Chinese Talk / 11

by Julia

I’m aware that the oral part of language learning [listening and speaking] is the most hard to get accustomed to for me. That being so, I’ve always neglected this kind of practice – because it’s something not so easy to do by myself, because language learning classes often skip this part of the training [sometimes completely], but most of all because it makes me feel uncomfortable.

This is one of the main reasons why I’ve been in such personal crisis with Japanese. After almost three years of study was it possible to find myself unable to hold a even very simple conversation? Either I didn’t know how to express my thoughts or I wasn’t able to understand what people was telling me.

I thought for quite some time it was all Japanese’s fault. And I established a sort of love/hate relationship in which I felt betrayed by ‘someone’ I once trusted.

Japanese is not an easy language, I don’t think I need to explain why. Nonetheless, if others have been able to learn it, it has to be possible to me as well. So no, it doesn’t really bring me anywhere to point the finger against an imaginary intrinsic difficulty of Japanese language itself.

Ok, why am I babbling about Japanese?

Mostly because for once I can say that I’ve learned by my mistakes. In the last two months or so [and even more since I left my Job No. 1] I’ve tried to expose myself more and more to spoken Chinese – both by watching dramas almost every night and practicing with Chinese Class 101.

I can’t claim that this system has made me fluent, but compared to the listening skills I had in Japanese after way more months of study compared to Chinese, I can clearly see the difference.

I should push myself more. Most of all, I should find a language pal like I’ve done with Japanese. Still, I can see a huge difference as my exposure to the spoken language [even though in a indirect way] has increased considerably. Podcasts will probably be the next choice in the not-so-far future!

Now that the hot weather has deprived me of the joy of having soup at dinner, I’ll try to cheer up my drama watching sessions with fresh home made smoothies – the mason jars are ready  ⌒°(❛ᴗ❛)°⌒

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