34. Beyoncé Does Pringle Puns

欢迎光临! Welcome!

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The Mandarin Blueprint Podcast focuses primarily on The Mandarin Blueprint Method online curriculum. Creators Luke Neale & Phil Crimmins answer questions and comments, discuss topics related to China and Mandarin learning and have special guests.

11:00 Props!

This blog post explains the theory behind props and Chinese character components.

JULIAN LAFFEY ON “MAKE A MOVIE 带“

For the top component, I went with “knuckle dusters” instead of three syringes. I can imagine wrapping four fingers around its three prongs.

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “PICK A PROP 又“

Han Solo

JOHN HAY ON “PICK A PROP 青“

At a stretch, one can imagine the character to vaguely resemble Tutankhamun’s burial mask, which is inlaid with horizontal bands of turquoise and lapis lazuli, a mineral source of cyan.

JOHN HAY ON “PICK A PROP 生“

Having chosen Baby Jesus already (to represent 子) and without wanting to restart the old debate which came first: the chicken or the egg; how about an egg, whence all animal life comes into being?

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “PICK A PROP 有“

Annabelle, the possessed doll from “The Conjuring”, or Chucky from the movie “Child’s Play”.

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “PICK A PROP 阝“

Other props based on meaning could include the Great Wall of China.
Or based on looks, it could be a giant Toothbrush, a bubble blower (as it kinda looks like a side view of a bubble coming out of a bubble blower), or a famous German/Greek person (because 阝looks like the German letter ß, and the Greek letter β).
Or since it also looks a little like the number ’13’ it could be an unlucky object like a Black Cat or a Broken Mirror.

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “PICK A PROP 乂“

I’m going with a Beard Trimmer, as you’re essentially “mowing the lawns” but on your face.

Other choices based off the appearance could be a pair of Scissors or Hedge Cutters

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “PICK A PROP 父“

Mr. Incredible (from ‘The Incredibles’)

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “PICK A PROP 衣 & 衤“

For the full form 衣, I’m going with a Dementor from Harry Potter as they’re basically a giant hooded cloak! And for 衤, I’m going with The Man with the Yellow Hat from Curious George.

JOHN HAY ON “PICK A PROP 免“

If you really want to avoid something, you avoid it like the plague. What about a “beak mask” as worn by plague doctors?

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “PICK A PROP 言“

I’m going for a Jack-in-the-Box, as 言 reminds me of one!

19:05 Sets! 

This blog post explains the theory behind sets and pinyin finals.

CONNOR GRIFFITH ON “SET THE SCENE -ONG 4/13“

Chongqing – my apartment.

20:15 Actors! 

This blog post explains the theory behind actors and Pinyin Initials.

STEVEN WANG ON “MAKE A MOVIE 八“

My B – actor is Bruce Lee

CONNOR GRIFFITH ON “CASTING CALL R- 4/55“

I’m going with my step-dad Roger who is a chef. And since I pronounce ‘r’ like the ending of meaSURE (chefs measure many ingredients), it helps with the pronunciation and the r- initial.

CLAYTON LEE ON “CASTING CALL ZU- 42/55“

Zoolander! I think he’ll make memorable scenes =)

21:30 Movies! 

This blog post explains the theory behind Movie Scenes and learning characters.

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “MAKE A MOVIE 要“

I’ve got my Yoko Ono (y-) in the backyard of my -ao set, with the following props: Boombox (覀), and John Lennon (女 – he wrote the song ‘Woman’).

John and Yoko are hanging out in the backyard of my -ao set, when John feels like playing a song. He picks up the boombox, and starts playing “I want it that way” by the Backstreet Boys. But Yoko doesn’t like that song (you can see it in her face), so she tries to grab the boombox off John because she wants to change the song, but John was too quick and holds it high above his head, leaving poor Yoko trying to jump as high as can to grab it, but failing miserably.

24:13

IJA AMRAHI ON “MAKE A MOVIE 井 “

Actor : Jennifer Garner
Set : My high school (where I learned ENGlish)
Props : Lindsay Lohan x 2 Twins from The Parent Trap, Samurai Sword & Gandalf’s staff.

It was the year 1944 when my high school became a refuge for civilians during the Japanese Occupation.

To cope with increasing number of refugees, Jennifer Garner was asked to find a new water source. She and the twins went around the school to scourge for new sources of water. The twins carried a samurai sword and Gandalf’s staff, just in case.

They went to an abandoned classroom in the basement. Twin 1 used her samurai sword to clear out overgrown vegetation around the area and Twin 2 used the staff to prod at a vague structure in the middle of the room.

It was an ancient water well.

Jennifer, pleasantly surprised, then said “Well well well. What do we have here?”

