The Mandarin Blueprint Podcast focuses primarily on The Mandarin Blueprint Method online course and the Pronunciation Mastery online course. Creators Luke Neale & Phil Crimmins answer questions and comments from the online curriculum, discuss topics related to China and Mandarin learning and have special guests.
00:00 – Updates
This blog post explains the theory behind props and Chinese character components.
I’m picking metallic, flexible robot legs; like Bender’s legs
from Futurama. They always have that distinctive bow to them.
A car battery
This kind of looks like a ship of sorts either of the vikings or
I went with Zaraki Kenpachi – character from “Bleach” anime –
because instead of all the other skills he is totally dumb when
it comes to space directions and orientation so he stupidly
misses key moments because of his incapacity to find the way in a
given amount of time.
You can find this type of character (very skilled or intelligent
but stupid when it comes to space orientation) also in other
anime series like One Piece or Naruto (and many others).
Sugesstion goes of course just for people who watch anime.
Because I used Mike Wazowski as prop for the eye, I decided to
use James Sullivan (Sully) as prop for this character for EACH
OTHER, because I always picture them together, and in that way, I
will not forget that Mike (the eye) is in this character as well.
I’m going with a cyr wheel, funnnnn!!!
Chinese Baoding balls
+10 points for the Happy Gilmore reference.
Leo 王, the Taiwanese hip hop artist. Yul Brynner was a close
Ouroboros, the self eating SNAKE (mythological snake, details
for the curious ones here:
Another option: Madam White Snake from the Chinese “Legend of the
White Snake”. (It is considered one of the greatest chinese folk
tales and some may know it because it is presented in a number of
major Chinese operas, films, and television series. You can read
the original story line on wikipedia)
Cliff Burton, of Metallica, died during the MASTER of Puppets
tour. He is my choice.
This blog post explains the theory behind actors and Pinyin Initials.
“Duffman can never die; only the actors who play him!” That
quote *immediately* came to mind, so Duffman it is.
This blog post explains the theory behind Sets and Pinyin Finals.
My favorite apartment in Orlando. Easy.
This blog post explains the theory behind Movie Scenes and learning characters.
I’m conflating a couple scenes from Monty Python. The rabbit
that kills everyone, and the black knight saying “It’s only a
flesh wound!” My friend Jacob is being attacked by the giant
mouth with robot legs. It’s chomping on his arm and he’s telling
me it’s only a flesh wound.
It’s athletics day at my high school and everybody is watching
the high jump competition on the back field. All the contestants
are using the frisbee flop technique until my grandfather’s turn
– he has grabbed a driftwood staff and proceeds to split leap
over the bar. What an individual!
A possible soundtrack suggestion for the script: Think – Kaleida
. Even if you have not listened to it before , it might just be
the type of song that your brain will repeat again and again
(doesn’t matter if you like it or not). If someone wants to give
it a try, look for it on youtube.
aaagh (represents frustration 🙂 Just when I “think I’ve got
it…” Do I need a new location/place (set) for every final and 4
(or) five places (rooms or separate areas for the tones? Learning
shí occurs in the kitchen (2nd tone) scene of my childhood home
(set). So for the next final do I need a new location? Do I
abandon my beloved childhood home and its 2nd tone kitchen for
cóng and rén?
More mathematically, 3 finals with 2 different tones = 3 sets and
4 scenes per set?
I think your explanations are lucid – I am just dense.
Thanks to the persons giving ideas in the comments.
Here is my version for this script.
(I must say my prop for 自 is something called “Pinocchio mirror”.
When somebody lies Pinoochio mirror shows the person with big
nose; the nose grows big also to the person in reality)
Sinead O’Connor (xi actor) is Outside the Entrance of my
childhood home sitting on the stairs. She is looking in the
mirror and tries to convince herself she is not a depressed but a
happy person.(Actually she had periods of depression in real
life…) But who could know that her mirror happens to be actually
The Pinocchio Mirror ! So Sinead O’Connor can suddenly see her
nose growing bigger and bigger, not stopping from growing.
Astonished and terrified she cannot BREATH anymore and faints
down. Pinocchio feels so sorry for her that he gets out of the
magic mirror repeating “BREATH again, BREATH again” (like in Toni
Braxton’s song “Breath again”) . And he snatches his own wooden
HEART from the chest and throws in into one of Sinead O’Connor’s
huge nostrils. This makes Sinead O’Connor’s nose shrink back to
the original size and BREATH again.
