16. Should You Rely on Translation to Learn 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.

00:09 – New eBooks!

Chinese Characters 101

The Hanzi Movie Method

3:52 Props!

This blog post explains the theory behind props and Chinese character components.

CHAD RESSLER ON CHARACTER #130: 走 ZǑU PICK A PROP

Philippe Petit. The famous tightrope walker featured in the documentary “Man on Wire“.

RYAN SMITH ON CHARACTER #151: 母 MǓ PICK A PROP

Prop Suggestion, similar to Mother Theresa: Mother Superior played by Maggie Smith in Sister Act

CHAD RESSLER ON CHARACTER #132: 不 BÙ PICK A PROP

I went with Dalton – Patrick Swayze’s character in the movie “Roadhouse” where he played a bouncer.

JAY ANDERSON ON CHARACTER #22: 兄 XIŌNG PICK A PROP

We already have Mouth and Human Legs (or Kid). Why a different prop when they appear together? Is it just to limit props in the future? I see the next char is 兑. So it seems like that could be Horns+Mouth+Legs as easy as Horns+Elder Brother and I’ve one fewer props to remember. (with my increasingly good memory, so that’s not really a problem ;-D )

JAY ANDERSON ON CHARACTER #20: 儿 ÉR PICK A PROP

Jack-Jack from The Incredibles. Soooo many superpowers to play with in future stories.

13:35 Actors! 

This blog post explains the theory behind actors and Pinyin Initials.

CHAD RESSLER ON CHARACTER #125: 土 TǓ CASTING CALL 41/55

Tiger Wong [Nicholas Tse’s character in the movie “Dragon Tiger Gate”]

CHAD RESSLER ON CHARACTER #126: 坐 ZUÒ CASTING CALL 42/55

Zhou Xun (Wang Longzhen’s character in the series “Day and Night”)

14:32

SIDNEY GREEN FROM EMAIL

I can’t see anything about being ‘over’ two meters long in the sentence 它有两米长。It is confusing when the translation given does not accurately reflect what is written. The same things happens in 我的小狗长大了,还长长了。Why do we need the second part of the sentence? I can’t see that it adds anything to the meaning.I know I must sound really pedantic but, when you are trying so hard to learn/acquire a language these ‘paraphrase’ type translations make things more difficult. There are a number of them I have experienced in Anki.Please don’t see this as anything more than a comment which I hope is helpful. I still think Mandarin Blueprint is the best course available!

As ever,
Sidney

Blog post: How Chinese Words Work

30:12

YARDEN IZAK ON CHARACTER #162: 太 TÀI NEW VOCABULARY UNLOCKED!

Is it also used in daylife speaking or just in books?

32:58

CHAD – FROM EMAIL

Quick question. For “bu guo” it says that is the spoken “but”.  Now, can “dan shi” also be used in spoken form? I’m fairly certain I heard “dan shi” used for “but” in the new show I’m watching.

34:50

WILLIAM EDMEADES – FROM EMAIL

Hi guys!Just a quick question regarding Memory Palaces (MPs), would it be a good idea to increase the intensity of the MP as the meaning of the word intensifies?For example, the MP for ‘hate’ be more intense than the MP for ‘dislike’.
Cheers,
William

37:43

ABIGAIL ON CHARACTER #45: 化 HUÀ MAKE A MOVIE

Why is the stroke order different for 七 here than it was in the previous character?

38:49

JULIAN LAFFEY ON CHARACTER #274: 完 WÁN MAKE A MOVIE

As if Chinese isn’t hard enough – so many homophones!

41:04

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON COMPOUND FINAL UEI (WEI): 对 DUÌ,对不对 DUÌBUDUÌ,对不起 DUÌBUQǏ

As a retail worker, I like to talk some Mandarin to my Chinese customers. Would it be acceptable to use duibuqi 对不起 when I knock something over, or if I get some product info wrong?
Or should I be using baoqian 抱歉 instead?

43:56

WILLIAM EDMEADES ON COMPOUND FINAL EI: 这个 ZHÈIGE,那个 NÈIGE,哪个 NĚIGE

Could the reason for ‘zhéi’ to be colloquial is because it sounds like a mashup of ‘zhé’ (this) and ‘yī’ (one)?
It would make sense considering that the ‘y’ in ‘yī’ is silent and it can only be used when counting as well.

45:18

GENESIS DAVAL SANTOS ON ANNY 老师 REVIEW: SIMPLE FINALS O & U (WU)

For the last part, “bu e”, why is it in 2nd tone? Even her pronunciation I think. I might be missing some rules or meaning.

Answer: Tone Sandhi Rules

46:16

JEFFREY HERZOG FROM FACEBOOK

On this card the male says “ge” higher than the first “ma” in “mama” the female says “ge” lower than the first “ma” I was wondering if it was just a regional or gender thing, and how I should pronounce it “ji ge mama?”

49:27

CHAD RESSLER ON CHARACTER #129: 在 ZÀI MAKE A MOVIE

Location: My Old Trailer (Backyard)
Actor: Billy Zane [as he appeared in the movie “Sniper”]
Props: Chuck Norris, Razor Blade, Hoe

Billy Zane has arrived at my trailer looking for a reported sniper in the area. He said he needs to search the area but is unfamiliar with the forest and needs a way to find his way back. My neighbor, Chuck Norris, hearing all the ruckus, comes outside with his razor blade as he is still shaving. We tell him the situation and, suddenly, he extends his neck while still shaving and does a quick search of the area to make sure it’s safe. He then digs a hole with a garden hoe, places the hoe in the ground with the handle sticking up, and attaches a homing beacon to it. He tells Billy Zane that he can track the signal using his phone to know where we are LOCATED AT so he can meet back up with his extraction team.

52:22

RYAN SMITH ON CHARACTER #27: 识 SHÍ MAKE A MOVIE

Scene: Kitchen of childhood home
Actor: Sean Connery
Props: Megaphone & Obi Wan Kenobi (“only” hope)

In this scene, Sean Connery is acting less like a real Sean Connery, and more as the SNL celebrity jeopardy portrayal. Obi Wan comes into the kitchen, hood up & acting mysterious. He starts to tell Sean Connery that he plans to share some of the secret knowledge of the Jedi, when Connery interrupts him to shout hi through a megaphone. Annoyed, Obi Wan tries to continue, but his overly mystical dialogue keeps getting interrupted by Connery playing with the megaphone. Eventually, Obi Wan just gets too pissed off and says “forget this, just use this for your secret knowledge”, and throws a phone with the Wikipedia app open on the kitchen counter.