Describe a skill that took you a long time to learn.
You should say:
What it was
When you learned it
Why it took you so much time to learn
And how you felt about it
The skill I am going to talk about is speaking Canto'nese, which took me about six months to master it. It is a dialect widely used in southern China, or more specifically, in Guangdong Province and Hongkong. Actually, I got to know it because my favourite pop singer, Eason Chen, comes from HK. Most of his fascinating songs are written and sung in Cantonese. In order to learn these songs, I had to have knowledge of the dialect.
But it’s not quite easy to learn Cantonese, because though it shares a lot of vocabulary with Mandarin, these two languages also have lots of differences in pronunciation, grammar, and idiomatic expressions. It's said the difference is even larger than that between English and French. As a Shanghainese, initially, I almost couldn’t understand it all. So, in order to master it, Firstly, I went through some straightforward language learning books and videos. Later I found some online self-taught tutorials teaching people how to speak Cantonese in daily life and providing basic knowledge in a funny way. I kept following it's blog for several months.
In addition, I also learn and practice the Cantonese by having conversations frequently with my roommate Bob from Guangdong after class. You know, often talking with native speakers is always the best way to improve the oral speaking of any language. Within 6 months, I was eventually capable of using it in daily conversations without much difficulty.
Personally, I am very joyful to have (a) good command it, a second language apart from English. It’s useful as I cannot only sing my favorite Cantonese songs but also communicate with people from Guangdong or HK.