Episode 172 - Become a Mandarin Chinese Fanatic

172. See Yourself as a “Mandarin Chinese Fanatic”

Podcast Duration: 00:59:01

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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.

172. See yourself as a "Mandarin Chinese Fanatic"

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Comments & Emails

Ramona on Vocab Unlocked from 规

1000 words of gratitude!! 🙂

It’s not the first time I say this: I am so happy I found you guys! After almost 5 years in China, trying different ways to keep me motivated to learn Mandarin, I finnaly found this great course that keeps me coming back for more on an almost daily basis! And this coming from a person who tended to start things and not bring them to an end. So big compliment and congratulations (also to me, for making today a movie for character number 1000 ! 规.)



Tyler Hikida on Level 12 Complete, Phase 2 Complete!

I’m enjoying the !* out of this course! The MB method has been working really well for me. It puts a big smile on my face when I walk through my scenes to remember a character I had forgotten. Soooo satisfying!


Ramon Bernardo on Level 14 Complete

It is amazing how much I have progressed ! I can read sentences now in Mandarin, even though I only know a few characters. I originally thought that I needed to learn at least 500 characters to be able to read a few sentences. I commend you guys (Luke and Phil) for the excellent program that you have devised. I have just finished level 14 and still have a long way to go but I am not in a rush as I am enjoying the Mandarin Blueprint journey. Cheerio !


Cindy QTrinh Nguyen on Cue – Make it Obvious

It’s lowkey a bit more challenging to create these habits that are time specific when you’re operational on shift work haha but we can always work around it. I’ve been a bit more flexible with some habits I’m currently trying to instil (e.g. working out before breakfast when I have PM shift, and working out once I’m home from AM shift). My goal was to get it done and out of the way for the rest of the day because the longer I procrastinate, the easier it will be for me to NOT do it in the end (as I prefer winding down at night).

I guess it will be a similar concept with dedicating time to study Chinese, however, it’s different in a way because I get very excited learning, and I think I’ve long seen this as part of my identity without really acknowledging it because I sometimes felt as if I could never be a “real” Chinese, just a “wannabe” and that carries more negative connotations, ultimately affecting how I view this whole journey…

Some of my reactions would autopilot to Mandarin and sometimes I think in Chinese (I still struggle to make counting in Chinese as easy as one-two-three). Each time I take a break from actively learning Chinese, be it a few days, weeks, or months, one reason is because I feel like don’t have a good enough routine or self-discipline. I thought, wouldn’t it be easier to just attend an online live course with assessment deadlines or some physical class and create a learning schedule for myself based on that curriculum so I’m forced to keep up with my studies? Because otherwise, this self-online learning is very reliant on one’s own personal responsibility and discipline which I’m stuggling to manage.

BUT I’m writing this message as I watch the above video, and you guys did end up talking about discipline. That Peak Wisdom 5 spells “TRUTH”. You can perservere, have grit and willpower, but merely wishing you are more disciplined gets you nowhere. You have to actively create a disciplined environment. And how terrible are phone/tablet/Youtube distractions! I do waaaaaay more immersion (watching) activities than active study… much more than I should, woops. I guess in my defense… I shadow some dialogue and might have indirectly learnt a new word or two or improved my pronunciation so… that’s still 1% improvement? Haha.

I think I just wanted to get past the beginning phase where I have to build a strong foundation (pronunciation, sounds, characters, etc.) and just jump right into “cruising altitude” – learning more new vocab so I can engage in a wider variety of conversation topics. That impatience gets me every time and it is discouraging, which leads to my many breaks. But I have to keep reminding myself a house can’t be built on sand and expected to withstand the harsh weather conditions. It needs to be built on a very strong and solid foundation. Chinese language acquisition is the same.

I think another culprit is also the fact that each day on my to-do list I would just write “Chinese X – X AM / PM” instead of being specific. What exactly of Chinese do I want to do, and how should I go about doing it. As well as a realistic time frame. I will try my best to plan this out better to develop more effective Chinese learning habits as suggested in your video. Thank you for the wonderful content! And terribly sorry for my verbose response heh. ^^”


Aslam Riaz on Simple Final Ü (YU): 去 qù

Can you describe the difference in sound between chu and qu? They sound the same to me.


Brian O’Connor on Vocab Unlocked from 会: 机会 – 一会儿

In the Word Connection Review flashcard for 一会儿, the female pronounces it 1st tone – 4th tone. But the male pronounces it 1st tone – 3rd tone. Does vary in different contexts? Or is it a regional variation?




1是三声,一会儿(三声) ️把会和儿连起来读啊!比如你媳妇叫你洗碗去,你说:一会儿的(这个时候就是三声)



Cindy QTrinh Nguyen on Craving: Make It Attractive

Thanks for another great video with very practical tips and specific examples. It does make such a huge difference to start with an “I get to” do xyz. Truly does build that gratitude and makes approaching any task that little bit easier.


Liana Pigeot on Cue – Make it Obvious

The part about having a device dedicated to Chinese playing constantly is kind of interesting.

Do you have any suggestions on tools/apps/setup/content source ideas for that? I haven’t done that much immersion yet, and I wonder what’s a good way to prepare enough content to get something constantly running in the background.

For now I tend to do immersion by having a LingQ mini story, or one of my current TMBP stories on a loop in my airpods. It gets repetitive though so having bigger more varied automated playlists sounds better.


Sandra Winter on BONUS: Chinese Isn’t the Hardest Language in the World if you Do This

Great summary. When I first came across your method my thoughts were “oh like the mind-caslte stuff those people use who can remember any length number?” – Yeah, I can not do that, tried it before…
I am VERY HAPPY to say that I was wrong! I can do it and actually enjoy it! And you can do it too 🙂 Even so I am currently only at level 7, it is starting to pick up traction and it’s paying off that I repeated flashcards more than needed to just to remember the actual scene and actor vivibly.

I’m aware that once you remember the meaning/sound that it’s not exactly needed to remember the scene itself in details. However, since I had no previous experience with linking things/meanings to images… I really wanted to take the extra time to build my knowledge base solid with the props/actors/sets before becoming too advanced.

It’s paying off beautifully, thank you!


Katrin on Building the Chinese Habit (This Video is Life-Changing!)

Excellent presentation guys! Reminds me of my previous career as an organizational capacity building consultant where we focused on systems thinking, mind mapping, the balanced scorecard

and outcome-based objectives. I certainly get the minimum effort for maximum result concept. But the concept of identity-based habits was intriguing and an “AHA” moment for me. I’m a lifelong learner and always curious. I have never shied away from a challenge: I started playing women’s recreational hockey at 49, I started driving a race car on the track at 52, I became a professional artist at 58, I started learning Mandarin at 66 and I started learning badminton at 68. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the bootcamp and how I can implement awesome Chinese Enthusiast identity-based habits !! Let’s go!