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Canto Studying Confessions

So, what happens when you say you're going to start studying Cantonese... and then you don't?

(Pictured: Hanping Cantonese Dictionary app, with the definition of "mou5 jung6" (useless) explained. Sometimes, this is how I feel lol.)

WELL THAT'S HOW IT'S CURRENTLY GOING, AND YOU KNOW WHAT? Sometimes, life just Be Like That. I can't help but sometimes feel shame, guilt and some hopelessness when I get into these points on my studying journey, but I'd like to think it's just part of the process.

Let's get into it.

(Pictured from left to right: Mango Languages learning app (free subscription thru your library!), Cantodict, and "Illustrated Hong Kong Cantonese" workbook)

First off, I think growing up in Cantonese culture, we're taught that we need to Excel. We need to try the very best at what we do when we decide to pick up a task, and if our best isn't good enough, WELL, figure a way to level up!!!

Sometimes this is a helpful mentality, because trying our best is a great thing! But at times, this philosophy doesn't always allow for moments of plateau-ing. Of stagnancy, or taking breaks from trying to always one-up ourselves. As i'm going down this path of re-studying Cantonese, I run into many moments of having great streaks of studying Canto.. and then suddenly, I so easily fall off of it.

Life happens.

Your attention is grabbed by something else.

Your priorities shift.

Suddenly, it feels like you're letting yourself down because you're not studying Cantonese at the force you intended. But one thing that has brought me back to enjoying studying Canto again -- whether I intentionally or unintentionally take a break from studying Cantonese-- is thinking of this:

"I always have to option to take things at my own pace."

Everyone's personal goal is different when studying Cantonese, but for me, I really try to keep reminding myself that studying Cantonese is first and foremost, for me. On my time. And for the enrichment of my personhood, on my time!!!!

It's ok to go slow.

It's ok not to have a consistent journey, because IS LIFE CONSISTENT? NAH, IT FLUCTUATES. So our journeys can as well.

I hope that wherever you're at right now, that you make space for what feels good for you, when studying Cantonese.

- Pearl

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