Chinese Memory Techniques - Episode 159

159. ‘Bordering on Witchcraft’ Chinese Memory Techniques

Podcast Duration: 00:33:08

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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.

159. 'Bordering on Witchcraft' Chinese Memory Techniques

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12:18 Comments & Emails

Marian Collins-Steding by Email

I absolutely love the course. I am very pleased with the curriculum and my progress. I appreciate all of the work that has been done and the quality shows. Hats off to everyone involved!

Marian Collins-Steding PhD


Evan hall by Community

I’ve really been enjoying the podcast. I listen to them at work to feel like I’m using time that is not my own for my own progress! it seems like their is a lot of people in New Zealand on the course. I am an American who luckily got stuck here during covid! yay. I’m in Nelson, if any other kiwis are close we could meet up for a study session! 


Cindy Nkhoma on YOU DID IT!!!

I am impressed with the way the pronunciation course was delivered. I am glad I can make a few sentences in Chinese despite being a beginner. I plan go through the course again. Thank you


Kairi Shikari on Vocab Unlocked from 讲

Not sure of the role that the 来讲 plays in 这张照片对奶奶来讲是很重要的。It almost feels like the sentence would have the same meaning without it


Melissa Niesen on (BONUS) Our Top Five Most Difficult Tone Pairs

Great reminder about tone pairs!
I’ve found that if you let the first tone in 知道 drift toward a second tone, you risk it being understood as 迟到.


Mirko R on 想 in Context

Hi there,

At this point (level 13), should we be able to know how the sentences would sound? I’m having huge trouble with this. Thanks to the hanzi movie method, I easily remember the tone of each character, however combining them into a chinese sounding sentence is still very hard, even if I just do it in my mind without saying the sentence out loud.


Mirko R on 记 in Context

So far, I’ve found every character we’ve learned in my memory palace, I did not have to look one up once.

I knew mnemonic techniques were powerful, but this borders to witchcraft.
(The only thing I keep forgetting is how to spell mnemonic…)


Glen Creek on Casting Call G- 2/55

My name starts with G is it a good idea to use myself as an actor?


Kent Broeckelman on 差 in Context

I’m not sure I understand this translation. Especially if it relates to the previous sentence asking the difference in age between someone and their 哥哥 (older brother) it seems quite obvious that he is older. Should this mean “bigger” in size?



Although there’s only a difference of two years, he’s also older than me.


Ceri Woods on 好看 in Context

Slowly learning to sit on sentences for a while before panicking that I don’t understand the grammer. Didn’t understand at first how 那个穿着白衣服的女人 meant ‘woman in the white dress’ but on about the 6th flashcard rotation it just suddenly made sense… (whilst I read it out loud like a 4 year old lol)


Sam Crawford on Welcome! 3 Things to Do Right Away

Is it okay to use Skritter instead on Anki? I’ve been using Skritter for a while so I’m very familiar with it.

Does Skritter have any limitations with regards to learning via the Hanzi Movie Method?

30:58 Vocab Living Links

This section covers “Living Link” mnemonic techniques to remember Chinese words of two or more characters. Here’s a video explaining the theory behind it.

Gregory Savage on Vocab Unlocked from 觉: 觉得

This is where attention to top down helps as with many other characters, I feel (no pun intended) like I already know many of them. There is method to the madness.


Keith Evans on Vocab Unlocked from 周: 周末

“…Everybody’s working for the weekend” I’ve literally just made it to the weekend, and anyone reading this is onto character #200!


Tina Clark on Vocab Unlocked from 好: 好吃 – 好几 – 早上好 – 下午好 – 只好 – 还好 – 好好 – 好看

还好 reminds me of the seven dwarves singing “heigh ho!”
To tie it all together:
“Fortunately, the dwarves passed the exam.”