It’s been a month since I embarked on my 101 Challenge so I thought it was time for a short update on my progress. I took almost two weeks’ break from my challenge whilst my mum was visiting me so my progress has been limited at best.
Learn one new chengyu/kotowaza every week - I’ve only tackled one kotowaza in the past month : 石の上にも三年. This kotowaza is quite relevant to my project as its translation is “perseverance prevails”. If anyone knows how I can use this kotowaza in everyday speech, feel free to let me know.
Read Bettine Vriesekoop’s “Duizend dagen in China” - I’ve read the first couple of chapters so far and am slowly making my way through the rest of the book. Dutch is not my native language so it’ll probably take me a few more weeks to complete this book. Despite my slow progress through the book, I think this is a great way for me to improve my Dutch reading skills and broaden my vocabulary, especially since the book is on a subject of personal interest (the book is about Bettine Vriesekoop’s time as China correspondent for one of the Netherlands’ most renowned national daily newspapers, the NRC Handelsblad).
Read at least 5 Japanese and/or Korean novels in translation - I’ve succeeded in reading one novel thus far, Kyung-Sook Shin’s “Please Look After Mom”. The book has sold over a million copies in South Korea alone so when a fellow blogger brought the book to my attention a few months ago, I added it to my “must read” list. I enjoyed reading this book, which was my first Korean novel in translation, and thought the author did a fantastic job of contrasting the traditional values of the missing mother with the norms and realities of modern-day South Korean society. To be honest, it’s a novel that I find quite hard to relate to given that I have a very good and close relationship with my mother but I was still able to understand the pain that each of the family members feels when they realize what they have lost. All in all, it’s a moving piece and a pertinent reminder of the importance of family even in this digital age.
That’s all for this month. I will continue working my way through that mammoth list of tasks and will post another update of my progress towards the end of March.