84. How to Use 从 cóng “From”

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.

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0:00 Grammar Point

GW-Relator-From-Where-介词-从

Sentence 1:

有一只狗从门口走过来。 – Level 15

Yǒu yī zhī gǒu cóng ménkǒu zǒu guò lái. 

There’s a dog that walked over from the door.

Sentence 2:

这只狗被我从桌子上打下来了。 – Level 17

Zhè zhī gǒu bèi wǒ cóng zhuōzi shàng dǎ le xiàlái le.

This dog got knocked down from the table by me.

Sentence 3:

她把手机从口袋里拿出来。

Tā bǎ shǒujī cóng kǒudài lǐ náchūlái.

She took the phone out of her pocket.


6:45 Miscellaneous

Gareth Edwards by Community

Hi, I’m new here.. Just wondering as I bought a couple hundred lessons with a tutor a long time ago how best I can use them in conjunction with this course? Originally, she wanted to take me through her version of the HSK which would have been a long and arduous process. Do you have any recommendations on how I could have her teach me seeing as I will be using TMBP for the basis of my learning? Would you suggest I use her just for conversational practice and how would I go about that? Perhaps I could do an hour a day on topics I’m interested in? I appreciate your advice! Thanks!

12:57

Peter Walsh by Community

Hi there!  Just to let you guys know that I’m having great fun devising stories in my head. You’ve certainly brought me down memory lane, what with all the whacky imagery I link with my past.  I just joined last Sunday and I’m making solid progress – albeit spending too much time on making my own pictographs to reinforce acquisition; but that’s the pedantic nature in me.  Well done to you both on such a novel way of instruction.  xié xié.
As the memories are personal and mixed with my imagination … I cannot but recall their meanings: 
charlie bucket floating on 7up bubbles. The interaction of the swan and the swallow giving Charlie air bubbles to get him out of their way.

14:12

JOHN mCCANN by Email

Luke:

Your lessons are very entertaining, and you have a flawless Beijing accent, it would seem. You are Phil are both inspirational.

I am so glad I cut loose of rosetta stone but still may use it upon occasion. With lockdown, and not being able to work, to keep anxiety at bay, I feel motivated after a few false starts, to really nail Mandarin.

One of your best pieces of advice: avoid classes for the most part. A four week 2 hour per week Mandarin course at China Institute is $400! The teachers are native speakers, but with so much on-line content, unless I move to China, and I have Chinese friends who now I can speak in Mandarin. I speak French, Italian, studied Russian in high school and worked at Japan Society, where they have an excellent school, and with half our staff being Japanese, I picked up a lot fairly quickly. 

ALSO, we traveled to Tokyo, and those business meetings would begin at 8 am, and conclude with dinner, and then lots of drinking (they love their scotch)! So I would be totally jet-lagged and hammered the next morning. BUT when Japanese starts including Kanji, it makes studying Japanese and Mandarin together impossible, as I found out in London at SOAS! 
Also, know enough Latin to read, and one of the world’s most difficult grammar languages _ Koine (or Biblical Greek). Every word has a declension or an exception to the rule.

So with Phil patiently guiding me through Anki, I spend about 45 minutes a day on pronunciation. You were wise to put that at the front of the course, even the slightest slip in tone can change the meaning of a word.
As an East Asian art historian by vocation, I think that learning to read will even take priority over speaking, as I am always reading art catalogs in Chinese.

I found my father’s old school books: he studied in Tongzhou Boarding School, and his texts were in the traditional characters and had the old Wade-Giles transliteration.

Thanks

17:09

Al Roy by Email

Hey guys.

Just a quick note to encourage you both in your MBM undertaking. As you may well imagine, my brain is swimming at present with the almost constant cramming that I’ve been putting in with your course, day after day – and happily so. But there is one thing in particular that you both do that sets you apart from the ‘rest of the pack’, so to speak; and that thing is that in each and every lesson where you use a video to teach a point or model a word or sentence, you do it yourselves, rather than (the great videos with Annie aside) have someone else step in to model the examples for you.

What hit a home run for me, and instantly made me know that I had stumbled upon something REAL, and not just ‘another Chinese course’, was seeing and hearing Luke sitting on a bench and telling us about the MBM, and doing it IN CHINESE. I don’t mind telling you; had that ad been only in English, I would not have listened more than a few seconds before moving on and forgetting that I had ever seen it.

So although I know that you both already know that you’re very much on the right track (and it’s evident in the confidence you both show – and rightly so, as you’ve earned the right to it, hands down), a word of encouragement is sometimes in order.

