79. How to Change Your Tone of Voice in Chinese

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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.

04:04 MB Has Partnered with Oral Chinese Test (OCT)

JANNAT SANAM BY EMAIL

OCT Test – https://www.octtest.org/app/affiliate/link?a=mandarinblueprint

OCT (Oral Chinese Test) aims to empower organizations and individuals around the world to achieve higher proficiency in oral Chinese through our all-in-one online testing platform. With the use of AI technology, OCT evaluates learners’Mandarin Chinese competency in school and workplace environment with high efficiency, anytime, anywhere.

The only official online oral Chinese test certified by the Confucius Institute Headquarters.

OCT is the one and only online Mandarin proficiency test certified by the Confucius Institute Headquarters. With AI technology, OCT helps evaluate learners’ Mandarin Chinese ability in school and workplace environment.Why OCT

As an international standardized oral Chinese test, OCT corresponds to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), connects seamlessly with Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK).In-depth AI Enabled AssessmentSix Dimensional EvaluationAnalytical Competency Report

7:50 Grammar Point #GW-[How-DoesWhat]-Tone-Of-Voice-副词-语气

Sentence 1:

你最好坐车。- Level 19
Nǐ zuìhǎo zuòchē.
You’d better go by bus/train.

Sentence 2:

我还是想坐飞机。- Level 14
Wǒ háishì xiǎng zuò fēijī.
I still want to go by plane.

Sentence 3:

天啊,你到底什么意思?- Level 18
Tiāna, nǐ dàodǐ shénme yìsi.
Geez, what on earth do you mean?

Sentences 4 & 5:

你们总算回来了。- Level 18
Nǐmen zǒngsuàn huílái le.
You all finally returned.

今天终于有空了。- Level 24
Jīntiān zhōngyú yǒukòng le.
I finally have free time today.

Sentence 6:

我只好同意。- Level 19
Wǒ zhǐ hǎo tóngyì.
I’ve no choice but to agree.

Sentence 7:

反正我不喜欢吃米饭。- Level 23
Fǎnzhèng wǒ bù xǐhuan chī mǐfàn.
Regardless, I don’t like to eat rice.

17:02 Rosan Finished the Course!

ROSAN BISHWAKARMA ON “LEVEL 57 COMPLETE“

Damn this feels good!!!! Thank you so much for this course, it
truly changed my life!ROSAN BISHWAKARMA BY EMAIL

Dear Luke and Phil,

Thanks again so much for what you have created! I hope you gain even more traction and really become the number one Mandarin learning resource! I am still working through some sentence cards, so I am (technically) not 100% finished – there are also the conversation connectors, but I hope to “finish” everything by the end of this month, which would mark 1.5 years of Chinese language study. The goal would be to be able to -with confidence – say that I speak “some” Chinese by the end of 2020.

Keep up the good work,

Rosan 乐山

18:40 Pronunciation Critique

ROSAN BISHWAKARMA BY EMAIL

Dear Luke and Phil,

Attached is a recording of me reading “Nighttime beauty, Daytime Witch”. Would be grad if you could give me some feedback!

Cheers,
Rosan

Transcript:

晚上他回家,刚走到家门口,他的奶奶就高兴地跑出来问他:“你什么时候找了一个这么漂亮的女朋友?” 这个男人不知道发生了什么,他和他的奶奶回了家,推开门,发现有一个长得非常好看的女人站在桌子右边。奶奶笑着说:“这位美女说你们马上就要结婚了!真是太好了!” 美女走到男人面前说:“ 我就是你白天救的那只猫,为了报答你,我会成为你的太太。但是现在我会问你一个问题,我们三天以后结婚的时候你再告诉我你的想法。“ 男人点了点头。美女又说:“我的能力不够,变成美女的样子没那么长时间。要么白天是美女,晚上不美。要么晚上是美女,白天不美。这个你来选择。” 男人说:“你这么好看,不美也比很多人都好看,不用担心。” 他的话刚说完,他发现美女变成了一个老巫婆,她不仅长得难看,而且声音很难听,并且还很臭。男人吓得坐在了地上。老巫婆问:“现在你还觉得我好看吗?”男人没说话。然后老巫婆又变回了美女,对他说:“你好好想想,我们三天后结婚见!”