27:45

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “MAKE A MOVIE 没“

I’ve got Mark Wahlberg (m-) in the kitchen of my -ei set, with the following props: hose (氵), School Desk (几), and Han Solo (又).

Mark Wahlberg and Han Solo are having a water fight in my -ei set! However Han doesn’t have any swimwear on so he’s frantically looking for a place to hide! He finds a school table in the kitchen and hides under there. Meanwhile Mark brings a hose into the kitchen and, unfortunately for Han, finds and hoses him down.

30:50

WILLIAM EDMEADES AND IJA AMRAHI ON “MAKE A MOVIE 取“

William Edmeades on “Make a Movie 取“:

Brilliant use of “withdraw”, Ija! I was struggling to think of one, thanks!

Ija Amrahi on “Make a Movie 取“:

No worries. Usually when I’m stumped with a keyword, I’ll plug the character into Pleco and see the usage suggestion. For this one, the first sentence was 上银行取钱, which means to go and WITHDRAW some money from a bank. The ATM machine is also called 取款机, hence making the character-keyword connection even more memorable.

The WITHDRAWAL of troops is out of context, but it helps me remember the English keyword. Just to add, the word 争取 ironically means to strive or fight for, which is the opposite of this usage of “withdraw”.

33:52

IJA AMRAHI ON “MAKE A MOVIE 别“

Actor: Beyonce
Set : My clinical school (Education)
Props : A can of Pringles, a sword

Beyonce and I were in the pantry of my clinical school, cracking our heads on how to make a movie with these props.

Beyonce had an idea. She smiled. I knew what she was up to.

I said “DONT go there, please”

“But it will be goooooooood”, she said.

DONT.

DO.

IT.

URGH!

Beyonce, ignoring my annoyance, grabbed a can of Pringles and began to dance.

“All the Pringle ladies. All the Pringle ladies….”

I, who was fed up with dealing with puns all day, grabbed the sword and dramatically slashed all the Pringle cans in sight before storming off set.

36:55

IJA AMRAHI ON “MAKE A MOVIE 药“

Keyword : Medicine

Actor : Idina Menzel
Set : A house with a lot of painful memories (-AO)
Props : Rose, Stethoscope

Idina Menzel, still recovering frrom her anxiety attack, locked herself in the bathroom of my -AO house. She felt that it’s probably better to be a solo performer, rather than relying on others to get her back on Broadway.

Maybe Romeo and Juliet would be a good choice for a monologue.

She held up a rose (stolen from the nurse’s counter) and said
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet”

She then quickly drops down to the floor to act out Juliet’s fake death, and puts on a stethoscope (stolen from an intern) on her chest to play the role of the Nurse.

“She’s dead, deceased. She’s dead, alack the day!”

She then played Romeo, took an empty bottle of MEDICINE and “drank” it.

“Thy DRUGS are quick. Thus with a kiss, I die.”

…..

For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Idina and her Broadway show.

39:49

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “MAKE A MOVIE 友“

I’ve got Yoko Ono (y-), in the Living Room of my -ou set, with the following props: Giant Gun Holster (𠂇), and Han Solo (又).

Yoko Ono is about to start some target practice in the living room. She has her hand by her gun holster waiting to quick-draw High Noon-style. In one quick movement, she grabs the ‘gun’ and attempts to fire when she realized that she actually grabbed out her long time friend Han Solo! Both faces gasp in surprise as they haven’t seen each other in ages! They promptly walk off set to grab a beer.

41:00

IJA AMRAHI ON “MAKE A MOVIE 宽“

Keyword : Wide
Actor : Po from Kungfu Panda
Props : Roof-shaped Hat, Rose, Telescope
Set : Anatomy Lab

Po was admiring a telescope at the entrance of my Anatomy lab. It came attached with a shiny WIDE angle lens. Po then looked into the telescope and noticed a guy wearing a roof shaped hat and baggy clothes, suspiciously suspended at the side of the next building.

He then remembered the announcement the day prior; that in lieu of increasing crime rate in the university, people should keep their eyes WIDE open and be aware of any suspicious behaviors.

Po then shouted, “HEY YOU!”

The guy got panicked and fell into the rose bush below.

Turned out he was a broadband installer for the uni.

44:15

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON “MAKE A MOVIE 文“

I’ve got Woody (w- [from the movie ‘Toy Story’]) in the kitchen of my -en set, with the following props: A Top Hat (亠), and a Big Beard Trimmer (乂).

Really basic.

Woody, wearing a Top Hat and monocle, is trimming his hipster beard with a Big Beard Trimmer as he wants to look “CULTURED“.

