout the book, while also having a lot of useful tips to try in your own life. Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

A promising start to the week

The weather was niiice today. I finally felt comfortable, which means that summer is pretty much here – woohoo! ๐Ÿฅณ I need to swap my summer and winter clothes, I still have jumpers and ultra-warm Uniqlo Heattech gear in my closet ๐Ÿ˜‚ Iโ€™ll try and do that this weekend.

HK will be relaxing some of its restrictions soon. We havenโ€™t had any local cases since the 19th April, I believe ๐Ÿ‘ The few recent cases that weโ€™ve seen have been people coming back from overseas, so itโ€™s still looking promising! I think civil servants are back at work this week, which means government owned facilities will probably slowly start to open up again soon too. I think schools will slowly start reopening in late May / early June. We will soon start to see what our new world is going to look like.

And I watched a few more episodes of One Punch Man today. I canโ€™t believe just how much Iโ€™m enjoying this anime! Iโ€™m enjoying it so much that Iโ€™m considering reading the Japanese version of the manga series ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Never mind that itโ€™s for advanced Japanese language learners! The story is so interesting that I can probably persevere and try to study it anyway! ๐Ÿคช I might go and see if I can find the manga at a bookstore somewhere. Maybe I can get a Chinese and English version of it as well hehehe ๐Ÿ˜† #polyglotgoals

Day 4: trying new things

N has been baking so much bread lately that we are now running low on bread flour! ๐Ÿ˜‚ So we went to Wan Chai again to that baker specialty store to restock. He made another batch today too, I think thatโ€™s three days in a row that he baked bread. Three out of the four days of the long weekend. I think we are totally carbโ€™d out now! ๐Ÿ˜† Maybe itโ€™s time we switch to some low/no carb meals for the next few days…

But a friend has given me a recipe to make cinnamon rolls, and Iโ€™d like to try them out this week, if I can. But I might leave them for later on in the week after weโ€™ve cut back on our carbs a little bit…! ๐Ÿคช

N also introduced me to One Punch Man today, which is quite funny! Iโ€™ve heard of this manga before, but I always dismissed it for two reasons: it looks like itโ€™s full of action, which doesnโ€™t really interest me, and especially not in manga; and also because I heard that the language used in the manga is for advanced Japanese learners, which Iโ€™m definitely not. So Iโ€™ve just avoided it. But N has been watching the anime series this long weekend, and it looked intriguing, so I decided to start watching it today. And itโ€™s really good! Yes, the language is quite advanced, but Iโ€™m watching it primarily for entertainment, so Iโ€™m not getting caught up studying the dialogue or getting upset that I barely understand any of it. Learning the odd word is perhaps a better way to put it ๐Ÿ˜† And yes, there is action in it, but itโ€™s presented in a totally different way, and I like it! So Iโ€™m really enjoying this anime, much to my surprise. And itโ€™s spurring me on to study some more Japanese too, which is never a bad thing ๐Ÿ˜Š

Itโ€™s a win-win on all fronts

Continuing on from my post yesterday, I started going through my Japanese textbook for Chinese speakers today ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s surprisingly ok so far! There’s actually two reasons why I’m using this textbook: firstly, I wanted to work on learning Japanese using Chinese as the mode of teaching to get away from my constant reliance on English. So I figured that if I eliminate English as much as I can, the stronger the bonds will be between my Chinese and Japanese, and generally just stronger the links will be in my mind across all three languages.