23:25 Miscellaneous

TRISTAN KNOTTS BY COMMUNITY

I’ve been using Mandarin Blueprint for about a month now, and I just want to say it’s made learning Mandarin so much fun! I find myself enjoying picking ridiculous props and imagining movie scenes. Not to mention how rewarding it is to see how effective this method is. I took a year of Mandarin at university, but it just didn’t click. I was somehow supposed to learn 5 new character each day, through rote learning I guess, but within a couple of months of completing the course I had forgotten just about all of the 700+ characters that I had “learned”.  With MB I’m sometimes still in disbelief at how effective your method is at helping me understand AND retain the meaning of characters. It was the most incredible thing when I got to the coveted Character 105 and I was able to read complete Chinese sentences without Pinyin after just a few weeks.

Thank you for such an innovative and enjoyable approach to learning Mandarin. This has transformed the way I view language learning, and I cannot be more excited to continue my journey!

27:38

MÁIRE LIATH NÍ BHRÁDAIGH BY COMMUNITY

Just thought it was time to say hi. I am a bit of a language nerd. I speak English, Irish and French (although my French accent is atrocious – I learned it from books with not enough listening material, back in the eighties when my Mum and Dad wouldn’t let me have a Walkman – boo!) According to my exam results I also speak German and Russian, but hey – it’s one thing to pass an exam, it’s another thing to know the language. I have forgotten almost all my Russian, and my German is definitely clunky. Other than that I can stumble through basic conversations in a few other European languages.

I always wanted to learn Chinese – since I was about eight – since I adore the wealth of history and culture – but the courses I looked at seemed so inadequate. Right now I feel a bit like Goldilocks. After years of ‘this is too hard’, ‘this isn’t enough,’ I find myself thinking – ‘hey, this is just right.’

I work full-time, twelve hour night shifts, so my study time is far more limited than the days when not having a Walkman was my huge concern in life. Now I have bills to pay, plus I am trying to leave the country this year – find a job and a place to live, somewhere for all my books, instruments, all that good stuff. But I am going to do at least an hour of Mandarin a day – broken up into blocks, but if my previous language learning experiences are anything to go by then it’s vital I do it every day. I don’t want what I learn to go the way of my Russian (and I want a better accent than I have in French!)

27:38

MÁIRE LIATH NÍ BHRÁDAIGH BY COMMUNITY

Just thought it was time to say hi. I am a bit of a language nerd. I speak English, Irish and French (although my French accent is atrocious – I learned it from books with not enough listening material, back in the eighties when my Mum and Dad wouldn’t let me have a Walkman – boo!) According to my exam results I also speak German and Russian, but hey – it’s one thing to pass an exam, it’s another thing to know the language. I have forgotten almost all my Russian, and my German is definitely clunky. Other than that I can stumble through basic conversations in a few other European languages.

I always wanted to learn Chinese – since I was about eight – since I adore the wealth of history and culture – but the courses I looked at seemed so inadequate. Right now I feel a bit like Goldilocks. After years of ‘this is too hard’, ‘this isn’t enough,’ I find myself thinking – ‘hey, this is just right.’

I work full-time, twelve hour night shifts, so my study time is far more limited than the days when not having a Walkman was my huge concern in life. Now I have bills to pay, plus I am trying to leave the country this year – find a job and a place to live, somewhere for all my books, instruments, all that good stuff. But I am going to do at least an hour of Mandarin a day – broken up into blocks, but if my previous language learning experiences are anything to go by then it’s vital I do it every day. I don’t want what I learn to go the way of my Russian (and I want a better accent than I have in French!)

It is going to take me time, my brain is more tired than it used to be and I learn slower (what I would give for a good night’s sleep) but fortunately this isn’t a race. This looks like a supportive community, the curriculum looks amazing, and I am planning to enjoy the journey.

It is going to take me time, my brain is more tired than it used to be and I learn slower (what I would give for a good night’s sleep) but fortunately this isn’t a race. This looks like a supportive community, the curriculum looks amazing, and I am planning to enjoy the journey.

31:28

MARY LEA BY EMAIL

Just to let you know, I finally got it working! You have a most supportive community, I am very impressed with how helpful the other members were, as well as yourselves.

Now that it is working I am making solid progress learning, and this despite the fact I ended up in hospital unexpectedly. I am amazed at how much I remember. Not just the sound and meaning of the words, but the actual writing. Orally I have always been good at language (although Mandarin is trickier than others I have learned) but I seriously never expected to be able to write it. Yet here I am, learning and retaining. I have decided to take some formal exams later on in the course, and if I pass I will let you know so you can gain credit.

Honestly, I am so happy with this. It’s amazing.

32:57

AARON NAGASAKA ON“SIMPLE FINAL A QUIZ“

I love how this is taught though a foreign perspective. So
helpful!

