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.
John by Email
Thank you so much for your interesting email and your story. I have subscribed to your course and would like to learn from it. I’ve been using your pronunciation lessons in the past, but never finished. I will continue my course in Chinese for very special reasons. I have always believed that teaching has been simplified and most people will find them difficult to understand. As you know, Chinese is difficult to learn because most people who try to teach Chinese do not understand how the brain works.
I want to achieve the goal of speaking Chinese, because being able to speak Chinese fluently is my lifelong goal.
I have been a fan of Bruce Lee since I was very young. Although I have never tried to learn Cantonese or Mandarin, I have been a martial arts participant or practitioner for many years. I continue’t have many Chinese friends in the United States, but I do have a lot of Chinese friends on the Internet, and our speech was very interesting. In most cases, I usually teach them to speak English instead of learning Chinese from them. One of the problems was due to the tones, I encountered many problems when communicating or every three words were incorrect. Therefore, I think you are the best choice for me to learn Chinese, and I will trust you.
Let’s start doing this together!
Rebecca by Email
I found the new grammar portion to the podcast extremely useful. MB is my only Mandarin instruction so I’m not getting my grammar anywhere else. This morning I had been investigating guo4 because I had been confused about it, and I’ve been thinking that I needed to investigate bu4 and mei2 because I didn’t understand when one was used over the other. I’m going to go back and re-listen and write notes.
Tyson by Email
Every once in a while some of my author friends float me texts to correct before publication. I have an eye and an ear for what sounds right. What’s strange is that I can’t stand grammar and my head gets muddled when Chinese teachers fill up the boards with more and more grammar patterns and rules. I totally ignored English grammar as a student because I was just a rebellious kid who had planned on being a professional skateboarder. Trying to get to Chinese fluency through relearning English grammar and principles and applying them to ideas like Stative Verbs, Auxiliary Verbs, Directional Compounds, etc., is just too much. This is why I appreciate the idea of Comprehensible input and spaced repetition. Only if I hear something repeated enough times in a certain context does it “stick” and can then I get an unconscious feel for it.
If I ever get out to your part of China (I’ve never been so far to the west) I’ll pay y’all a visit.
Kathleen on (BONUS) How to Find & Fix Pronunciation Problems
Thanks for mentioning the recording option in desktop Anki. I
completely missed it since I use mainly the mobile app, which
does not have this option.
Jay a on New Vocabulary Unlocked! 安全
Got it. Thanks!
Is this not the best Chinese course with the best instructors?!
Rick Angleland on (BONUS) Dialect Problems
I haven’t heard the wei-> vei variant, but I’m wondering if
the sound might be a bilabial v rather than the labiodental v in
English? That would make more sense as a variant on the standard
pronunciation i.e. converting the bilabial semivowel w into a
Rick Angleland on (BONUS) Dialect Problems
When you mention northern or southern variations of Mandarin,
roughly what regions are covered in each? (I originally thought
northern and southern China but of course there are different
dialect/languages in the south).
19:36 -- Course Updates
This blog post explains the theory behind Movie Scenes and learning characters.
Lukas Chin on Make a Movie 们
Bruce Lee and my friend Max are standing on top of my EN set
roof. There is a large door between them. My friend Max who is
very into magic announces to everyone that they are going to do a
magic trick. As he saying this Bruce Lee is flexing his muscles
stretching like a cat getting ready. Then at the same time Max
and Bruce Lee run through the doors and come out the other side
but now there are two Maxes and two Bruce Lees. They do it again
and now there are four of each of them. They repeat this a bunch
more times until there are so many Maxes and so many Bruce Lees
that they are starting to fall off the roof. A few of them fall
off and die.
John Grist on Make a Movie 土
Thor sitting on the bed having a shave with razor blade. there
is a clap of thunder. It frightens him and he SOILS the bed. he
looks to the crucifix for help.
Deborah Driscoll on Make a Movie 机
My Ji actress is outside my childhood home trying to get in but
the way is blocked by a giant tree. No problem, she takes out a
small caterpillar (Ji3 prop) and puts it on the tree. It quickly
munches away at the tree until all that is left is an amazing
machine, made up of wooden cogs. These start to turn slowly as
the tree machine starts up, making a mechanical Ji Ji Ji Ji like
sound. Quickly they gain momentum and spin like crazy, causing
the front door to fling wide open and my actor walks in.
Jay a on Make a Movie 能
NEIL PATRICK HARRIS (n-)
in CAFETERIA (kitchen) of my -ENG set with
POPEYE (厶) and
MAC TONIGHT (月, an anthropomorphic crescent moon from old
The three are having a talent contest challenge to show what they
can do with TWO LADLES. Neil (a noted amateur magician) has the
ABILITY to make the disappear one at a time; Popeye has the
ABILITY to juggle them, by blowing them out of the bowl of his
pipe; Mac uses them in his ABILITY to play xylophone.
Jack on Make a Movie 记
soundtrack: Nana Mouskouri/Try to remember
Ji character sings this on the mic in the bathroom and the snake
slithers up the mic and joins in singing the S part
This blog post explains the theory behind actors and Pinyin Initials.
Jack on Casting Call zu- 42/55
This blog post explains the theory behind props and Chinese character components.
Mateusz Strzelecki on Pick a Prop 少
The Northern White Rhinoceros because there is only A FEW of
them left (if any…)
William Edmeades on Pick a Prop 永
永 “Eternal” -- (a bit more technical) could even be a giant atom,
as they can’t be created or destroyed -- and so are ‘eternal’ 🙂
Kent Broeckelman on Pick a Prop 云
In Spanish, my friend Claudia is pronounced “Cloud-ee-ah”, so I
assume a Claude would be pronounce “Cloud”, which is how I came
up with Claude Monet the painter, who often painted clouds in his
paintings. You could also use Claude from many different video
games as well.
Oliver Morris on ”Pick a Prop 兆“
maybe the brief case in pulp fiction that they look into glowing
millions in it but also a bad omen for the rest of the movie?
Clayton Lee on Pick a Prop 执
Pepe Le Pew -- Very persistent