I just finished watching 雍正王朝 at 10:33 PM. This is the 3rd time I have watched this Chinese drama series. There are 44 episodes on 9 discs. The first 8 discs contain 5 episodes each. I watched the first disc on Wednesday. Then 2 discs on each day Thursday and Friday. Then I had a 51 hour break. I resumed watching on Sunday night into Monday morning. I watched 2 discs then and then today I watched the last 2 discs. So it took me 7 days to complete it including a 2 day break.
This time around, I had the advantage of already having watched 2 other drama series and I noticed that the words I picked up from those 2 dramas showed up in this drama quite often as well. I hadn't been able to notice those words from my first 2 viewings of this series. This illustrates the value of multiple sources of input. The meaning of certain words may be better illustrated in another drama or TV show than the one you are currently viewing. And then when you go back to watching what you have already seen before, you are able to understand it better.
The more I watch the same series, the better I am able to learn the characters names or titles. In a previous post, I illustrated a point about the learning process by using the example of a piece of fruit. First you may think a word means apple but then you find that the word is also applied to a banana and so you adjust your understanding of that word. This exact thing has already happened to me. In the 2nd drama series, I thought the name of a character was a certain 3 words. Then later, I noticed that the last 2 words were applied to another person and so I realized it was a title. Based on the rank of those two people, I thought the word meant 'princess.' Then in one of the other dramas, I saw the same title being applied to a man who was a son of the emperor so I realized that it was not just for females like the word 'princess.' I thought it could mean prince or princess. And then I see the title still being used to address this man even after he became emperor. So again I adjusted my understanding of this word.
You see, without knowing the exact translation of this word, I have to learn to disregard such translations. In fact, I don't need them. Why would I need a translation? I have experienced how this word is used and to whom it is applied. I have an understanding that works for me and one in which I can adjust as needed. I don't need to be tied to translations. I know from my studies of Japanese that words do not have a one-to-one relationship between languages. So I know it is important to understand the word and not to just know a translation.
So, yes, definitely my understanding has increased. While my new understanding increases little by little, my old understanding gets reinforced. My listening ability also improves each time. I am not yet able to concentrate on everything I hear. Sometimes I get caught thinking about a word I just heard and then miss the next thing being said. But even so, I enjoy my small gains. Over time, it will add up to big gains. In my next post I want to discuss why small gains are good.