online chinese course podcast

121. The Two-headed (Friendly) Monster of Chinese Fluency

Podcast Duration: 00:26:52

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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.

121. The two-headed (friendly) monster of Chinese fluency

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1:07 Comments & Emails

John Nomura on BONUS: Build on What You ALREADY KNOW to Learn Chinese

I’m convinced you need a systematic mnemonic method to learn 3,000+ abstract symbols. It is working well for me. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel – albeit a long tunnel. Thank you for this great system.


Scott Mason by Community

I’m Scott, ex-New Yorker and long-term resident of Kyoto. I translate technical docs for a living. Hobbies include BJJ, DIY, and cooking. Goals for learning Chinese are to be able to meet and get to know people and learn cooking from natives (I love the Sichuan food).


Jason Pon on 米饭 in Context

I’m loving this new course structure because I now can get through a lesson much faster now (characters and words/vocab), which is an amazing feeling. But then I get to sentences and with 50 new sentences, it takes days to get through! I know there’s no way around this. It definitely changes the pacing of a level. Before, with the pacing being very consistent (character, vocab, sentence), the overall progress of a level seemed very slow and sometimes demoralizing to the extreme. But now with this pacing, there are just 2 parts: the words that can take 4-5 days depending on how many I learn a day (which is reasonable for me) and then I feel another 3-4 days just to learn all the sentences. The pacing is split, with a ‘bursty’ start (vocab) finished with a sluggish end (sentences). Anyway – just my experience thus far!


Hank Elliott on Vocab Unlocked from 师: 老师

Though I am probably nearly as old as you both put together, I still envision Luke and Phil with one body and heads gently evolving from Luke to Phil and back to Luke and back to Phil etc… My favorite teachers today!

Or a kind and gentle two-headed friendly monster or beast of Chinese fluency with Luke and Phil’s heads and wearing the robes of a professor, gradually but relentlessly yet gently shoving tons of Chinese language knowledge into my stupid little brain. The LukePhil Chinese Monster of language professor I see spilling Chinese characters all over the place like Pig Pen spreads dust!


Jason Pon on 早饭 in Context


Why is 么 used to pose the interrogative here? Shouldn’t it be 吗?


Jason Pon on 给 in Context


What usage of 起 is this? I suppose it’s either either ‘preliminary assessment’ or ‘beginning to do an action’ (as opposed to getting/waking up).



15:29 Movies! 

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

Will Raley on Make a Movie 意

KEYWORD: 意 yì Meaning
Actor: yì
Set: -Ø childhood home
Room within Set (tone): Bathroom
Prop(s): 音 (Speakers), 心 (Heart)

Make a movie:
1. yì at -Ø childhood home’s Bathroom
2. yì can hear a mysterious Heart (心) beat, and it is really loud and distracting
3. yì just cannot use the Toilet with that distracting Heart beat
4. yì gets her Speakers (音) out and blasts audio from her Speakers to counter the Heart beat
5. Soon after, A big angry floating beating Heart appears and yells at her: “What is the MEANING (意) of this?!”


Ric Santos on Make a Movie 渐

In the garage of the -an set where her car车 is parked, Jean is 渐 gradually loading box by box of water 氵bottles into her car, carefully watching the weighing 斤 scale as it 渐 gradually reaches the payload limit of her car.


Christine on Make a Movie 编

My Bi actess is outside the entrance of my -an location. She has the job of editing a new Chinese movie using a flat old fashioned chalkboard. The silk dresses worn by the actresses are especially problematic!


Nick Sims (戴燚)on Make a Movie 绍

Sean Connery (sh-) is in the bathroom at Lifetime Fitness (-ao) when what appears like an invisible woman in a silk dress (纟) and Aladdin’s Genie (召) come prancing in. Well well, Genie looks like you’ve gotten ACQUAINTED to someone new here. Sean whispers…she’s a 10 Genie! Genie gives Sean a wink, smiles, and CARRIES ON with his new date.


Georg Lohrer on Make a Movie 放

Franz Beckenbauer (f-actor) enters the bathroom of my ang-set. What’s that? The tap-dancer is taking a shower. This damned stalker has been bothering Franz for weeks. And now he’s even in his bathroom. Franz picks up the brick (方) and gives the tap-dancer a hard smack. He then grabs the bad guy and PUTS him outside on the balcony. That’s the only way you can deal with these people. LETTING them FREE and let them do whatever they want is no alternative.


Robert Carver on Make a Movie 跳

Tyra Banks (Ti) is in the bathroom at my (-ao) location, asking Zoltar (兆, the fortune teller arcade game from the Tom Hanks movie Big) to reveal her true love to her. Suddenly, Frodo (⻊) JUMPS out from behind the arcade game and stretches his arms out and grins in the universal ‘here I am!’ gesture, Tyra JUMPS in shock and then quickly JUMPS out the window, disgusted at the idea of a tall super model dating a short hobbit. Frodo tries to give chase, but the window is too high, and he can only repeatedly JUMP up and down, calling after his true love as she runs down the street and JUMPS into the first taxi she sees.


Will Raley on Make a Movie 软

KEYWORD: 软 ruǎn Soft
Actor: Ryuk (Death Note character)
Set: -an
Room within Set (tone): Living Room
Prop(s): 车 (Knight Rider), 欠 (Credit Card)

Make a movie:
1. Ryuk at -an’s Living Room
2. The furniture in the living room is not SOFT enough for Ryuk
3. Ryuk gets his Credit Card (欠) out and says out loud that he will pay to go somewhere SOFTER
4. Knight Rider (车) hears Ryuk and drives through the Living Room and opens up to him
5. Knight Rider offers Ryuk to sit inside Knight Rider and enjoy the SOFT furniture
6. Ryuk pays by Credit Card and sits relieved inside Knight Rider – it’s so SOFT (软)

5 January, 2021