Progress Report #3

I haven’t mentioned recently how I’ve been getting on with Cantonese, or, for that matter, the saxophone.  I only just remembered that I started this blog as a diary rather than a practical guide; it’s actually been really useful for me to look back at my previous posts and remind myself of how far I’m getting.  And so has the weblog’s original purpose been fulfilled.

It seems though that I haven’t really made much progress at all though over the last couple of months.  I kinda got derailed by starting work recently, although I have made a lot of progress consolidating my knowledge of Cantonese grammar.

The main thing though that’s been a real impediment to progress has (astonishingly) been Japanese.  I started listening again to some of the J-Pop bands I liked, thinking it would be preferable to listening to English bands – but the result was that I’ve been listening mostly to the likes of Orange Range and シド each day.  This, twinned with a rediscovery of (Japanese-language) anime I liked, has led to my Japanese improving faster than my Cantonese.  Nihongo has somehow become my default object of procrastination.

I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet, but I was actually surprised at how much Japanese I could understand, and I’ve picked up quite a lot of new vocab recently as a consequence – once you get past a certain point in language learning, it seems, it’s easy to continue.  This has been seriously detrimental motivationally for my Cantonese though – it’s reminded me how little I know by comparison.  Clearly this is because I’ve spent far more time studying Japanese, but it’s tricky to keep this in mind all the time.

Nevertheless, I’m now making a resurgent effort at watching HK dramas and going over sections, trying to pick out sentences and words.  This isn’t going too badly, but a lack of Internet (and hence CantoDict) is hampering progress unnecessarily.

My new housemates didn’t take kindly to my saxophone either, so I regretfully write that I haven’t so much as picked it up for the last 6 weeks.  I’ve considered playing it at my workplace once the office is empty (there are only ever two or three people at work at any given time), but I haven’t yet mustered the effort to do so.

It’s little things like these that have tripped me up before – but this time I’m determined to jump the hurdles and just keep going.  Conclusion?  I admit that I’ve been doing badly recently, but damned if I’m going to let it stop me!  I’m going to try really hard to make Cantonese something I do to procrastinate too.  Hopefully I’ll be able to write something more positive next time 😀


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