Chinese Talk / 10

by Julia

Is it possible to find it so hard to assess how much I am progressing? (Or whether I’m progressing at all?) I always fail at understanding the extent of my language learning improvement.

I believe this is the case because I’m not really testing myself. I’m just going on reading my grammar book, taking notes and listening to Chinese Class, lacking every possible form of evaluation.

Let’s be clear, I’m not questioning my system once again. I’m happy with it, really really happy. Actually this is the first time since I quitted my course at Confucius Institute that I find myself able to stick to a system for so long. I enjoying using these resources, that’s why I’ve been able to study almost every week since I started using them. But I cannot act like I’m blind and pretend not to see there are some blank lines.

The point is that learning a language requires a lot of time. Literally a lot. What you do seems to be never enough, because there is so much to do – listening, speaking, writing, reading, characters, grammar. Even in my best of productivity weeks I’ve never managed to do it all. But every time that I leave something slightly behind, I feel like I’ve taken 5 steps back. So frustrating.

How do you handle it when you don’t have 6+ hours a day to study your target language?


What I can say for sure is that watching Chinese dramas almost every night before bed [already talked about my current amazing night routine] is helping a lot to get accustomed to the sound of the language. It’s not like I’m suddenly able to understand colloquial Chinese without subtitles [ahahahahah are you freaking kidding?], but recently I’ve been able to take some notes while watching an episode and this is a huge progress for me. I may not be able to grasp entire phrases [unless they’re very short] but I’m able to follow the lines pretty enough to pick out single words that I can jot down as new vocabulary to learn.

So, yes, sometimes I feel discouraged but sometimes I’m able to perceive the fact that, despite all, I’m keeping moving.

Again, pointless post. I just felt like expressing everything that I’m feeling right now in terms of language learning  🙂