Now already a month into this, you can consider me not just a satisfied customer, but something of a fan, and I don’t easily ascribe that sort of celebrity status to my fellow beings, regardless of their societal status in the world of men. I respect you guys in large measure because I respect what you have accomplished, which in my book is very much something worthwhile.

Side note: for the first month, I’ve mainly only been putting in two to four hours per day on average. Starting late last week, I’m attempting to muster the discipline to do this full time. For me, that means a minimum of eight hours daily or 40 hours per week. I have to fit other things in ad well, so that means 12 hour days when I can manage it. I’ll be up at 05:00, in a few short hours, to hit the virtual books again, starting with an hour and a half on the Anki decks, and moving on to the lessons. At times I have go go get a breather because my head starts to choke on it, but when I consider how quickly I’m actually learning and comprehending the material, it’s very much worth it.

Several years ago I worked at a Chinese owned and operated gold mine for several months during the relatively short summer work season they have there. I went, primarily for the opportunity to practice speaking Chinese. The excavators I operated usually were equipped with USB ports, so I would plug in a key and listen and repeat to the Pimsleur Mandarin lessons for maybe 6 to 8 hours per day while I worked, until I literally HAD to stop because my brain just would not absorb the lesions. It was a great (if incredibly boring) experience for me. By the time I returned home later in the season, I was actually having very short, very basic conversations with the workers there – none of whom could speak any English.

But that said, as good as Pimsleur is at what it does, I have to say that it cannot touch MBM, and I know that Luke can concur in that point. Sadly, when my season working at the Yukon ended, i stopped the Pimsleur lessons, and never went past the early part of the third (of five) levels. But I got the impression from skipping ahead and listening to bits of the higher levels that my Mandarin would only have been very basic at best, had I followed through and completed the entire course.

I get the sense with MBM that when I come out at the other end of the assembly line as a newly minted Chinese speaker, I will be in a very good position to be able to move on from that point toward achieving a high level of competency in Mandarin. I am ultimately shooting for HSK 6. And my goal is to achieve that from my small town, with the benefit of exposure to a local Chinese speaking population.

It’s rather ironic that both of the gas stations here in town are Korean owned and operated. As a Korean (2nd language for me) speaker, I find myself wishing that the owners were Chinese. 

Cheers, boys!

Al Roy

24:00

Neil on Make a Movie 家

One of my calligraphy teachers told me that in the old days a
pig would be kept in the house. (didn’t want it to get stolen).

25:12

Jacqueline St Ange on Tone Change Rules Part 2: 不 bù

I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying this course. Despite
my fears, I actually find the pronunciation part pretty easy. I
already speak 3 languages English, French and Seychelles Creole.
I find many of the pronunciations that would seem impossible to
an anglophone are very similar to french and my own native
language. I have always wanted to visit China and immerse myself
in its rich culture and beautiful people. Thank you! There are
many offers for Chinese language classes out there, however,
yours is the best I have found.

27:00

Rebecca McCarthy on BONUS: Stroke Order (Rule 12 of 12)

Hello, so I already have some experience with Mandarin and
“know” a good amount of words, and can use them in speaking, but
the writing has been a huge struggle. This method is helping me
immensely and I find a am learning to write them very quickly
now. I would like to study the stroke order rules, and was
curious if you have already made an ANKI deck for those? If not I
can make my own, yours are just so nice with the characters
showing the stroke order. (I don’t know how to do that on ANKI)
Haha, anyways thanks so much.

29:31

Will Raley on Simple Final Ü (YU): Introduction with 鱼 yú

I am still struggling with pronouncing this one 😔 could you
maybe explain how my throat should be when saying this? Does it
breath out air in a specific way?

31:04

Simon Mellor on Pick a Prop for 十

Big ups to Phil for that incredibly mighty beard

31:19

Bri Bro on MAKE A MOVIE 早

In this case, I can imagine the props being 旦 and 丨How do we
decide in this case which props fit the most ? I feel like 日 and
十 are more or less the “same difficulty”, but that 丨 and 旦 are
way different in term of strokes. Is it related to the choice ?

32:55

Alex Sumray on Problem Initials ZH, CH, SH & R Overview

Hi there,
Thanks for the course so far.

Just to keep me sane, are these tongue positions (hopefully)
going to become second nature with practice? It feels pretty
unnatural at the moment and hard to remember, and nye impossible
for me when in the flow of a sentence, on top of getting the
tones down at the same time.

Cheers,
Alex

34:45 Movies! 

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

Al (泰光) Roy (王) on Make a Movie 怕

I came up with a couple of useful items for this one (well…
useful for me at least).

