The following post is a review of The Mandarin Blueprint Method written by Ramona. Many thanks 多谢 to Ramona for taking the time to share her experiences with the course.
1. Self – Introduction
My name is Ramona. I’ve been living and working in China for three years.
2. What problem were you facing that caused you to search for a Chinese course?
The Chinese characters fascinate me the most. Being able to look around and read stuff that surrounds me daily, would be like “hacking” a mysterious source of information, so here I was, looking for a reliable way of learning and most of all, remembering characters!
As we all know, seeing the characters as a priority will bring lots of benefits in the long term process. Living in the “pinyin bubble” will not help for a long time.
3. What would it mean for you if you succeed in learning Chinese?
I guess it’s more a personal approach. It would give me a great sense of satisfaction knowing that one day I’ll open a book or an online article and understand what’s going on.
I work in an environment where most of my colleagues are foreigners, and the Chinese co-workers all speak English, French, or even German, so communication at work is not a big issue for me.
But I’d love to be able one day, for example, to crack some jokes with my Chinese colleagues and see them laugh.
Not to mention the communication outside of work, even if in the city I live, most of the people are quite good at speaking English. Nevertheless, learning the language of my “host country” is also a great sign of respect and consideration.
4. How long, on average, does it take you to learn a character?
Oh, that’s a hard one. It depends on the character. I don’t care about the speed; it’s more about the game between my long term memory and those characters. I can only say one thing for sure: with the Hanzi Movie Method, the characters stay longer in my memory, and that’s fantastic!
5. Which three parts of Mandarin Blueprint have made the most significant impact? What aspect of each of 3 parts?
I’ve just started Phase 3 (Grammar), so I’ll refer only to the first two. I really enjoyed Phase 1 (Pronunciation) with Luke’s amazing pronunciation and calm British accent and Phil’s great energy and the motivational support.
Don’t get me wrong guys, Phil also has excellent pronunciation, it’s only that Luke was the main teacher in Phase 1. 🙂
I also liked a lot of the “day-to-day life” examples you were using in that part. I’ve used some at work, and my colleagues were impressed! Great structure!
Moving on to Phase 2 (the Character learning with the Hanzi Movie Method). It’s a unique approach! As I mentioned earlier, the method really helps to keep those characters in my head for a long time!
And what’s even cooler, it makes me remember the tones! So an accurate speaking ability should also arise.
6. What results have you achieved & what impact has it had on your life?
I’ve learned until now 104 characters with a robust method. I know their meaning and their tone at the same time plus how to write them, and that’s a compliment on your unique method!
7. What were you skeptical about?
I was, ironically, skeptical about the Hanzi Movie Method. I was not sure how my old apartments or friends would help me learn Chinese characters, but here we are, the method proved to me that it’s possible! 🙂
8. Any suggestions for how we can improve the course?
For the moment, I’m really enjoying the structure, the thoughts you’ve put in, the motivation you give, the fact that you talk a lot from your own experience. I can relate to most of the struggle.
You know what they say “never change a running system” so I don’t intend changing your system. I’ll let you know during my Mandarin Blueprint journey if I change my mind. 🙂
9. Would you recommend Mandarin Blueprint? Why or why not?
Recommend Mandarin Blueprint? Of course not! You’re the treasure I found, how can I share it with others? I’m an only child, so I’m not used to sharing. Kidding!
I hear this a lot lately: “Sharing is caring” so YES, I’d recommend Mandarin Blueprint!
It’s a unique approach for learning a difficult (according to some opinions) foreign language using years of toil from two guys who finally decided to make Chinese learning a pleasant journey!
Big thanks for that guys!