Hello fellow Chinese learners ❤

I’m Krystal (also known as Moon), a Cantonese heritage speaker who has been learning Mandarin Chinese for several years. The Cozy Study is my own space where I share information to help guide other learners in finding suitable immersion content for their Chinese learning immersion journey.

My heritage background

I grew up in the United Kingdom as a heritage speaker of Cantonese. Until my late teens, I attended Chinese school on Saturdays, where I was taught Standard Written Chinese in the traditional writing script using Cantonese pronunciation. Unfortunately, as many other heritage speakers can relate, much of the knowledge was lost and forgotten shortly after “graduating”.

My Mandarin journey started in 2020

In early 2020, I stumbled upon a Chinese TV drama titled 《陈情令》 (“The Untamed”) on Netflix, adapted from the 耽美 (“danmei” — Chinese BL) web novel 《魔道祖师》 by 墨香铜臭. After watching all 50 episodes, I became a little obsessed and went on to read the fan translation. One thing led to another, and I ended up reading all three books by 墨香铜臭: 《魔道祖师》、《人渣反派自救系统》、《天官赐福》. I then went on to read a few more fan translations of other Chinese web novels.

But I didn’t want to read translations anymore…

As much as I appreciate good translators’ hard work in bringing these amazing stories to a broader audience, not all translations are equal. Sadly, many are simply an edit of a machine translation done by someone with minimal Chinese/English language skills.

I could have continued with Cantonese pronunciation, but I didn’t

Standard written Chinese can be pronounced using Cantonese or Mandarin while keeping the same meaning. Admittedly, sticking with Cantonese pronunciation would have resulted in a faster initial start, but it would be more of a hindrance in the long run. It wouldn’t have enabled me to easily consume audio media such as TV dramas and audio dramas if I had stuck with only Cantonese pronunciation.

Learning a language brings many more advantages

Not wanting to rely on translation was the initial driving force, but the journey of learning another language has opened doors to places I never expected. Throughout this journey, I’ve become a part of a wonderful Discord community and made many friends from around the world who share the same goals and interests as me. Whiles exploring the Chinese media content to find suitable content for immersion, I’ve taken an interest in many new genres and areas that I never imagine would be my cup of tea. This journey has also led me to reconnect with my heritage culture and dive into more of our roots and history.