It is 11:13 PM Friday night. I just finished watching my second Chinese drama for the first time. Being packaged and sold in Japan, it has this name: 西太后の紫禁城. It looks like the original Chinese title is 日落紫禁城. There are 30 episodes. Each one runs for 49 minutes. 3 per disc, 10 discs.
This one was set around the late 1800s I think. There was an early camera and an early car in the drama at one point. While most of it took place in the same location as the first one I watched, the story was quite different.
It was much easier to follow than the first drama I watched. There were personal relationships as the main story, so the dialogue had a bit more that I could catch and understand. Whereas the first drama was more about political power struggle, it was harder to tell what was going on.
Since it was a different story, it is hard for me to make a comparison and to be able to tell whether my understanding of Chinese has improved or whether the improved comprehension was due to the more transparent storyline and simpler dialogue. But of course, with all the repetition of basic words, that part of the language which I had previously encountered while studying is sinking in deeper and deeper into my brain.
The more I hear Chinese, the more I feel it is becoming a part of me. When I've watched 5 or more hours (perhaps less) in one day, and then I lie down to sleep at night, anytime that I relax and am not thinking about something, I hear these Chinese sentences in my head. They just pop in there. I'm not making any intentional effort to think about Chinese and suddenly I realize that I'm hearing Chinese in my head. And it just goes on and on. My head is just full of Chinese. Sometimes I just want to speak Chinese and I don't even know why. I know I don't have enough vocabulary right now to get very far. But once I've acquired a significant amount, I know I'm going to speak quite well, and without hesitation.
Even while writing this post, I keep hearing those Chinese sentences or phrases in my head. Dialogue from the drama is so full of emotion. Those strong emotions seem to keep playing back in my head. They are so rich with feeling. I think it is having a strong effect.
I knew I was going to finish that drama tonight, so I bought my next one earlier this evening. My next one precedes the one I just watched. It is called The Last Emperor.