John Nomura Case Study

Interview with John Nomura – University Learning vs. Mandarin Blueprint

Podcast Duration: 00:57:19
Interview w/ John Nomura - University Learning vs. Mandarin Blueprint

We had fun interviewing John Nomura about his experiences learning Chinese, and how The Mandarin Blueprint Method has helped him improve compared to his classes at the University of Minnesota. His primary motivation to learn is that he married a Chinese woman from Taiwan and hopes to communicate better with her family.

We discussed a range of topics, including:
-John’s experience at the University of Minnesota
-Learning about memory athletics and Joshua Foer’s Ted Talk
-How he gave up on trying to read at first and why he made this choice
-How bottom-up learning solves the reading problem
-The requirements of your personal vocabulary to speak with native speakers
-How memorizing vocabulary lists is futile
-Why listening without knowing characters can be super frustrating
-How learning how to read Chinese characters can, perhaps surprisingly, improve your Chinese listening
-John’s self-evaluation that he’s “not a very visual person,” yet still finding The Hanzi Movie Method highly useful
-How SRS reviewing can help you relax
-John asks Phil how many characters he knows, leading into a discussion of how you learn characters and words after learning the foundational 3000
-MB Member comments and how they make TMBM a constantly improving resource
-Why sentences by themselves are only partly sufficient to help acquire a language
-How doing MB keeps Luke and Phil humble
-Why the HSK is a terrible metric for determining a person’s Chinese level
-Phil’s experience on the HSK 6 writing section
-官方语言 guānfāng yǔyán – bureaucratic language
…and more!

Thank you to John for the conversation.