Cantonese 4-month update video

olly richards

To celebrate the end of the year, here's my 4-month update video! There are no subtitles on this one, I'm afraid, since it's recorded here in Sri Lanka where I have no computer access.

As I attempt to explain in the video, I've changed my approach quite a bit in the last two months. We all have busy lives and things can, and will, come out of nowhere to derail us.

Part of successfully learning a language has to be the ability to take the short-term setbacks on the chin with a bit of humility, keep your eye on the long-term goal, and make whatever adjustments are necessary to keep going and keep your motivation up.

In my case, contending with a heavy study schedule to try and finish my MA has left me with little surplus energy to spend on Cantonese. So instead of fighting it, I've spent the last couple of months listening like crazy, trying to get as much input as possible, which is usually easier to do than ‘study' during your downtime.

Watching this latest video back, it's clear to me that all this work doesn't seem to translate into clear progress in my speaking (and raises the question of what the point of update videos really is!!), which is a maybe inevitable, but hopefully in the long run it'll pay off as I feel much better able to understand what's being said.

On the plus side, the biggest positive change that I feel now compared to a couple of months ago is that I'm a bit more comfortable expressing myself in Cantonese – for example with the ‘la's at the end of sentences, which is a good sign for me because I'm starting to break through that ‘self-consciousness' barrier which had held me back in the past.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how far I've come in 4 months. There's a long way to go, and the journey is just beginning, but I'm still up for it, and that's the most important thing!!

As for new year's resolutions, I don't do them! A one-time resolution is the opposite of a habit, and habits are the most important thing in forging steady progress. With 3 months or so left of my MA, and time pressure unlikely to improve in the short-term,  my main aim for Cantonese for the time-being is this (and I'm paraphrasing from this amazing interview with Anthony Lauder): each day, do whatever I have to do to make me want to come back again the next day.

Progress videos:

Cantonese 1-month progress video

How I learnt Cantonese – the first month

Cantonese 2-month progress video

Cantonese update – singing!

Cantonese 3-month progress video – “How to make progress”

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