And the other reason is because the level of the Japanese in this textbook is just review for me, it’s not new material. Learning new stuff with Chinese as the teaching language may be quite a tough ask. But I’m really just reviewing material that I already know, just that this time around, the translation is in Chinese. So seeing properly constructed Chinese sentences is also good review. So I’m effectively reviewing both languages – without English ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ It’s a win-win on all fronts, if you ask me ๐Ÿ˜Š

Polyglot goals

I placed an online order this morning for some groceries to be delivered home. The earliest time slot they had was 7-8pm, so I chose that. Four hours later, they called me to check if anyone was home (no one was). What is the point of having delivery times when you’re not even going to stick to them?!? ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿคช Although having said that, a delivery turnaround of four hours from placing my order to their delivering it is pretty damn good! And even though no one is home, HK is a safe enough place (let’s forget about the douchebags for a second here…) where I can ask them to leave the order by our front door and be pretty confident that no one will take off with it. So it was all good, but still! ๐Ÿคช

I went to the library again today and borrowed yet another book. I have seven books out on loan at the moment, greedy much?!? ๐Ÿ˜† Maybe it’d be a better idea if I actually just finished one book at a time and then moved on to the next book… But nooo, I’ll just be a greedy guts instead! ๐Ÿคช

Because I’ve already started winding down for the year, with N’s brother in town and all, I thought I’d spend a bit more time on my language learning over the next few weeks. Four out of my seven books are actually foreign language related, so maybe I can work my way specifically through these ones over the coming weeks. Polyglot goals, here I come! ๐Ÿค“

I get excited about the weirdest of things

I unintentionally found the link between hentai (warning: graphic drawing in the Wikipedia link here) and its equivalent word in Chinese. Don’t ask me how I managed to find that connection ๐Ÿคช But anyway, the point of me mentioning it is because I get very excited when one language helps me improve in the other ๐Ÿ‘

It’s times like this when I feel like tackling both languages at the same time ๐Ÿ˜‚ I won’t, though. If I were to choose a second language to tackle alongside Chinese, I’d choose something closer to English, like Spanish or French, so at least I have English as a bit of a crutch to help me learn the language. With the Asian languages, you have no such crutch ๐Ÿ˜ซ So I think I’ll stick to one Asian language at a time ๐Ÿค“

N’s brother is on his way to HK and lands at ridiculous o’clock tomorrow morning. Another flight to track, always so exciting ๐Ÿ˜Š

My possibly crazy idea

I went to the library today and borrowed a Japanese textbook – written for native Chinese speakers ๐Ÿ˜‚ I finally found the section in the library where these textbooks are located! I borrowed a textbook that is at JLPT N4 level, which is still more review for me than actually learning new stuff, but I thought that would be a good starting point anyway, since I need to get my Japanese back up to a proper N4 level, as I’ve forgotten so much of it. But if I delve into it and realise that I do indeed remember more than I thought I did, then I’ll just go back to the library and borrow an equivalent N3 textbook ๐Ÿ˜Š

Anyway, the reason why I decided to borrow such a textbook is because I want to be able to learn both languages without involving English. I feel like if I can create more connections in my brain that do not involve English, then perhaps my fluency in these two languages will improve. Plus I’ll also get to learn some Chinese words too, as I’m sure there will be a few words that I won’t know. What do you think of this crazy idea?? ๐Ÿ˜œ

The library is chock full of Chinese books, surprise surprise ๐Ÿ˜† I am so motivated to continue with my Chinese language journey every time I go there. The books are written for native speakers, so there is no “dumbing down” of the language for those learning it, like it is in textbooks. This makes it all the more challenging, as you’re exposed to so many more words than what you would come across in a textbook. But that’s what you need when you’re learning a language, right?? You can’t just live inside the proverbial walls of your textbook ๐Ÿ˜Š I still only visit the children’s section of the library, because I’m effectively still at primary school reading level, but this section alone has a bajillion books for me to devour! ๐Ÿค“

I need a parent ๐Ÿ˜†

I finally started feeling close to normal today, so I got through a ton of stuff, trying to catch up on everything that I didn’t do over the past few days since I’ve been sick ๐Ÿ‘

