First post in a long time

I’m embarrassed to admit I’d forgotten all about this blog (^^;;) until Khatz posted a comment I made long ago on his blog.

I just got a question about how it feels to juggle Japanese and Cantonese, so I’ll try and post a progress report below:

Because I spent a lot of time (several years) trying to get good at Japanese and I’m loath to lose all that, I’ve been spending more time keeping Japanese up to par than learning Cantonese. Given the choice I’d rather watch a Japanese drama than a Cantonese one or listen to Japanese music. I’ve been branching out more and more, but not too far. But recently I’ve been getting more confident that I’m good enough in Japanese that I won’t forget it so easily, even if I stop for a while. I won’t say I have “native” fluency in it or anything ‘cos that’s a lie, but I’m having a harder and harder time coming across vocabulary I don’t know and I don’t remember the last time I heard something in a show/movie I didn’t understand (I need to watch more complex stuff, seriously), so I must be doing something right.

From next month onwards, I’d like to get even more serious with my Cantonese. I’ve worked through most of the example sentences with audio at Cantonese.sheik.uk, and I’m on chapter 10 of Teach Yourself Cantonese. Not bad, but not that good considering I’ve had a year to get that far. However putting pressure on yourself is the surest way to stop enjoying a language, so I’m treating it as a fun journey. I’ll get there when I get there. As long as I can understand what George Lam is singing by 2050, I’m cool 😀

There’s also the issue that there’s far less comprehensible learning material available on the internet in Cantonese than there is in Japanese. Lots of people learn Japanese so the community is really supportive and you can get stuff at all stages. Complete beginner, semi-intermediate, intermediate, advanced, native, it’s all good. At any given time there are thousands of people learning along with you, and many of them have blogs and forums to take part in. Plus Japanese is just Japanese, you know? You don’t have to juggle between Simplified and Traditional or find a video that says “Chinese” and then it turns out to be “Mandarin”, etc.

Whining won’t get me anywhere though, I’ve just got to keep on moving. A year ago everything on RTHK radio was a complete blur, but now I’m starting to get the general idea of some conversations: “Oh, they talking about hospitals”, “Oh, they’re complaining about transportation (I think)”, etc. Hopefully I’ll have something even more exciting to report a year from today.

So that’s it!

 

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One Response to “First post in a long time”

  1. Khatzumoto says:

    Well, I hope you keep posting, both here and on AJATT 😀 

    Your stuff is always insightful

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