The Mandarin Blueprint Podcast focuses primarily on The Mandarin Blueprint Method online course and the Pronunciation Mastery online course. Creators Luke Neale & Phil Crimmins answer questions and comments from the online curriculum, discuss topics related to China and Mandarin learning and have special guests.
A giant piece of Weetabix
I will use Thors hammer Mjölnir as a prop for 兄. In the Marvel movies, he is the older Brother to Loki so I think this will work pretty well. What do you think?
A 3 strap boot like this one https://www.rivithead.com/boots/mens/bolt-330.html
I picked Walter (Jeff Dunham’s puppet). Because one of his favorite phrases is (Dumb-*ss) and he has a potty mouth. The character itself looks like there’s something in the middle of a person too (the ventriloquist’s hand).
Goku’s flying nimbus.
Master Shifu or Master Oogway from Kungfu Panda. I picked the latter.
Cross on a grave 🙂
Knight chess piece is another one that I like.
I went with Sadness from Inside Out.
After trying to create a few scenes using that floating cloud that would pull your car back up onto the track in Mario cart, I decided to just start filling my scenes with smoke/fog. This atmosphere builds a lot of tension in my stories and often times provides motivation for my characters to do something out of the ordinary with the props.
I have not an older brother but my mum does! 😀
The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland
The cube soil from Minecraft
A Hogwarts letter, with it’s “H” wax seal, heavy parchment envelope, and distinctive crest works great as a prop that stands out for this!
A light tree from drag racing (the vertical bank of lights that counts down the launch for drag racing)
I went with a drag racing light tree for 元, I guess it’s only appropriate that this is a checkered finish line flag?
Tony the Tiger (Kellogg’s)
Timmy Turner（Fairly Odd Parents)
Tom (Tom & Jerry)
Thomas the Tank Engine
Shao-Feng: Lin Gengxin’s character in the movie Swordmaster
Zaphod Beeblebrox from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the
original from BBC production, not the terrible 2005 movie)
This blog post explains the theory behind Movie Scenes and learning characters.
I chose my secondary school as my set for “-ong”, and the
entry/reception as the second-tone location. Christopher Walken
introduces himself to the receptionist so that he can get a
visitor’s badge. The receptionist tells him that he has to answer
a few questions before she can let him in the school. The first
question she asks him is “Where are you from?”. Christopher
Walken stands there, completely baffled, and (in a typical
Christopher Walken voice) says “Uh, lady, where do you think I’m
from??”. The receptionist looks up from her desk to see that he’s
wearing a suit made from an American flag and behind him there
are cowboys and indians battling it out around two giant tipis,
shooting arrows and firing guns at each other.
I used sundial to represent time.
Scene involved an ancient Chinese stone sundial in my kitchen and
Sean Connery was using the sun and measuring tape to measure
Mariah Carey (her personal nickname is Mimi) is in my bedroom
wanting to re-record the music video for “All I Want For
Christmas is You”.
She already had the reindeer antlers on top of the Christmas tree
but since my home is in Southeast Asia, there’s no snow. We had
to toss rice around to mimic snow ♀️
I’m in JapAN. My nephew Ben is standing in the bathroom holding
a large syringe and the devil is trying to grab the syringe. I
throw the razor blade at the devil and it cuts his horns off. He
feels like HALF a devil now that his horns are missing. Ben is
mad at the devil and sticks him with the syringe that is filled
with a liquid that shrinks the devil to HALF his size.
Words are out in the street that Shakespeare is currently taking
questions in my kitchen from people from the 21st century. He,
who hasn’t had any interviews in almost 400 years was very excited
to interest to share his insights in the English language and
literature. A big crowd started to form.
Tina Turner tried to grab his attention by waving the giant foam
She then asked, cheekily.. “Sorry to BRING THIS UP but if I have
to CARRY just one pencil around, should it be 2B or not 2B?”
“This” is a pretty abstract concept, so to conceptualize it, I’m
envisioning the bathroom of my e- set with a large number of
roads going through it. The Queen of England keeps picking a road
to walk down, but my Uncle Jay keeps repositioning her to walk
down the road he’s one, i.e. “this” road is what he’s trying to
tell her. To cement the meaning, she picks a random wrong road
multiple times, and he keeps trying to get her to walk down
“this” road, the one that he’s on.
My props are a giant Weetabix biscuit (it’s a breakfast cereal)
and a dartboard.
Going off what Ryan said, I’m having my zh- actor at my
university (because we have a ping p’ong’ table) in the library.
And he’s typing furiously trying to get his programming code to
work. After some failed attempts he gets so frustrated he picks
up the giant biscuit and hurls it at the dartboard across the
My S- character (my supervisor) is lying on the front lawn of my
childhood home. A lobster claw is clamped down on his lip and I
have to operate to remove it using only a razor blade.
I know I was supposed to use a rolling stone’s mouth but the
visual of claw being painfully attached to his actual swollen
mouth was so vivid. I’ll see if the scene sticks and reshoot it
if I forget the mouth radical.
A bride – who says “I do”
Something that reminds me of the number 8 is the 8 Ball Pool.
Captain Hook is great because has to be with Peter Pan and Peter Pan never grew up, he is still a kid!
