Chinese university

3. Chinese University, Who Needs It?

Podcast Duration: 00:28:10
3. Chinese University, Who Needs It?

欢迎光临! Welcome!

You can now subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or you can subscribe by copying the following URL into your favorite podcast APP:

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.

00:03  Welcome & Introduction

00:14 – What is The Mandarin Blueprint Method

02:26 – CORRECTION from Episode 1

气 qì – “air”

汽 qì – “vapor”



Thanks to Luke and Phil!

The Mandarin Blueprint Method is the best method to learn Chinese. When I see a character, a lot of “booms” go off in my head.

Kitchen = 2nd tone, boom

Sean Connery = sh initial, boom

Childhood Home = boom

All ideas fall into my mind at the same time. Thank you guys for making learning Chinese very easy.



I imagined Christopher Walken with a walker, but one side of it was smaller. He couldn’t move very well and almost tipped over. He then asked me where I got it from.


Weird…but I pictured a Sword being propped up by a bicycle kickstand. Lol.



When I say d in a word should I say it without breathing (without air coming out of my mouth)?



My keyword connection for “only” for the character was Obi-Wan Kenobi (“help us, you’re our *only* hope”), so I think I’ll keep with that as my prop for 只.


Set: Living room of my childhood home

zh- actor: My Uncle Jay, a large farmer with an equally huge, gregarious personality

props: Spider & rolling stone mouth

keyword association: Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars IV (“help us, Obi Wan, you’re our *only* hope”)


My Uncle is sitting on the couch in my parents living room, through the front door comes Obi-Wan Kenobi, cloaked in his thick, brown robe from Tatooine with the hood up, riding a giant tarantula. He steers the tarantula to in front of my Uncle, and tells him that he must go with him to Alderaan, that it is his destiny, he is the only one who can do it!

Uncle Jay jumps off the couch because the destiny comment sounds more emperor like then Obi-Wan pulls down Obi Wan’s hood to reveal that instead of Obi-Wan, it’s actually the rolling stone mouth!



What is the difference between a character and a prop?



I am from Australia and for the last year I have been studying a diploma in Chinese at a local university. I decided to try a university course because I’ve wanted to learn Chinese for about 10 years and when I’ve tried to learn on my own I get overwhelmed and stop after a month.

The points you make about studying Chinese at a university ring really true for me. While the course I am doing provides structure and some motivation, I don’t find the 20-year-old textbook particularly useful and we do lots of rote learning and repetitive writing. Characters and vocab weren’t sticking and I was getting pretty frustrated because I would always forget words in my flashcards.

One thing that became clear pretty quickly was that my teachers didn’t actually specialize in language learning. They were Chinese academics with expertise in other fields, philosophy, and history, who I imagine were told to teach Chinese because they are from China. They don’t have the language acquisition research knowledge that they can bring to the classroom and it creates a pretty frustrating learning environment. We are never taught ‘how to learn’.

One good thing has come from the course was that one of the teachers recognized the difficulties Chinese speakers have teaching Chinese. They showed your video on how to pronounce the 3rd – ‘zombie’ – tone. After class that day I found your website and am really glad I did. I am really loving the structure and approach you are using. Therefore, I am actually enjoying studying because I know I will learn something new each time, rather than worrying I am just going to forget everything and have an ever-growing mountain to climb in my flashcard deck.

I really like that you include these types of videos that talk about the practical and emotional process of language acquisition.

Now I am considering deferring the course for a year and just working on MBM.

From your experience would you say there are secondary benefits to having a ‘degree’ in Chinese? For instance, does the piece of paper make it easier for your skills to be recognized and count more towards gettings jobs?

21 January, 2019