The Community Makes Mandarin Blueprint Work - Episode 164

164. The Community Makes Mandarin Blueprint Work

Podcast Duration: 00:39:37

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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.

164. The Community Makes Mandarin Blueprint Work

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7:32 Comments & Emails

Seong Tan on Level 21 Complete

I am doing great reading the Opinion pieces and really enjoying it, thank you. I am elated just to be able to recognise the words, pronouncing them and discovering their meanings. Because my brain is so engaged in deciphering and recalling my memory store, I am way too focussed on individual words and not understanding the flow of the sentence. I asked my Mandarin tutor to read the sentences for me, and then I realised that the pauses that she introduced (and even the breathing) into the process changed the interpretive landscape entirely. Even at the native speed, with the correct pauses and emphasis at certain junctures, I could anticipate the speaker’s intent and message. The upshot of all this is that MB can provide the foundation, but as Phil mentioned, in order to “recognize complexity”, I will benefit more if I can engage regularly in Chinese content (TV dramas, trying out Chinese speaking with other Native speakers). For many of us who live in Western countries that is difficult but not impossible.


John Sanders on 呆 in Context

Bit confused with this part: 吓呆 as I thought 吓 was more ‘to scare’ as opposed to 怕 which is more ‘scared’. So in the sentence 我的儿子吓呆了, wouldn’t it make more sense to use 怕 so that the direct translation is something more along the lines of ‘my son was scared senseless/and dumbfounded’?

Because to me i’m seeing the current sentence as something like ‘my son scares [people] senseless’


Keith Evans on Level 20 & Phase 3 Complete!

I’m looking forward to your graded readers. I have some graded readers, but they aren’t in sync with this course so they can be frustrating to use.


Peter Hird on Make a Movie 谁

When I check Pleco it has the pronunciation as shuí, how often is this the case? Do I need to add Shultz (shu) to my scene?


Annette Bicknell on 好好 in Context

I found it quite interesting how a tone change on the first 好 defines whether it is “thoroughly, fully” or “very good”. You really have to listen to how it is pronounced although the context of course is the give-away.


Dan Malleck on New Vocabulary Unlocked! 人口 – 入口

This is interesting (I’ve taken Mandarin and get the whole need for measure words so I found the etymology part fascinating). Are you saying kou is a measure word?


ronald kirshner on Simple Final Ü (YU): Introduction with 鱼 yú

There is something i don’t understand . Maybe i can get some help here. it has to do with the umlaut u. It seems that the umlaut is not written . I mean you can sort of figure it out, which is “u” and which is umlaut . But with the lu and nu I cant figure out when the umlaut sound is suppose to be used ..

do I have this all messed up ?



Annette Bicknell on Level 19 Complete

I struggled with level 18 sentences and was a bit apprehensive about level 19 sentences, but to my surprise they were much easier to get my head around. Almost any question I may have for a particular sentence has been asked by someone ahead of me and I can take advantage of the responses. This in turn has me adding notes to the Anki deck so that when I review that sentence I have the explanation right there and everything makes much more sense. Adding the sentences at level 13 was the right choice you made. Seeing compound words that for whatever reason won’t readily stick in my mind in a sentence helps retain them.


Dan Malleck on Pick a Prop 马

Can I make it the same horse as in my movie? Bojack Horseman? I mean all other horses look the same to me (except the one that crushed my foot when I was little. He looked like the devil!)


Dan Malleck on Pick a Prop 气

I’m finding the two representations of the “乙” character where the downward stroke is clearly a right to left diagonal (my prop is a swan) and then the one squished to the side on in this character where the downward stroke is straight vertical, the hook is smaller, and the “razor blade” (for me it’s a yardstick) is bigger) 气 (which is nothing like a swan) difficult to equate. Is this just something we need to memorize? Would I be better off finding a prop for the second form of this character like, I dunno, a waterfall or something? Because I look at it and don’t think “ah! the swan!”


Mirko R on Walk in the park?! I’ve got 汉字 to study!

I read the comments before I started shadowing the first text, so I decided to keep track of my repetitions. At rep n°5 I guess I sounded like a dog trying to join in a Christmas carol. By rep n°25 I had evolved into a Neanderthal getting humiliated in a rap battle. Although this was by far the most frustrating part of learning Mandarin so far, the bottom line is I have just finished rep n°45 and got it done.

So do not discourage, friends! Once we’ve reached fluency, nobody will care how many repetitions we needed for a primitive text at 80% speed a couple of months ago. It’s all just a part of the process.


Gavia Arctica on Vocab Unlocked from 吉

Since you don´t give any example sentence for the meaning “lucky” I suppose this is one of those characters that is nowadays used more in writing loan words or names phonetically (more or less…) rather than in its original meaning of “lucky”?

Anyway, I chose an image of the most legendary guitar player I can remember to represent this on my flashcard, thinking he had great skills but must have been also “lucky” to become so famous. Good memories from great concerts! I was lucky to be there, too.

My movie seems to naturally have multiple soundtracks without me even trying to think about it!

The unknown soldier (士 prop) (lucky to have come BACK form the war this time!) and ji actor also feel lucky as they are sitting on that huge red couch shaped like a mouth, listening to this guitar hero play for them live in a private concert set in my null set kitchen. (No I won´t tell you who he is, it would just reveal my age and you are probably to young to know him anyway, so just pick your own guitar hero 🙂 )

I felt I had no context for “lucky” without an example sentence for that meaning, so I started to make the movie from the image of the guitar hero WITHOUT the meaning lucky in it at all, but it just all came by itself starting from the “guitar” association.

So much fun, I´ll go listen to some songs I haven´t heard for a long time while I study the next characters! Thank you!


Gavia Arctica on Vocab Unlocked from 于

他于昨天到达了成都 – if I just said 他昨天到达了成都, both would mean he arrived in Chengdu yesterday, right? How does 于 change the feeling of this sentence? Is it more formal, as in written text maybe, not so much spoken? And / or emphasising that “he arrived in Chengdu YESTERDAY”? Something else? May be he “JUST arrived in Chengdu yesterday…?”


Makai Allbert on 用什么办法可以学好汉语

“我可以用什么办法学好中文吗?” -> Is it a common rule that you can put 好

after a verb to indicate doing that thing well?


Laura Walter on 来 in Context

I was reading this sentence, 三个月来,我没有吃过米饭, and was curious what function that 过 was playing in the sentence?


Ómar Yasin ? on 丢 in Context

Maybe I missed something, but what’s 面 doing at the end of this sentence?