Category Archives: Language

Passing HSK 3 in 1 month after 3 years of absence since the decision to study Chinese

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你明白我在写什么吗?

Although Chinese has been my “to-learn language” for several years, I haven’t been able to improve much simply because my level of motivation was not that high.

Having known myself, I knew I was not going to take actions to establish my Chinese study habit quite soon, so I just found registration info on the exam called “HSK”, and before thinking too much, I signed up for it and paid, so there would be no way but to study for passing.

The deadline was in 1 month, which was descent timeline (as opposed to X years). In this entry, I am sharing my journey, including what HSK is, why I took and how I worked on to pass it in 1 month.

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Happy New Year 2021 for 育

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Happy New Year 2021 from Kobe, Japan! 

Please receive my warmest greeting and attached new year card I drew, hoping that your 2021 will be the year of “raise/harvest” as shown in Japanese calligraphy “育 (Iku)”.

The year of the ox (2nd Zodiac cycle animals) is said to be a symbol of the harbinger (buds) that will grow/move forward albeit slowly. Although 2020 was a tough year and in many ways an “increasing” year (増).

I hope you and your loved ones will have a wonderful 2021, both physically and mentally. I look forward to seeing you in person and/or online this year.

PS: Maybe you might see something in the drawing.

Warmest greeting,

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5 Reasons and 10 ways to learn English

English, Español, Français, 日本語

Language is one of the finest products of human beings, and because of the globalization, need to understand other languages is increasing more than ever.

This is a series of language learning entries, which tackles several languages I learned/am learning (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.). I will be sharing very lough characteristics and origin, reasons I learned, and how I learned/am learning.

Let me start off with the most useful one, English.

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Kenya 4 ー 15 Lessons Learnt by Reading The Alchemist in Portuguese

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(1) Do you like reading? (2) Do you actually read? (3) Do you read fiction, non-fiction, or both?

These three questions are quite good to learn about yourself.

As for myself, (1) I like reading because I am passionate about learning new things (otherwise, you will live only in your limited world). (2) As much as I would like to read, I haven’t been able to catch up with my book lists (although I read around 30 articles per week), because I use the limited time for other things. (3) I usually like non-fiction to gain more knowledge and life lessons from the real world.

But this time, I learned important life lessons when I went beyond my styleーreading a fiction book “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho in its original language (Portuguese). As I believe some of the learning, if not all, can be beneficial for others, let me share in this post.

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Review 2019 to thrive in 2020

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Already year end? Time flies!

I am sure you have heard and/or said these recently. But the truth is, time does not fly. In fact, in this unequal society, time is one of the few things equally distributed to everyone, and is indeed limited. So we need to keep reminding ourselves of it.

For example, whether or not you use your 2 hours for watching netflix, learning language, exercising, attending meaningless meeting, socializing), it is the same 2 hours (outcome will differ though).

In that sense, year end is the great period to identify or revisit the fields you really care, review what you did to know where you are and what needs to be done. Let me cover these in this entry with my own examples, so that you can see if it’s relevant or adjust to yours.

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Kenya 1 ー 7 learnings from another life turning point in Africa

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Life is full of new encounter and departure, be it with people, items, jobs or places to live.

The reason I said good-bye to Mauritania (Nouakchott) was to say Hello to the new destination, Kenya (Nairobi). This is quite a big move, mentally (change of my work) and physically (west to east of this big African continent).

Since then, more than a month has passed and I already learned some important life lessons, which I would like to share hoping they can be informative and applicable to other situation.

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How to Keep Motivating Yourself

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In my previous entry “How to motivate yourself” I explained the importance of finding something which pushes you with specific timeframe, such as an exam.

Today, I will talk about something similar, but more difficult than just motivating yourself  → Keep motivating yourself.

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