In the morning, I got a notification from Spotify that Khalil Fong’s new song was available. I liked it. 很不低调 (HBDD) or Hěn Bù Dī Diào. “Very Not Low Profile”? I recognized 调 from 声调 shēngdiào (tone).
I watched Khalil Fong’s live chat on Facebook. He spoke in Chinese so I didn’t understand anything, of course. All I could take from it was that he was talking with a woman (another celebrity, maybe), he had a pug, he wore that funny hairstyle (like Japanese ‘chonmage’) even when he was not on stage, they were eating something like sandwiches, oh, and he smiled. I thought they were going to do CD unboxing but they didn’t (Khalil Fong’s Journey To The West – Gold and Black Edition will be released soon). Or maybe I missed it.
I also watched some videos of Khalil Fong’s press conference on YouTube. I found it funny that they made him cook at the press conference and that the microphones had huge placards on them that almost covered his tiny face.
I submitted lyrics (with pinyin) of Unforgivable (方不过自己) by Khalil Fong to ALSong, a Korean music player with synchronized lyrics so I could memorize the Chinese characters.
And I bought and listened to a Japanese audiobook about how to learn English written by a CEO because it was on sale (800 yen on FeBe.com) and it was a bestseller book in Japan. It was only 3 hours long. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any advice that I could use in my situation and I just didn’t believe his simple methods would work for me. I wonder what’s so simple about ‘looking at 10,000 words’ every day (but no need to look up those words, just look at them). I could spend a lifetime, or let’s say a month, just looking at 10,000 Chinese characters at one sitting for hours every day without consulting a dictionary, I’m pretty sure I will learn nothing. Would it be my fault then because I don’t have a superior brain of a CEO?
But there was one thing he wrote that got my attention. He had a theory that you should train your ears like you train your muscles at the gym. He advised to listen to difficult material beyond your level because even though you understand nothing, it will train your ears to become stronger, so when you return to your textbook, it will be easier for you to listen to and understand the material at your level. He knew this method from his own experience. One time, he had trouble understanding chapter 1, so he listened to chapter 10 for a few days (even though he couldn’t understand anything from chapter 10 which was too difficult for him), and when he got back to chapter 1, he found that it wasn’t as difficult as the first time. He found this simple method 30 years ago.
I wonder if it really works that way or… you understand the chapter in your textbook better because you learn it for the second time and this time your brain finally gets it.
What happened to me with Korean was different. I learned something way beyond my level, and then I gave up because it was too difficult. So I picked up something else, something more suitable for my level for some time, and then when I got back to the difficult material, I was surprised that it had become easier.
I think whatever method you’re using, as long as you don’t quit for 30 years, you will be fluent anyway.
A novel I ordered 2 months ago from Book Depository arrived (Us by David Nicholls) so I chose to spend my time to read it and not my Chinese textbook. Not a problem. I learned not to believe in my own ‘shoulds’ anyway.###