34:44

PETTERI NAKAMURA ON“MAKE A MOVIE 贝“

These are the original radicals for this character before the
simplification 貝 -> 贝. But since we are learning the
simplified characters, I think I’m going to go with Abigail’s
idea too. The same thing is going to happen at least with 見 ->
见 so I think 冂 merits to be it’s own prop for this reason too.

35:54

RICK ANGLELAND ON“ANKI DECK(S) INSIDE – REQUIRED: ANOTHER SRS LEVEL-UP!“

The grammar building decks work through reading. Listening is a
separate and different skill. Is there a reason why you don’t
also offer this material via audio?
The GB decks use Anki cloze and so can’t be easily modified to
provide an alternative experience of listening, but I am thinking
of copying them all onto a new set of cards with audio only on
the front. I’m not sure if the top-down words might be a problem,
but I could use Morphman to filter out sentences with all-known
words.

41:42

RICK ANGLELAND ON“IT’S A WORD! 生“

re Usage 2 – ” raw, uncooked”:
In Japanese this character can mean “fresh” as in not rotten.
Also in Chinese?

42:38

MÁIRE LIATH NÍ BHRÁDAIGH ON“SEAN CONNERY’S RAZOR BLADE BOWLING!“

My first thought was ‘oh God, what????’ But having made a few of
these now they’re remarkable. It’s been less than a week and all
sorts has been going on, but the words I have learnt have
actually stayed in my head – tones, meanings and symbols. I am
really surprised, but at least for me it has got easier. Hope so
for you too.

43:24

GEO KERSEY ON“ “TOUGHER“ INITIALS EXPLANATION“

Even as a somewhat native speaker re: pronunciation, my Mandarin
has always been very crisp and clear. This video has done an
excellent job of explaining to me in which ways my pronunciation
could be more native and natural. I’ll pay more attention to my
aspiration in the future! Thanks!

44:21

REBECCA WHEBLE ON“BONUS GP: GW-`{`HOW-DOESWHAT`}`-HOW-OFTEN-副词-频率“

This was great. Do you plan to make these grammar lessons into
PDFs?

45:04

S RADI ON“YOU DID IT!!!“

Thanks guys.
That was a fulfilling 3 weeks…. and now Mandarin is not that
strange anymore.

45:48

TIMOTHY FILSON ON“(BONUS) THE LANGUAGE LEARNING TRIPOD: ATTITUDE“

These are great tips and I completely understand the “Cultural
Ego” after having visited many other countries outside of my home
in the USA. Thanks.

48:33

IJA ON“VOCAB UNLOCKED FROM 彩“

Another interesting but not common-enough word – 彩票 (HSK 6)

Brightly coloured ticket ~~

(a.k.a lottery ticket)

50:28

JEFF BRYANT ON“PROBLEM INITIAL SH: 十 SHÍ & 是 SHÌ“

I’m so impressed with the attention to nuance in pronunciation
in this course. I’ve studied mandarin before and never had such
precise, clear instructions, fantastic

50:59

IJA ON“3. DON T TRY TO FIGURE OUT CHINESE LEARNING ON YOUR OWN“

1:06

Luke : .. All these words in my head… it was going quite well..

Me : 26k words on LingQ WHOA!

52:11

YASMIN GUENDOUZI ON“PICK A PROP 𠂉“

I keep imagining a crutch. I know a fair few people who have
used them over the years and this looks like them pointing the
crutch at me. Is that ok?

52:50

MÁIRE LIATH NÍ BHRÁDAIGH ON“CASTING CALL WU- 7/55“

Oh, hey – my fictional characters can be either male or female?
Coolio!

53:35

TRISTAN KNOTTS ON“NEW VOCABULARY UNLOCKED! 下来“

In regard to sentences, you mentioned in this video that if you
understand it to just press “correct”. Well, the options
available to press are “Hard”, “Good”, and “Easy”. For most
sentences I typically will press Good (probably >90%), but
should I be selecting Hard for more sentences? I understand this
changes the interval at which you will see the card, but will
pressing Hard too often just create an overwhelming backlog of
cards to review overtime?

