Podcast Episode 191 - 8 Mistakes Chinese Learners Make

191. 8 Mistakes Chinese Learners Make

Podcast Duration: 00:52:15
191. 8 Mistakes Chinese Learners Make

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30:16 Comments & Emails

Emma Tang by Email

hey omg i’ve been unwell and missed alllll of this hahah. but obviously was completely happy to share if it helps encourage others! i’ve just read that email now and i’m literally so proud haha. 我觉得对自己很骄傲!

i’ve been carrying on and continuing on my language acquisition journey and it’s just so much fun. Listening has become one of my better skills i think it may have even overtaken reading now as i can often keep up with native speed when spoken, however my spoken(and often written) constantly has a load of mistakes but that’s to be expected and honestly just makes it more fun. 比如有一天,我讲了一个故事这个故事是个关于一个巫婆。这个巫婆坐在一个扫把,但是我其实说“这个巫婆坐在一个下巴” 让我的老师很好笑。所以我学到,如果你说错了就是没事,不要还怕,加油!

I actually have attached an update of one of your reading pieces, i didn’t read the whole thing as i didn’t want it to go on forever haha. i’ve been trying to practice x q j but i think i they’re still slightly off. anyway thank you guys so much. i couldn’t have started this or progressed like this without this course. and i repeat myself so much but honestly i never thought i could do this. what you’ve managed to create is just such an incredible shortcut and has opened up my culture and my heritage in a way i never connected to before. thank you so much and any feed back would be amazing.

thank u both!


Jay by Email

Hi Luke & Phil, and the Mandarin Blueprint Team.

I began your course while in its Beta phase. I was drawn to Mandarin, and had been trying different methods to learn the language, all of which were disappointing (does this seem like a familiar story?). I was actually going to quit Mandarin when I stumbled on your new course, and thought I’d try it out as my final attempt. I quickly realized how special the course was. At the same time, unfortunately,
I was starting a new job which limited my time, energy, and cognitive capacity. However, I was told by a friend of mine (one of those gifted linguists that are the envy of all language learners) that if I had found a method that I recognized to be right for me, don’t stop, just chip away.

Recently, my work has eased in intensity, and I’ve been able to chip away quite a lot. I just finished your Foundations Course. For someone who is a relatively stoic individual, it was actually quite emotional to reach this benchmark. For quite a long time, there has been no “light at the end of the Mandarin tunnel.”

Now, though, I see one. So I just wanted to write to say thank you. It’s been an interesting journey, and I look forward to beginning the Intermediate Course.

Thank you,



Anne Giles 🤝 on Vocab Unlocked from 规

Pausing for a moment to look in my email…

“February 16, 2021

Hey Anne,

Thank you and welcome to your 14-day free trial of The Mandarin Blueprint Method.

So many people talk about learning Chinese… but here you are actually doing it.”

That was signed by Luke.

And look at this cute sentence: “We do have 395 video lessons and 2,000+ flashcards for you to learn from.”

How many now video lessons and flashcards now, guys?!

Since I started Mandarin Blueprint, my father sickened and died with dementia, a pull-up bar failed and I’m still recovering from the concussion, and my dear friend, exactly my age, died suddenly at 63 just last month. The list of hardships for nations and the globe seems nearly infinite. And yet. Studying Mandarin Chinese has been my anchor and solace. Thanks to Christine and Rebecca telling their story about being study buddies, I found the bestest study buddy and pal George through MB on August 17, 2021, and he and I have been working together since.

Here’s Christine’s and Rebecca’s story:

1,000 characters.

Before I move on to 1,001, thank you, Luke and Phil, for this genuine invention, for this truly novel way to learn a language that defeats most who try. I am grateful for your work and grateful for your service, not just to us, but to the world.

With deep appreciation,


Andy by Email


My approach to MB is evolving. The base of my learning is constant. I do not miss reviewing flashcards and I am very particular about learning the characters well.

Beyond this, I struggle with the other elements such as words, sentences, comprehensible input such as the graded reading, ….. Take for example words. In the beginning, I was just as particular about the words as I was with the characters. Now in the intermediate level, the number of words and associated sentences starts to rapidly increase. I am now no longer as particular about the words. I will add many of the flashcards but when I review them, I will rarely press incorrect. I guess I have not figured out the best method for me for how to filter the word/sentence flashcards.

The graded reading pieces provide my comprehensible input. I try to select one piece per level to focus on. Lately, I can see this frequency perhaps might decrease. I will use the audio for passive listening. I really like learning and reviewing the characters and want to maintain a reasonable pace. I think I would be happy with 1 level every 2 weeks. My thinking is I will stick to this and adjust my time and effort on everything but the characters to maintain this. How does this plan sound to you?

I know one danger of focusing on just learning the characters and primary meanings is that many characters have multiple meanings and uses. For example 光 or 倒 or ……

FYI, I estimate that I spend upwards of an average of 2 hours per day on focused study of Chinese. This does not include passive listening and some other extras.

It’s interesting hearing the experiences of other people. I may be wrong but I always come away thinking that many of these people spend a lot more time on studying than I do.




Connor Griffith on Step 4 – Create Flashcards

I absolutely love Migaku. One of my favorite things about it is the tone color function. It makes it so easy to read smaller text with or without my glasses, especially if I’ve forgotten the tone of a word from my previous MBM studies.


Evan hall on Vocab Boost 实习 果实 真实 真正 天真 天上

I don’t get the use of 累 in this one


Ioanna Pappou on 吐 in Context

In this sentence 我的身体不舒服,很想吐。does 身体 mean body or health?


Glenys Gallagher on Craving: Make It Attractive

I can identify getting the rush …I am reading Babel by R.F.Kuang ..and it has a small Chinese thread in the story (unbeknown to me when I chose it). She occasionally puts characters in and I was so delighted to recognise a couple immediately and the meaning (before she explained it) ..it was awesome and I got very excited !!

13 December, 2022