I did it! I finished the third viewing of this Chinese drama before the end of the month. Just an hour to spare! Each episode is 50 minutes long. I had to watch 13 episodes yesterday and the remaining 11 today in order to finish it off this month because unfortunately, I couldn't watch any on Wednesday and Thursday.
I just like to have things wrapped up so that it's easy to calculate numbers. This month, I watched about 106 hours of Chinese. That's 2 viewings of this drama and almost 2 viewings of the other one. Shall we say that's too too much? Even though I watch one whole drama in between each, it feels like there is no time between viewings of the same drama.
I've ordered 2 more Chinese dramas online that I'm waiting for. I don't think either of them is as long as one of these two because they don't have as many discs. But we'll see when they arrive. Neither will have Japanese subtitles. Yaay! They both have Simplified Chinese subtitles, but I hope they can be turned off. It's easy to get the wrong idea when seeing subtitles, especially since I know Japanese Kanji. But also, I'd be likely to think of the meaning of the words if I see their characters.
I've been trying to not think about the meaning of the words I hear and I believe I'm making some progress in that area. You can hear more too, when you don't think about the meaning. It's encouraging for me to hear sentences that I can understand but never picked up on in previous viewings.
I believe the most basic words in a language are the ones that are constantly repeated and that those are the words you should firmly know and easily be able to hear before expecting to add more vocabulary to your knowledge. I also think that natural acquisition is the only way to accomplish this correctly. Any kind of deliberate study would force too many words on you too quickly. Through natural language acquisition, you do more reinforcement than addition. You understand new words when you are ready. Could I have done 106 hours of study in one month? Never! But I did get 106 hours of input. Even though natural methods seems to require a lot of hours, they require less toil than traditional study methods. It's just a matter of priorities.