N flew to Japan today, so of course I tracked his flight โœˆ๏ธ

  • His fellow karate mate who is also on this trip with him lost her train ticket when they got to Osaka, and he was asking me how to say various things in Japanese that was relevant to their situation – eg: “she lost her ticket”. The problem is, I’m not there to help them! ๐Ÿ˜‚ So I told them to use Google translate, which is actually quite good for a lot of things. I use it to help me with my Chinese all the time. I don’t use it word for word, but it sometimes guides me or gives me a better idea on how to structure a particular sentence that I can’t seem to get right on my own.
  • And of course they were fine – they’re in Japan, after all ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I had my online Chinese lesson again today. I’m really enjoying them! They’re freaking hard as, since we spend the entire time doing exactly what I need: speaking and listening practice! And since my listening is so bad, I swear I ask her to repeat every second sentence that she says ๐Ÿ˜ณ I hope it eventually improves, because right now I’m feeling pretty dunce-y! I’ve already told her that my listening is the worst, so she already knows my biggest problem. She’s really patient, though, and rather than resorting to English, she just repeats herself a few times, mega slowly, until I get it. It is exactly what I need ๐Ÿ‘ I just wish I had her with me day in day out, correcting everything I say – like a parent! ๐Ÿ˜† But alas, as an adult, I don’t have this luxury. I just have to do some more studying on my own….
  • And so I finished the day watching a few episodes of Love O2O, my current Chinese drama, just continuing to persevere with the show for some listening practice, which is what I desperately need for my Chinese!
  • My polyglot dream

    They say that you should read as much as you can in your target language, and I realised today that I wasn’t reading enough Chinese material. So I went to the library and decided to borrow a Chinese book in the children’s section again. It’s a simpler version of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess (eg it only has ten chapters vs the original book which has 19), but I still think it’s going to be a hard slog. It’s still not quite a relaxing read for me, I’m still effectively studying it. But I want to push myself and try reading something that’s aimed more at older kids, rather than the books I usually read, which are written for five year olds ๐Ÿ˜‚

    For a Chinese language learner, the library is a treasure trove full of good reading material, as these books are written for native speakers of the language, even if they are five or seven or ten years old ๐Ÿ˜œ They haven’t been dumbed down for adult learners, like most of my learning materials. This is Chinese written for native speakers, so they’re not going to limit their choice of words to suit the language learner. Which of course makes it that much harder, as you’re constantly looking up words that you don’t know. But hopefully in the long run, all the hard work will pay off ๐Ÿคž

    And then in the evening, we went out for dinner with a few of N’s workmates – another farewell dinner for the same workmate who we had the farewell brunch for last Sunday ๐Ÿ˜† She’s had a bajillion farewell dinners! She probably started her farewell drinks and dinners three weeks ago ๐Ÿ˜‚ But she loves her food, so she’s going to as many places as she can before she heads back to Sydney in a few days ๐Ÿ‘

    They had a colleague from their Tokyo office join us, and when I found out she was Japanese, I immediately asked her “Are you Japanese?” in Japanese. She was quite surprised that I could say that, and was really impressed with my Japanese accent! OMG how cool is that?!? It totally made me even more keen to continue with my Japanese. I also realised today as I was speaking to her that my Chinese has indeed well and truly surpassed my Japanese level. I can express myself better in Chinese now, and the Chinese words come to mind much faster now too ๐Ÿ˜ฒ Although I have been much more focussed on my Chinese lately, so I guess this is to be expected. If I spent more time with Japanese, I could probably get it back up to pretty much the same level ๐Ÿ˜†

    And given that these two languages are apparently two of the hardest languages to learn for a native English speaker (along with Korean and Arabic), I think I underestimate just how much I actually know of these two languages, and the fact that I can have simple conversations in both. It may take a ton of effort to do so, and I will have a bajillion mistakes, but I’m communicating, and that’s effectively the point of language, right?! So with more practice, I think I could actually achieve my goal of conversational fluency in both languages ๐Ÿ˜Š Today has given me more fuel to continue pushing on with this polyglot dream of mine ๐Ÿค“