I like Nick’s choice of actors ))
In a sorta meta idea, for my scene for “记” I’m having my female
actor trying to remember her MBM scene for “Remember”
Location: Current Home (where i got “eng”aged)
Actor: Fan Bingbing
Props: Demon Horns and Bottle Opener
Fan Bingbing has fallen on hard times and now has her own D.I.Y
show on HGTV where she takes everyday items, COMBINES them, and
tries to pawn them off as ancient Chinese decorations. She is
shooting her latest episode in the backyard of my current home
where she has COMBINED a set of demon horns with an old Pabst
Blue Ribbon bottle opener and is now trying to pawn it off as an
ancient Chinese demon artifact worth $10,000. Fortunately, I have
Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars with me. He takes a look at it and
shows me how she has simply COMBINED the two items by welding
them and explains that they didn’t have that kind of technology
in ancient China. He then offers her $5.00 for it.
Bill Shatner enters the main room of the L[ai]brary where I
currently work. He’s smoking a clay pipe [一] and chasing his pet
[white] Arctic Fox. The fox runs across the library and jumps up
onto the shelf where the Philosophy books are, which are
classified under 100 in the Dewey Decimal System.
A fun way for me to visualize the meaning of this in a 3D way,
is to imagine my Z actor (Ozzy Osbourne) & my “子” prop (kid
from Home Alone) using their bodies to make the shapes of the
letters of the alphabet.
I am confused I know you guys say PA sounds like the A in Cat.
Though when I say FAther the PA sounds the same. PA I think does
not sound like Cat Bat Rat. Did I misunderstand? Thank you for
taking the time to look over this. I will watch the videos again
haha. Seems I might have been saying the A wrong this whole time
I have just listened to podcast 22. I couldn’t agree with you more on your decision to integrate the Pronunciation Mastery into the Mandarin Blueprint course. Quite right! Don’t sell yourselves too cheap.
Many years ago my boss and I, decided to attend a quit smoking seminar. “Guaranteed success!” I am sure that everyone there that evening did (at least for a while) stop smoking. The very fact that they had made the effort to turn up and, more importantly, that they were prepared to pay the not so small fee, was almost a guarantee of success. My boss paid for me to go so I went along but was obviously not as committed and (surprise surprise) carried on smoking after a few days. The lesson learnt: if you really want to do something you have to be committed.
Similarly, if you really want to learn Mandarin and are prepared to pay for it (and put in the effort), you will. If I had found a “Teach Yourself Chinese For Free” course on the net, I might have looked at it out of interest but would not be still learning today. Its a bit like going out for a meal. If someone invites you, you’ll eat and say thank you. But having paid for it, himself, the fat guy at the all-you-can-eat buffet will make damned sure he’ll get his money’s worth.
I recently looked at some other Chinese learning sites and was surprised at the prices some of them charge. In comparison you offer much much more for less. Hopefully one day when you have really established yourself on the market you can raise or restructure your prices. You’re too modest! But don’t hike your fees up until you are sure that ALL spelling mistakes, translation errors, misplaced texts etc. have been reviewed (including those on the Anki cards.)
What at least one site does have, which you don’t, is a writing course. Okay, you can’t do everything at once but it would maybe worth considering including a short course for the future. One in which the finer points of which an absolute beginner is unaware might miss. You explained well enough the general principles of writing in “Chinese Characters 101” but for me something was missing: something more visual or tangible. Sure, while working through the Anki cards, I’m asked to write a character and I do my best but I have only recently realised what disastrously illegible scribbles I had produced.
I have recently concentrated a bit more on writing and have produced some sheets which I find to be a great help. I don’t think that it’s in anyone’s interest to go back to primary school to repeatedly practise characters but (without wanting to interfere in your teaching methods) maybe sheets like those I have sent you, downloadable alongside each level of the course, might be useful for your pupils. Just an idea …
So, I’ll stop waffling now and get back to work…
You too, keep up the good work.
I’m not quite sure what this sentence means.
I translate it as:
All the three brothers know that no amount of money can compare
with their Dad’s company, because the money will be quickly used
up. But provided that there will be a company, there will be
As you can see, my translation doesn’t make sense. Could anyone
give a better translation? I think my problem is not quite
understanding the meaning of 。。再多也。。Dictionaries nor Translator
apps are any help.
Any tips on when to use 在 vs 正在? Is the connotation different?
e.g., 我在看书。vs. 我正在看书。
Is there any way to differentiate between the two usages of 几个 in speech? For example if someone said the following “你来中国几个月了”. How do we know whether they’re asking how many months we’ve been in China or just stating that we’ve been in China for a few months.
Do we just have to work it out through context?
Hope all is going well. Loving all the new stuff, and I signed up for the affiliate program too. I was wondering about getting all the sentences in a PDF format. I did find an Anki add on that allowed me to export the flashcards themselves, but it was a complete mess. I actually printed out the sentences for levels 13-15 and it was like 355 pages, but I couldn’t print them in like a list form…it printed out all the flashcards LOL. I’m WAY behind on my sentences because I’m old fashioned and have found I don’t like reading them on my phone….I like that hard copy where I can write and make notes and then just add the cards to Anki a few at a time for quick reviews.
So inspiring, thank you and congratulations!