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49. Ricky Gervais Bathes His Ducklings

欢迎光临! Welcome!

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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.

09:30 Props!

This blog post explains the theory behind props and Chinese character components.

ABIGAIL ON “PICK A PROP 小“

It looks a bit like a fairy to me, so I chose Tinkerbell

MATEUSZ STRZELECKI ON “PICK A PROP 旦“

Looking at this character it actually reminds me of a top hat…

MICHAEL ON “PICK A PROP 占“

A globus cruciger (imperial orb) is closely linked to „occupy“. And because of its round shape – just like a crystal ball – it is also a reminder of the alternative meaning „fortune teller“.

ALINA DANA COROIAN ON “PICK A PROP 占“

Prop for 占 : Max Cavalera (SEPULTURA’s vocalist, for the song war for ”Territory”)

KATHLEEN GANS ON “PICK A PROP 了“

A geologist’s rock hammer!

GREGG REED ON “PICK A PROP 匚“

Snake? Snake!? Snaaaaaaake!

ALINA DANA COROIAN ON “PICK A PROP 止“

Other ideas for prop 止 :

– Neo (Matrix) STOPping the bullets in the air with his hand
– Freestyler ( the child from the Bombfunck MC’s original 90’s video for song Freestyler – the iconic freezing scenes)

I finally went with Neo .

JACK BRADY ON “MAKE A MOVIE 说“

a ‘deal’ with the devil and having him use the prop to sign with the devil is so intelligent. nice

21:05 Actors! 

This blog post explains the theory behind actors and Pinyin Initials.

ALINA DANA COROIAN ON “CASTING CALL MU- 37/55“

Mu Le (main character from Chinese Movies “An Oriental Odyssey”)

RIVER NIXON ON “CASTING CALL YU 27/55“

I wanted to use Star Wars or Harry Potter but I’ve already used a number of characters from both as other actors. I decided to go with the characters from “Lost”. It has many memorable characters and I haven’t used any of the actors for anything else. I have assigned them as follows:
Yu: Hugo “Hurley” Reyes
Ju: John Locke
Qu: Charlie Pace
Lu: Ben Linus
Nu: Kate Austen
Xu: Sun-Hwa Kwan

24:40 Sets! 

This blog post explains the theory behind sets and pinyin finals.

FRED SNYDER ON “SET THE SCENE 2/13“

How about a piano located in the living room of my house? The “an” sound seems to fit and set the virtual “stage!”

26:20 Movies! 

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

GREGG REED ON “MAKE A MOVIE 已“

For 匚, I had imagined a cardboard box with the top open on its side. To help with telling the difference between 己 and 已, I incorporate part of the fishhook into the cardboard box–a cardboard box (Amazon package) with a smaller opening–as if someone has “already” tried to open it.

29:20

KATHLEEN GANS ON “MAKE A MOVIE 让 “

Ricky Gervais is in the bathroom of my set drawing a bath. He stops and giggles as a line of ducklings are heading towards the tub. He picks up his loudspeaker/microphone and points to the ceiling above so everyone can hear “Make way (YIELD) for ducklings”. He makes an exaggerated step away from the tub to YIELD to the ducklings as they hop one by one into the bathtub.

32:05

ALINA DANA COROIAN ON “MAKE A MOVIE 面“

I stumbled for a bit because of the 100 difference problem but after watching your comments from the podcast I decided to still go with the 2 props alternative. I am sure after some repetition this will remain anyway into my memory but just to get really sure I came up with this:

My 100 prop is connected with a 100 lei banknote (that is Romanian money by the way) so in this particular case I emphasize it is a new (never folded) banknote (while in general other old banknotes are folded and unfolded many times so they have a horizontal stripe in the middle). It seems so complicated because the many words I just used to describe it but in fact it comes easier directly into the image.

The 100 lei banknote is in my scene a prize for the winner and the winner claims it to be a new perfectly beautiful banknote.

34:18

ALINA DANA COROIAN ON “MAKE A MOVIE 谢 “ALINA DANA COROIAN ON “MAKE A MOVIE 谢 “

Ideas for supplementary prop for “shoot , fire” :
Nancy Sinatra – song “Bang bang you shoot me down”
Bob Marley – song “I shot the sheriff”
Actually I finally made the prop : “3 fingers gun” (as when children are playing and make a gun using 3 fingers) and in my scene for “shoot ( 射 )” The Mask Jim Carry (身) enters shouting “SOMEBODY stop me !” and with his 3 fingers gun he shoots dozens of tape measure tools (寸) all over the place. Bob Marley – song “I shot the sheriff” – as audio background.

I think it is easier to learn one more word and prop than to use a combination of more than 2 props.

