For 5-year-olds or 9-year-olds?

I think I’ve mentioned this before in an earlier post, but there’s this bookstore here called The Commercial Press, and they have one store in Causeway Bay that is dedicated specifically for children. They have both Chinese and English books, but of course I only care about the former. Some (most?!) of the Chinese books are still too advanced for me, but there are more than enough books that are at my level (or just a bit beyond) to keep me occupied for aaages, so I’m always tempted to buy a bajillion books every time I walk in there – so I always try and avoid the temptation to walk in! πŸ˜‚

But I couldn’t resist today. And of course I found something: a manga that seems to be right at my level – ie one that seems like I will be able to read without the use of a dictionary πŸ‘ Where I know about 80-90% of the words. So you can imagine that this manga is probably aimed at 5-year-olds πŸ˜‚ OK, perhaps a sight exaggeration, maybe 9-year-olds, then πŸ˜†

But having said that, I can’t even read the title! πŸ€£πŸ˜” But I could read “small princess”, and the drawings are really cute, and that was enough to win me over. OK, it must definitely be for 9-year-old girls, then πŸ˜‚

I started reading it when I got home, and the main character is actually 12 years old! OK, so my Chinese is actually a little more advanced than I thought πŸ‘ That’s freaking awesome! That’s basically end of primary school, right? Awe-some! So I’m starting to feel a little better again, after feeling like I’ve stagnated with my Chinese and thought that I was perpetually stuck at my current level. But 12 years old?! Wowww, happy with that! 😎

I’m still reading the Chinese version of The Little Prince, don’t worry, I haven’t given up on that (yet?!), but that’s more intensive studying rather than a casual read. I want something that is more for review, for cementing what I already know, and making sure I get some decent practice using material specifically for native speakers, and not just the dumbed down versions for language learners – even if the native speakers in this instance are still in primary school! πŸ˜‚

I bought a manga while we were still in SG, actually (I got it from Takashimaya. I loved that store, I miss it so much πŸ˜”), but it has somehow gotten lost in the move, and I can no longer find it. I’m a bit disappointed with that, as I really wanted to finish that manga series. But that too was a bit more advanced, so it wasn’t as leisurely a read as I suspect the above one will be.

Really enjoying this immersion with “real life” materials! 😊

Brunch and The Little Prince

I went to Sai Ying Pun today and tried two different cafes: one for brunch and another one for coffee and dessert. Neither of them were that great πŸ˜‚ It’s hard to find good western breakfast/brunch food in Asia. And as you may know, I find it very difficult to stray from western breakfasts. Lunch or dinner I can have any other cuisine, no problem, but when it comes to breakfast/brunch, it’s hard for me not to have a western style meal. The only thing that has been able to pull me away from this restrictive habit is yum cha! πŸ˜‚

I read more of my Chinese version of The Little Prince πŸ‘ Well, it’s probably better described as “studying”, as it is by no means a leisurely read! πŸ˜‚

There are a ton of new words on this page, and there were a few sentences that I found quite difficult to understand, so I had to refer to the English version to get the translation. But I’m really enjoying the process, and the story, so despite the absolute slowness of my progress, I still somehow magically push on. I don’t know when I’ll finish the book! I’m reading about a page a day, as that is all the time I’m willing to spend studying it, since I have other commitments in my life! πŸ˜‚ But maybe there will come a turning point where all the vocab will somehow magically come together, and slowly I won’t have to look up so many words, and I can just figure out from the context the meaning of the remaining few words that I don’t know. Maybe…?? Here’s to hoping! πŸ˜‚

Trying to keep things interesting

I spent pretty much all day on our finances, so you can imagine just how unbelievably boring my day was πŸ˜‚ But it was the end of the month, and I just felt like it would be a nice way to finish off the month, which is what made me persevere through the extreme boredom.

And then in the evening, I just did some more Chinese study. I wrote out a few sentences from the Chinese half of The Little Prince book, and studied them in more detail. I also compared the Chinese in my book to the one that she was reading in this YouTube clip, which was slightly different – and actually very different at times. I found my book easier to understand, so maybe my one is aimed more for kids, hence perhaps why the book was in the kids’ section of the library 😊 But I like watching and listening to the YouTube clip so I can hear a native speaker reading it, and also see the text that she’s reading, so I can read along with her and try and emulate her pronunciation.

N is now sick too, btw. We seem to get sick more often in the city. I’m always sick, so that’s no surprise, but for him to also be sick almost as often as me is a big surprise πŸ˜” What’s the dealio, HK??