New routines and language goals

I got up mega early again this morning. Not as early as yesterday, but earlier than usual. It’s really nice getting up so early! I get so much more done in the morning, and I feel so much more productive 👍 The problem with this, though, is that because I am naturally a night owl, it is VERY easy for me to burn the candle at both ends 😔 So I really have to try not to do that. It’s ok to do it every now and then, but it’s just not sustainable. I do try and take it easy in the afternoon now. Before, I’d be working frantically to get stuff done because I was running out of time; now, because I did so much in the morning, I don’t really need to stress out as much in the afternoon. So maybe these new hours will work for me after all?? But first, let’s see if I can continue to get up early! 😜

We started watching My Hero Academia recently. And now we’re watching one episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and then one episode of My Hero Academia to wind down for the evening 😊 I feel like I need to study it to get some Japanese language study in. It feels like such a waste if I don’t do that. I’ve actually been reviewing a lot more of my Japanese Anki flashcards lately, surprisingly, so it feels like I should back that up with some listening practice as well. And given how crap my Chinese listening skills are, chances are my Japanese listening skills are going to be just as bad!

But Jap has the added advantage of a lot of words being much more ingrained in me. I studied it in high school, which was a bajillion years ago now, but a lot of the vocab is still in my long-term memory, and hearing certain words is almost the same as hearing English. Almost 😜 I don’t think my Chinese will ever get to that same level. But ultimately, I would love to be conversational in both languages. That is my long-term goal. I’m sure it’ll be an uphill battle the older I get, but I’m going to try my darndest to achieve it 💪

Using movies to learn foreign languages

N went over to a mate’s place for drinks tonight, so I just started watching Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. It was made before Studio Ghibli was founded (the film studio that also made Spirited Away and Totoro), but it’s still usually lumped as one of their films. Its director was one of the cofounders of Studio Ghibli, and they later purchased that studio where he made this film. So it’s usually seen as a Studio Ghibli film since it has such strong ties to Studio Ghibli.

Anyway, I started watching it, but it started getting quite late, so I’ll have to come back to it another time. We’re going to a friend’s place tomorrow for his birthday, so I probably won’t have much time tomorrow to watch some more. Maybe Sunday, then 😆

I’d like to watch some more of these Studio Ghibli films. I’m also considering using these films as a way to learn my two target languages: Chinese and Japanese! One of the benefits of living in HK is having Chinese and English subtitles available for a lot of TV shows and movies. And the Chinese subtitles are available in both simplified and traditional characters! And then on top of that, Japanese shows and movies have Japanese subtitles available as well. It is such a good place to learn these two languages. I have so many learning resources at my disposal, I can’t let my time in this city go to waste!

Branching out

We went to one of the shopping malls at Central today to buy a new notebook so I can start preparing it for 2021. I bought a different brand today, so I’ll have to see if I like this different notebook. I’ve always used the same brand for the past 4 years that I’ve had a bullet journal, so it feels strange buying a new brand 😆 I hope I don’t regret this decision! If I really hate it and can’t stand parting ways with my original brand, then there’s nothing stopping me from buying a second notebook and just using this one for other things. I’m always forever buying notebooks anyway (remember this post when I talked about my problem with paper?!? 🙄), so I know that I will eventually use it anyway.

We then watched New Police Story in the evening. It was actually pretty good! I’m not really into martial arts / action-type movies, but I actually enjoyed this one. It was made in Hong Kong, so it didn’t have the usual Hollywood feel that I’m so used to. It had this rawness to it, I guess you could say. With Hollywood movies, I usually feel a little removed from all the action. But in this movie, I sorta felt like I had a front row seat to the gunfight scenes. It was a bit of an odd feeling. And then most action movies don’t usually draw me in emotionally. It’s usually more about the action than the relationships between the characters. This movie had both. So I was quite pleasantly surprised 😊

I don’t watch many movies in general, and I watch even fewer movies made outside of Hollywood. But after watching this one, maybe I need to branch out more. Especially now when we have access to so many movies from Asia. And the uniqueness of HK (and SG) is that they have both Chinese and English subtitles, so it’s the perfect place for someone like me to learn Chinese. Not to mention Japanese and Korean movies. We have access to a ton of those as well. And they will have subtitles for those movies in THREE languages: the original language of the movie; Chinese AND English. And on top of that, what makes HK even more unique is that the Chinese subtitles will be in Simplified Chinese (the preferred way of Chinese writing in China and SG) AND in Traditional Chinese (the preferred style in HK and Taiwan). That combination of Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese AND English subtitles being available is pretty unique to HK, and is an amazing source of Chinese learning for someone like me. So I should totally take advantage of this while we’re still living here!

Learning

My parents rang today. They needed help to connect to YouTube on their tv. What should’ve been a five-minute explanation turned into an hour-long frustrating conversation 😒 Not only did we have to work with the tv, but we also had to work with my mum’s smartphone, since they were using that to talk with me. And they’re not all too comfortable using that either. It’s hard when they’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 😓 But we managed to get it sorted and they now have YouTube all set up again, at least 👍

We watched more of One Punch Man tonight. There are only two seasons with 12 episodes in each, so we’ll probably finish the whole series before the work week is even over 😆 I’m enjoying this anime, and it’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 let’s see. Entertainment is trumping study-worthiness right now 😂

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 I’ve been neglecting my language learning lately, so I’m trying to spend a bit more time on them now. I’m trying to make sure I just do even just five minutes a day. Five minutes a day is still better than nothing!

I’m also started reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. It’s quite good! I’m enjoying it 😊 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! 🥳 I need to swap my summer and winter clothes, I still have jumpers and ultra-warm Uniqlo Heattech gear in my closet 😂 I’ll try and do that this weekend.

HK will be relaxing some of its restrictions soon. We haven’t had any local cases since the 19th April, I believe 👏 The few recent cases that we’ve seen have been people coming back from overseas, so it’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 can’t believe just how much I’m enjoying this anime! I’m enjoying it so much that I’m considering reading the Japanese version of the manga series 😱 Never mind that it’s for advanced Japanese language learners! The story is so interesting that I can probably persevere and try to study it anyway! 🤪 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 😆 #polyglotgoals

Day 4: trying new things

N has been baking so much bread lately that we are now running low on bread flour! 😂 So we went to Wan Chai again to that baker specialty store to restock. He made another batch today too, I think that’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 carb’d out now! 😆 Maybe it’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 I’d like to try them out this week, if I can. But I might leave them for later on in the week after we’ve cut back on our carbs a little bit…! 🤪

N also introduced me to One Punch Man today, which is quite funny! I’ve heard of this manga before, but I always dismissed it for two reasons: it looks like it’s full of action, which doesn’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 I’m definitely not. So I’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 it’s really good! Yes, the language is quite advanced, but I’m watching it primarily for entertainment, so I’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 😆 And yes, there is action in it, but it’s presented in a totally different way, and I like it! So I’m really enjoying this anime, much to my surprise. And it’s spurring me on to study some more Japanese too, which is never a bad thing 😊

It’s a win-win on all fronts

Continuing on from my post yesterday, I started going through my Japanese textbook for Chinese speakers today 😂 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 👍👍 It’s a win-win on all fronts, if you ask me 😊

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?!? 🙄🤪 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! 🤪

I went to the library again today and borrowed yet another book. I have seven books out on loan at the moment, greedy much?!? 😆 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! 🤪

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! 🤓

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 🤪 But anyway, the point of me mentioning it is because I get very excited when one language helps me improve in the other 👍

It’s times like this when I feel like tackling both languages at the same time 😂 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 😫 So I think I’ll stick to one Asian language at a time 🤓

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