55:53

RAMO CATA ON“NEW VOCABULARY UNLOCKED! 运气“

Btw 运气 !
How do you wish someone “good luck”? Any connection to 运气 ?
Thank you! 🙂

Answer: 祝你好运 zhù nǐ hǎo yùn

祝 – “wish”
你 – “you”
好 – “good”
运 – “luck”

56:37

MÁIRE LIATH NÍ BHRÁDAIGH ON“SIMPLE FINAL E: 渴 KĚ,她渴了 TĀ KĚLE,可乐 KĚLÈ,喝可乐 HĒ KĚLÈ“

I am definitely going to be coming back to these, because even
though I am understanding and hearing the sounds and tones my
larynx is not quite used to the excercise! Getting better, but –
lets just say, I have a way to go. Like you said at the start,
it’s better to learn good habits at the start. I don’t want to
spend my Chinese speaking life with a terrible accent! I made
that mistake in French, and after thirty odd years I suspect I’m
doomed.

So, am I okay to do these regularly as I progress through the
rest of the fundamental course? I am trying to divide my time up
profitably.

57:51

MÁIRE LIATH NÍ BHRÁDAIGH ON“BONUS: NONE OF US ARE “BAD AT LANGUAGES“ – WORK WITH YOUR BRAIN“

I tell people this ALL THE TIME. Nobody is bad at languages,
unless they genuinely cannot speak a language at all. Was it you
guys who said we are language learning machines, or was that
someone else? Never mind, whoever said it, it’s true. Our whole
brains are geared to functioning through language. There would be
no society without language, you use language every day. The
trick is to realise that anyone who uses language on a daily
basis still has the ‘language’ app in their brain turned on.
There are ways to improve your confidence and hack your skills to
learn faster, and I can see already this course is great for that
– but seriously. People, if you are reading this you are a
linguist. English is a difficult language (don’t get me started
on the spelling!) If you can manage English you can master
ANYTHING.

59:15

KATHLEEN GANS ON“BONUS GP: GW-`{`HOW-DOESWHAT`}`-IN-WHAT-RANGE-副词-范围“

Thanks for adding the Grammar Point videos! It’s given me a
better understanding of not only the words used but also how
these sentences are structured (adverb before verb) which wasn’t
obvious to me before.

59:49

RAMO CATA ON“NEW VOCABULARY UNLOCKED! 椅子“

我坐这把大椅子,我的儿子坐这把小椅子.
Hi guys, sorry, I’m still new to grammar stuff, but no 的 ?
…大的 椅子 or ….小的 椅子?
Thank you! 🙂

1:01:01

MICHAEL ROTCHFORD ON“IT’S A WORD! 牛“

这头牛很肥。This cow is very fat.
Is 头 a measure word for cow?
This (head cow cow’s head?) is very fat.

1:02:13 Movies! 

This blog post explains the theory behind Movie Scenes and learning characters.MÁIRE LIATH NÍ BHRÁDAIGH ON“MAKE A MOVIE 从“

Tony Craig is behind the bar at Roartie’s. He’s pretty tall, he
looms over the regular bar guy! He’s also very smart in a snazzy
suit, serving customers (mainly female and gazing at him
adoringly.)

All of a sudden two ballroom dancers spin in through the front
door, bringing a flurry of rain and cold air in with them. They
undulate their way across the floor, totally oblivious of the
astonished regulars. Although it’s normal for folks to be dancing
at Roartie’s these guys stick out like a sore thumb, what with
the Strictly Come Dancing type glittery costumes on them and the
solemn look of concentration on their faces, indicating as it
does a complete absence of craic. Everyone stops their singing
and fiddle playing. All you can hear is the wind outside knocking
on the window and the ocean in the distance. The couple take one
last convoluted turn around the tables then dance back out the
door which conveniently opens to let them out, then slams shut
behind them. (Even the door knows they don’t fit in.)

We’re all left speechless (innan Irish pub, no less) with looks
of comic disbelief on our faces. Then, Tony Craig breaks the
silence with what we’re all thinking. ‘Where the hell did *they*
come from?’

1:05:26

KIKA BISOGNO ON“MAKE A MOVIE 吐“

(Tou)louse comes to the LIVING ROOM, asking for help. His MOUTH
is swollen and dirty. He’s so badly hurt that he is SPITTING his
own teeth. He crashed his CROSS DIRT BIKE and landed face down,
practically eating the ground. The sight is so gross; it makes me
want to throw up.

1:06:30

KIKA BISOGNO ON“MAKE A MOVIE 肚“

When there is a full MOON, Donald (Du)ck doesn’t like riding his
CROSS DIRT BIKE. He says the lunar gravitational pull twists the
flesh of his BELLY and makes it hurt. Since he doesn’t wear
trousers, he’s self-conscious about soiling himself before
finding a public BATHROOM.

