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Mandarin Blueprint Podcast Episode 4

4. Albus Dumbledore Playing Settlers of Catan

Podcast Duration: 00:43:07
4. Albus Dumbledore Playing Settlers of Catan

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.

00:08 – Spring Festival Week!


Jim Awofadeju

The prop I chose for 二 was a pair of socks. One sock is on top and the other sock is on the bottom.


Ryan Smith

Location: My friend Anil’s balcony

Actor: My friend Marcos

Props: Horse & rolling stone mouth

Keyword connection: Sniffles the Looney Tune (who always asks an endless stream of questions)

Sniffles the Looney Tune is bugging Marcos with an endless stream of questions while sitting out on the balcony of Anil’s. He’s asking so many questions that he can’t keep up with them himself, so his face splits in 2 (he’s a looney tune, this is perfectly plausible) with one copy taking on the appearance of the rolling stone mouth, both mouths still asking endless questions, but now in stereo. This is way too much for Marcos to handle, so he whistles for a horse, which comes running through the balcony door. He hops on, and then horse and Marcos jump off the 13th story balcony to get away from the questioning.



I like the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz, because the prop sort of looks like a scarecrow, and “If I only had a brain!”



What balance should I have between this course and the pronunciation course? Should I finish pronunciation first, or in parallel?



I don’t have an older brother, nor does my Aunt Sharon (my xi- actor). My wife doesn’t have an older brother, I’m not an older brother, I really struggled to actually find a personal connection to this concept. However, I watched a bunch of anime when I was a kid, and in many of those, there’s “oniisan”, which isn’t always literally an older brother, but sometimes just an older, respectable classmate. In some animes, this oniisan ends up being idolized by a younger female character. So my older brother imagery is a faceless, Japanese, high school senior, who appears with an overly saturated backdrop & very melodic, romantic music, the wind blowing through his hair as though he’s some sort of god.



Character: Professor Dumbledore
Props: Texas Longhorns & stereotypical dreamy oniisan from anime

Albus Dumbledore & I are playing Settlers of Catan in my grandparent’s shower stall (clearly the cards are plastic coated to prevent getting ruined by the water we’re being soaked with). I find myself needing 2 wheat to complete my goal, so I offer to trade with Prof. Dumbledore. What does he want? He decides to go off the rail & instead of game pieces, he wants little oniisan figurines with Texas longhorns badly glued onto the top!

General comment:

Having chosen cigars at the very beginning, despite not smoking them more than once a year, I’m beginning to feel like an addict (hasn’t driven me to smoke anymore yet though, so that’s good). And now with all of the bathroom scenes my mind’s starting to get way too good at envisioning all of my actors getting soaked by a running shower.



What is the difference between yǐ and dì èr?



I’m not sure what’s the recommended way to watch these videos is, but I’ve been watching the make a movie videos right up until the scene is about to be fully described, stopping after the keyword connection, props, & location. I’m trying to make sure that I can learn from the examples, but at the same time try to come up with my own personal scene first to see where I might be able to improve my own.

Location: Bathroom of my childhood home
Actor: My Aunt Janet
Props: Megaphone & Christian cross
Keyword connection: One of those spiral bound daily planner journals

I apparently screwed up buying plane tickets home for multiple holidays, chief among them being Christmas, Easter, and my Aunt’s birthday (not a real holiday I fly home for, but makes the scene more amusing & connects better with the actor). In order to make sure I plan ahead for the next year correctly, my Aunt is yelling the dates at me through a megaphone while I scratch them into the planner with a large silver cross. Why a cross? Because I won’t be forgetting any religious holidays again if I plan ahead with them involved!



Loving the program. I really noticed how amazing it is in the car today. I was telling my fiancee about it and what I worked on today. I mentioned that I had learned gè, but then realized I couldn’t remember what it meant… I could see the character and everything… and then I was like oh yeah, Gary Oldman picked up the rainbow umbrella out of all the black ones… and bam …I remembered.



I picture roots growing UNDER ground for this one – the top stroke is the ground, the other strokes the roots below.



Phil indicated in the podcast that perhaps my choices were a bit unorthodox and I agree that for this character they were. BUT….during the course you guys have told us to trust our brains. This was the very first image I got. And hearing Christopher Walken saying, in his iconic voice, “where did you get this FROM”, has honestly worked. That is one character I have not had to review a lot and that I haven’t forgotten.

I follow you guys’ instructions to the letter and so there was a conflict: choose sort of standard props and proper associations or trust my brain that immediately made two connections?

Well, two days off means ALOT of Mandarin Blueprint Pronunciation Mastery (and a few new characters!), so I better get to my lessons!

Have a great one guys!

Chad’s sketch

28 January, 2019