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 πŸ‘ 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 πŸ˜” 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 πŸ’ͺ

More time at home

Apparently Gossip Girl is being taken off Netflix by the end of the month. I finished season one today, so now I have the remaining 5 seasons to get through in the next 4 weeks 😱 I was planning on taking off the last few weeks of the month, so that should help πŸ˜† Plus with the rona cases continuing to remain in the high double digits (there were actually 103 new cases today πŸ˜”), I just want to stay home this month anyway.

I actually enjoyed season one more than I expected to. The parents’ characters started to develop later on in the season, and that got me more intrigued. Since I’m not 16 anymore, the parents’ lives probably interested me more than their kids’ lives did. I’m sure it would’ve been the other way around if I was still 16 πŸ˜†

I had my Chinese lesson today. I felt like we were actually having a somewhat okay conversation for about 2/3 of the lesson, with me not asking her to repeat herself a bajillion times every time she said something. Total amazeballs! Maybe I am actually improving?!? But then for the remaining third, I went back to feeling like knowing nothing again πŸ˜† More listening practice, I tell you!

And then YouTube introduced me to this song: Γ‰chame La Culpa by Luis Fonsi and Demi Lovato. It’s samba, and a lot of our Latin songs are in Spanish. So of course that got me wanting to start learning Spanish πŸ˜† Sigh, my polyglot goals….

My constant struggle with learning Chinese

I had my Chinese lesson today. I never feel like I’m improving πŸ˜” I’m sure that not practising during the week isn’t helping my cause either!

There’s this thing with the Chinese language called tones. They basically indicate whether a word should be said, for example, as if you’re asking a question or if you’re exclaiming something. So let’s use the word ‘hey’ as an example. If you said hey as if it had a question mark after it: ‘hey?’ vs if you said it as if it had an exclamation mark after it: ‘hey!’, these two sounds now have two different meanings in Chinese. And Chinese has FOUR of these punctuation marks! 😱 And every syllable has a punctuation mark, so not only do you have to remember the sound of the word (‘hey’) but also the punctuation mark attached to it (‘?’).

I think this is one of the hardest things about learning the language. And you just have to remember the sound and the punctuation that’s attached to it. Knowing English is of absolutely no help because the two languages are not related to each other in any way! 😩

Anyway, that’s my first whinge about these tones, which I think is bad enough. My second whinge is about having two words related to one another have the same sound but having two different tones. So imagine that the word grape can mean either ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ depending on what punctuation you use with it. So, for example, ‘grape?’ means ‘buy’, but ‘grape!’ means ‘sell’. WHY would you have these two related words, ‘buy’ and ‘sell’, both use the same word ‘grape’, and the only way to differentiate whether the speaker is saying ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ is by listening to the punctuation mark at the end of ‘grape’! Argh! 😩

This is indeed the case for ‘buy’ and ‘sell’. But it is also the same for:

  • ‘where’ and ‘there’; and
  • ‘season’ and ‘episode’

And goodness knows what other related words are out there! It’s hard enough getting your head around all the different tones, but then to have related words sound virtually identical is just cruel! 😩