1:07:43

DOM THOMSON ON“MAKE A MOVIE 体“

Mother Teresa is demonstrating BODYbuilding poses in the bedroom
of my childhood home.

She’s absolutely ripped and is wearing a bikini, heels, and lots
of fake tan.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is furiously sketching in his NOTEBOOK.

1:08:31

DOM THOMSON ON“MAKE A MOVIE 桌“

I found this combination (soap dispenser, razor blade, tree)
easier to imagine. I could figure out how to get the wand above
the sun with the other set of props!

Jigglypuff is on top of a palm tree outside my office, furiously
washing their hands using the soap dispenser. The soap is coming
out very slowly so they cut open the dispenser with a razor
blade. Soap now gushes out and they slip right off the tree,
rolling along the ground, clattering into a TABLE, and breaking
it into pieces.

1:09:52

DOM THOMSON ON“MAKE A MOVIE 禾”

Alexander Hamilton (h-) is in the kitchen of the Elsby’s home
(-e).

As he wrote in Federalist #31: “A healthy breakfast is the
foundation of a healthy government.”

He uses a samurai sword to slice a coconut off the top of a palm
tree. He then adds the coconut milk to his WHOLE GRAIN cereal.

1:10:55

MICHAEL ROTCHFORD ON“MAKE A MOVIE 球“

Elvis 王 is headlining at the snowflake 求 BALL. ChiChi (Qi) is in
the kitchen of my ou set polishing a disco BALL singing “I’ve got
the whole world in my hands”.

1:11:42

KIKA BISOGNO ON“MAKE A MOVIE 起“

(Qi-Chi)quinquirá is taking a nap on the LIVING ROOM sofa. All
of a sudden, she sees a strange creature RISING from the floor.
It is an all-terrain AT-ST WALKER traversing the house on
mechanical legs on a reconnaissance mission looking for the
mighty SELF-EATING SNAKE that wants to destroy the world.

1:12:34

KIKA BISOGNO ON“MAKE A MOVIE 还“

(H)enry VIII is attending a gala at the Vers(ai)lle palace. He’s
looking dandy with his designer smoking tuxedo but when he
reaches the HALLWAY, he stops, turns around and rushes back to
his hotel to change. He knows that if he hurries he can STILL
arrive on time. He quickly changes into a heavily starched shirt
with pleated ruffs on the collar and frills at the wrists. Over
that, he wears a crimson jacket covered with gems and
close-fitting striped trousers. He rushes back to the palace but
as he steps on the RED CARPET two bouncers stop him “ Hey old
man, where do you think you’re going? This is a very elegant gala
and you look like a clown! You can’t come in looking like that!”.
Very upset, Henry VIII replies “ Then why do you have a NO
SMOKING SIGN out there? That’s exactly what I was wearing and I
had to go back and change! This is why I never trusted french
people”

1:14:08

MICHAEL ROTCHFORD ON“MAKE A MOVIE 青“

ChiChi pulls up at midnight out back of my eng yard in a car
with the headlights off. She quickly jumps out of the car and
rushes up to a hay bale 龶 and digs a little underneath it to get
at a secret cache of magic blue/green moon月 shine marked CYAN ide
and leaves her payment of a small sack of sapphires and emeralds.
She hurriedly darts back to her car and races off sans lights
into the darkness.

1:15:09

MICHAEL ROTCHFORD ON“MAKE A MOVIE 请“

ChiChi (qi) comes stomping into Harry Potters (eng) bedroom
demanding he turn over a magical potion. She sticks out her hand
with a small bag of jewels with a haughty smile to pay for it at
which Harry jumps off his bed, grabs a megaphone and sticks it in
her face and yells, “what’s the magic word”?!!!

(hope everyone knows that it is PLEASE)

1:15:48

MICHAEL ROTCHFORD ON“MAKE A MOVIE 重“

I am very lucky. I have a granddaughter in kindergarten and who
better to come up with a connection between 1000 island dressing,
desktop computer, heavy, once more and one character with 2
meanings in a way I can easily remember.

Thank you my Hannah!

George Washington(zh-), Dorm (-ong), bathroom. HEAVY
Charlie(ch-), Dorm(-ong), Kitchen. ONCE MORE

George is in the bathroom lifting HEAVY (desktops) high
Charlie’s in the kitchen making (1000 island dressing) pie.
ONCE MORE, I say REPEATING, dressing on a pie?
Well Charlie is a (dumbbell) and that’s the reason why.

My Hannah is better at making movies than I am.