Sean Connery is in my childhood home kitchen with a gameshow
microphone with a giant ant. The set breaks away into a film set
where the ant is competing on a trivia game for who has the most
Janis Joplin (JI* actor) enters the Living Room of my Childhood
Home where there’s a PURE WHITE SWAN (prop for 乙) sleeping on the
bed. Janis Joplin suddenly thinks A FEW pure white feathers would
look just great on her dress for her next musical show. So she
pulls out her SAMURAI SWORD and cuts down A FEW fethers from the
sleeping white pure swan. But as soon as she touches the feathers
, Janis Jopin changes into a PHOSPHORESCENT CATTERPILLAR begging
princess swan for forgiveness and for her old body.
*PHOSPHORESCENT CATTERPILLAR is my prop for the new character
formed by this script: 几
* I feel like “A FEW ” in my script is not really so memorable
emphasized. But I had no other supplementary ideas and on the
other hand I really know this character from before studying with
Mandarin Blueprin. So together with this sketched script should
function ok for me.
This one counts as a pictograph for me. I once saw a sketch
showing 亻 as a tired person ( sitting down on the ground with the
head bent over the chest) who is resting under the braches of a
This sketch just remained for ever in my memory.
So my script for 休 is just:
TIRED (亻) XI*actor is resting under the HUGE VIOLET TREE (prop
for 木) outside the entrance of *ou location.
D* actor is running on the street Outside the Entrance of the
*AI Location . Huge hungry ROLLING STONES MOUTH (prop for 口) is
chasing him. He suddlenly sees a HUGE VIOLET TREE (prop for 木) in
the middle of the highway, so he quickly climbs it up. Rolling
Stones Mouth still chases him but remains stupidly (DUMB) stuck
on the top of the violet tree. Rolling Stones Mouth addresses
DUMB gestures to people on the street who refuse to help her
disentangle from the violet tree. In the same time DUMB situation
also happened to Dylan Wang: His clothes are all torn because of
the climbing so now he is hidding in the violet tree branches
wearing only underwear. He intends to stupidly (DUMB) hide there
until night falls so he can climb down without being seen.
L-actror is in the Kitchen of *AI location with a huge bowl of
rice in front of him. Full of greed he is about to begin wolfing
the rice. But he remains petrified with his mouth open : a
razorblade COMES flying in the air and stucks in the upper part
of the rice pile dividing it like making a kind of roof. Mother
in law (actually my location is her house) says : don’t forget
prayers and blessings before eating ! Get out of the door then
COME again and do it properly. L-actor is mumbling for himeself
again and again “Where does that COME from, man? Where does that
COME from, man?”
Last video, last pronunciation, Anny speaking 多少钱， 少 sound seems
barely said. What exactly does she say quickly?
I’m guessing it is because 天 & 周 are the measure words.
my reading is getting better..but LISTENING is whole other
I live in Sydney and there’s lots of mandarin speaking people.
Trying to overhear their conversations I’m only still picking out
a few words. Starting to watching mandarin cooking youtube
videos…again ..for now…oly picking up a few words.
I teach ESL in China and tell parents the same things you are
saying. I teach reading, writing, and listening to beginner
students starting as early as three years old. I don’t teach
writing with a thought in my head that they will write perfectly
at such a young age. I do it so that they will start to realize
that they are seeing words on the board that go with the pictures
or learn a new sight word that they are hearing and speaking as
well as to build fine motor skills. I want to activate them in
learning and satisfy many learning styles in my classes. As I
teach older students I push for balancing as I talk with parents.
Have the students use what they know as often as they can while
still learning new things. Tonight I showed a parent and student
how to look around a room and use what they see to create a story
based on what she already knows well. (The Usual Suspects). She
reads college-level books with perfect pronunciation but her
7-year-old brain has never had a chance to use the language in a
natural or creative context. I am getting her to create small
movies in her head with dialogue!! 🙂 Thanks Luke and Phil for
putting together this program! Ting ting is amazed by some of my
Hanzi movies I am telling her about as well as pronunciation I am
using since I have finally started to learn Chinese after living
here for over 6 years.