First, the left prop: as soon as I looked at it, I saw a stick
with two tears – a ‘crying stick’. So I googled it, and after
wading through dozens of pictures of crying stick men, I actually
found a picture of a crying stick, with tears from the eyes! In
my imaginary world, crying sticks have the effect of making their
bearer very susceptible to emotions.

So… to the back of the A set: my P actor (Paul Hogan) is going
for a walk and just happens to be carrying a crying stick! A
tough guy like him ought to know better! As he walks, he begins
to feel inexplicably afraid. He spies an empty white paint can in
the distance. The closer he gets to it, the more fear he feels,
until he is finally close enough to see inside the can, whereupon
he discovers Pennywise the Clown hiding and casting fear vibes in
his direction!

37:37

Bel Hermawan on Make a Movie 昨

Zoolander is in the kitchen of my -o house about to cook
breakfast, but there’s a cartoon sun singing The Beatles’ “Here
Comes the Sun”. Zoolander tells the sun he hates this song, but
the sun keeps singing it anyway. In a fit of rage, Zoolander
suddenly wields a saw as a weapon and threatens to hurt the sun.
The cartoon sun cowers and starts singing “Yesterday” instead.
Zoolander is appeased.

39:15

Faraz on MAKE A MOVIE 计

Plan makes me think of bank heist.
Marilyn Monroe (ji-) rappels from the ceiling of my bathroom. A
security guard comes in, so she speaks on a microphone (speak
prop) to make him go investigate the speakers. She dives behind a
crucifix to just avoid him from seeing her as he returns.

40:14

Deborah Driscoll on Make a Movie 没

My M actor is searching around the kitchen of my ei set getting
more and more angry muttering to myself “I DON’T HAVE my yoyo! My
life is not worth living WITHOUT my yo-yo 🪀 ….” (This would be
so totally out of character for my ultra laid back friend Mark,
it’s memorably funny!) Suddenly out of the corner of his eye he
spots a caterpillar 🐛 (几) playing with his yo-yo (又). He grabs a
nearby hosepipe and squirts the caterpillar right across the room
saying “Now you know how it feels to NOT HAVE my yoyo!”

42:07

Oliver Barrett on  MAKE A MOVIE 四

Sam is in the garden of my childhood home. When I walk out I see
he is admiring the grass is filled with four-leaf clovers. He
bends down to pick one up when the rolling stones mouth comes out
of nowhere and gobbles Sam up.

He eats most of him but opens his mouth to talk when just the two
legs are still in his mouth “those four-leaf clovers are mine!”

43:28

MIKE ROTCHFORD on Make a Movie 毒

DUmbo is sprawled out on my childhood home kitchen floor. He is
deathly ill because he’s been POISONed!!! We’ve tried to make him
as comfortable as possible with a haybale bed and have even
slipped in under him a picture of Mother Theresa praying for her
divine intercession for his recovery.

44:24

Ija on Make a Movie 闹

Keyword : To Make Noise & Disturb
Actor : Neil Patrick Harris in the backyard of my AO-set
Props : Large Door, Top Hat, Towel.

The stay at home order was issued 3 weeks ago and Neil was
feeling fidgety and restless. He had performance withdrawal
syndrome and a sudden urge to break into songs.

He couldn’t keep it in – so he put on a top hat and began to sing
and dance to a medley of Broadway tunes around a giant door in
the backyard of my -AO set.

The similarly restless neighbours started to feel annoyed from
all the noise and disturbance, that they threw in all sorts of
household items towards his direction.

He finally threw in the towel after a dirty towel managed to land
on his face.

45:54

tyson on  Make a Movie 请

I made a movie which would combine some of the different
meanings of 请 (below in all caps).
There was a REQUEST that Shu Qi [Qi- actress] give out surgical
masks [青 bc of the cyan color of the masks] because of the
pandemic. She uses the 3rd tone room of my -eng set to do this.
Unfortunately, there’s a mob of unruly, ungrateful people
fighting for the masks. In frustration, she grabs a megaphone [讠]
and scolds the crowd: “At you REQUEST, I INVITEd you here for
masks, and it’s my TREAT, but PLEASE, be civilized and at least
say ‘PLEASE’!”

48:23

Al (泰光) Roy (王) on  Make a Movie 着

Jet Li is practicING his world famous ‘balancING a
sheep on a giant eyeball while wearING a Viking hat’ stunt!

49:32

Tristan Knotts on Make a Movie 边

Billie Eilish is at the AN set, standing in the middle of the
road (辶) out front, she is wearing the Ring of Power (力). She
raises her hands and powerfully casts them downward and out (to
the side) causing all the cars and everything in her path to be
thrown to the SIDE of the road, clearing her path forward.