36:58 Miscellaneous

EVELYN RIEDEL ON “SIMPLE FINAL A INTRODUCTION: 八 BĀ, 他她它 TĀ, 妈妈 MĀMA, 爸爸 BÀBA“

This one confused me too, as it sounds as though you are saying a short a when you say the word “cat”, but then say the long a when you say “ba1”. Thanks for clarifying.

38:19

CHAD RESSLER ON “NEW VOCABULARY UNLOCKED! 听见“

Grammar Question:

In the first sentence, would it have been equally correct to use 可以 instead of 能?

43:05

DANIEL DALFORNO ON “NASAL FINAL ENG & PROBLEM INITIAL R: 生日 SHĒNGRÌ“

Hi Luke and Phil!!
For me, pronouncing the r was really difficult but thanks to you now is really easy! I think the most difficult part is positioning the tongue… I didn’t knew that I had to put the tongue on the roof of my mouth so when I tried to pronounce the r I really didn’t knew how to do it (repeating the sound is really hard without technique). Again, thank you very much

44:45

REBECCA WHEBLE ON “ANNY 老师 REVIEW: NASAL FINAL ENG“

The word ren is what sent me to this pronunciation course and I’m still not sure how to pronounce it. To me it sounds like it’s often pronounced more like the /zh/ sound – like jen. I can’t really figure out how Anny is saying it but it doesn’t sound like an /r/ sound made with a retroflex tongue (or at least my retroflex tongue).

49:55

FRED SNYDER ON “NASAL FINAL EN: 很 HĚN,他很笨 TĀ HĚN BÈN,它很慢 TĀ HĚN MÀN,们 MEN“

Hi Luke –

When I listen carefully to Anny’s pronunciation of “bèn” it sounds to me more like the American English pronunciation of “Ben” (like in Ben Franklin). I hear your pronunciation more like “bun” (the pastry). Am I hearing correctly?

Thanks!

51:20

BRIAN LONG ON “MAKE A MOVIE 只“

I lived in Chengdu from 2013-2017 and loved it over there. Unfortunately I had to move back to the States because my father was sick. Since being back I felt like I had some unfinished business with improving my Chinese. While in Chengdu, I studied vocabulary through various apps and could get by at the store, in a taxi, etc but was intimidated by tones and characters, so I didn’t really learn them. I also spent way too much time at places like the Beer Nest, Tag, and Hakka Bar and on apps like Tan Tan, ha.
Anyways, I hope to return to Chengdu one day so I’m continuing my Chinese studies. I stumbled upon your program last week and I love it so far. I’m now enjoying the process of learning characters and tones, so I thank you.

55:00

KATHLEEN GANS ON “IT’S A WORD! 胖“

I like hearing the cultural tidbits like you’ve explained in this video.

57:04

KATHLEEN GANS ON “ANKI DECK(S) INSIDE – LEVEL 9 COMPLETE“

I agree. It’s just awesome to finish a level and have someone tell you how great it is to have come this far and to keep going!

59:30

FRED SNYDER ON “SELF-EVALUATION: WHAT’S YOUR CHINESE LEVEL?“

I have been studying for awhile, spent 3 months living in Beijing a while ago, visit for 5-6 weeks ever year and have 2 or 3 language exchange partners on QQ / WeChat. My biggest problem is tones and tone pairs. I think the pronunciation course is great, realized that my tongue positions for several finals was wrong. Memory technique is fantastic.

I am able to text and have basic conversations in Chinese but need to increase by active vocabulary.

When I first started I emphasized reading, grammar, and learning characters. For me, the main value of these courses is learning the memory techniques.

My goal is to be able to read more Chinese books and understand Chinese TV and movies and reach HSK4 level competency.

01:03:35

SOLEDAD FROM EMAIL

Hi dudes,

I have a question that I already asked in your platform, as one of the members, but now I cannot find where it was and I do not know the answer.

The point is: I am Spanish and I am learning Chinese with your English method. Then I lear the meaning of characters in English and then I translate them into Spanish language. Beside, at the point of “Making a movie” I always write it down in English, cos I do not really know whether it would work if I do it in Spanish. Then at my reviews in Anki I have to remember the whole scene and movie in English, which I think makes my study slower as if I made the movie in Spanish and recalled it in Spanish.

What do you think? Should I keep on English or could I turn making my movies to learn the characters in Spanish?

On the other hand, I just finished Level 5, and by your email at this point I would not need to write down all my movies to learn a character. I am a bit confused about this point. Don’t I need from now on to write down movies to learn the character. I do not do it I have the feeling I’d not memorize the whole story.

You please let me know about my questions, so that I can make my study faster and more enjoyable!!

Thank a lot!