44:58

IJA AMRAHI ON “MAKE A MOVIE 改“

My quick scene :

George Clooney at the bedroom of my -AI set – altering his wife’s snakeskin top as she’s about to tap dance at the Met Gala.

He altered the couture a quarter shorter.

45:36 Miscellaneous 

45:50

SIDNEY GREEN ON “MAKE A MOVIE 应“

Got to character 400! Must be a milestone!!

47:25

YARDEN IZAK ON “IT’S A WORD! 骑“

Can I actually say 骑车 and not 骑自行车?

48:14

PAMELA BALDWIN ON “PHASE 2 – LEARNING WORDS BY LEARNING ABOUT YOURSELF“

Please, I have a question for you. If the word you are trying to remember is nie 1zao4 捏造 but you can not think of a word that sounds like it. What to do? What type of picture should I make?

51:40

BENNETT SEACRIST ON “PINYIN PART 2: IT WASN’T MADE FOR US“

When I first started out learning Chinese, one of the first questions I had was “how the heck do they type this out?!?” Pinyin is a pretty snazzy way of doing it!

53:00

KEITH WILKENS ON “BONUS: BUILD ON WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW TO LEARN CHINESE“

Hey Guys, first off, I wanted to say how much I am enjoying proceeding through this method – it’s at the top of the list of things I enjoy doing every day (apart from seeing my wife at the end of the day of course!). I can’t even imagine the hours and hours of hard work on your end that was put into making this all happen. Well done! One thing I have been wondering about though: is it natural for details of the movies I’m making to ‘fall off” and just after a while learn to recognize words(characters) as ‘sight words’, that is, characters you just know without having to do a lot of cognitive heavy lifting? As I’m going through this method, I find myself at first making movies with very minute details, but then the more I review them and become familiar with them and just recalling them over and over again with the SRS, I find I don’t need the ‘crutch’ of the movie details as much. If needed, of course, I can still recall say the room/location if I’m not sure of the tone, but overall this reliance on the visualization aspect of the method diminishes with time, in my experience. Is this the natural progression of this method? If so, I can’t believe how easy it is! Any thoughts you guys would like to throw in?

57:15

KATE FROM EMAIL

I wanted to share with you all that I have been working on your pronunciation course for five weeks. I leave for Shanghai in 10 days. I downloaded Baidu Translate and tried speaking a few phrases from the Anki cards and the app understands my Mandarin pronunciation. My mind is blown! It feels great to know that I’ll be able to use a few phrases while I’m there. Thanks to everyone at Mandarin Blueprint for a fantastic course! I have started learning characters and am really motivated to keep learning when I get back home.谢谢
Kate

58:58

JOHN SPRAGUE FROM EMAIL 

Hello,My name is John Sprague. My quick question is: if I study your course, 2-5 hours a day, do you think it is likely I will be conversant in Mandarin in a year? Can your course take me to fluency (with the understanding that I don’t really know what that means
to be honest)?I’m 52. I took a year of Chinese (John DeFrancis textbook speaking and writing) 32 years ago and still remember words and phrases and some characters. I had a year of French and a year of German, 3 years Latin, my husband is Spanish (I just make that up and,
although I can’t escape the present tense, I can usually make myself understood). I am a professional bagpiper, and teach piping. I work as a bodyguard 4 nights a week as well.I’m the midnight man 10PM-6am. I do nothing productive all night but watch movies. I figure I can study. I hate to waste the time even if I am getting paid. Since I have so much time available to me, and I have always wanted to speak Chinese to a comfortably
conversant level (and read easily) I started hunting for a method.My available time is at night. So I have to do it online. I signed up for Chinese zero to hero. It is geared to passing HSK 1. It isn’t an actual course. It is an addendum to helping people with the HSK1 course, but it is not a course in and of itself. VERY
good material but not organized course instruction. Even after buying the HSK 1 workbook, and the textbook, the pedagogy still seems to me to require I am in a classroom. I’m not. It doesn’t work for me.I signed up for Chineseclass101. They advertise feedback from native speakers. It’s an ok method but far too slow for me. It takes 72 hrs to have a single lesson checked. It’s also a little too cutesy, trying to make it fun and cool. It’s a bit less serious
than my taste.I’ve been using duolingo on my phone which has a “game” feel and is really great for learning characters.I watched your first 22 videos. You guys seem to have a unique approach.Fluency in a year?

1:07:55

PAULETTE FROM EMAIL

Thanks for the recommendation – I’ll definitely check them out.The pronunciation course is brilliant, by the way. As I continue to work through it, I can see how much work and thought went into it. I’m finding it clear and helpful and I’ll definitely recommend it to anyone I know who’s even considering studying Mandarin.
Cheers,
Paulette