45. Chuck Norris Starts World War Two


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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.

9:26 Props!

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

William Edmeades on Pick a Prop 士

Tombstone, relates to it’s appearance and meaning!

William Edmeades on ``Pick a Prop 豆``

A giant beanstalk

Sandy on ``Pick a Prop 首``

Cella from monsters inc

William Edmeades on ``Pick a Prop 亠 口 & 高``

高 – shaquille o’neal

William Edmeades on ``Pick a Prop 京``

Going with the idea of ‘CAPITAL punishment’, I’m choosing the electric chair

Chad Ressler on ``Pick a Prop 此``

Bobby Brown: A highly skilled singer. One of the first things that came to mind with the word ‘this’ was the line in his song Roni: “THIS is what a real tenderoni likes to do for you”.

Mel on ``Pick a Prop 午``

The cross portion looks like the hands of a clock, and then the top component could be a cowboy hat to trigger “high noon”…it’s resting on the highest part of the clock.

Sandy on ``Pick a Prop 亼``

Triangular ruler

William Edmeades on ``Pick a Prop 亠 口 & 高``

亠口 prop – Abraham Lincoln, also known for his top hat and his quotes!

William Edmeades on ``Pick a Prop 彡``


Debra Jansen on ``Pick a Prop 间``

Stopwatch for timing intervals – the drop is the button on the stopwatch

Sandy on ``Pick a Prop 重``

I went with gas cylinder

Sandy on ``Pick a Prop 角``

Seashell horn

William Edmeades on ``Pick a Prop 冬``

Jon Snow!

Chad Ressler on ``Pick a Prop 夕``

Bat. They are active in the evening.

16:52 Actors!

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

Mel on ``Casting Call r- 4/55``

David Schwimmer, “Ross”, from friends. His autograph even looks like it contains the character for “ren” too. ♪♫ ♥__♥

John Sprague on ``Casting Call fu- 34/55``

Would it be in stunning bad taste to choose Dr. Fu Manchu? I read all the Sax Rohmer books.

Xi Xi on ``Casting Call mu- 37/55``


18:51 Sets!

This blog post explains the theory behind sets and pinyin finals.

Theodore March on ``Set the Scene -OU 6/13``

I chose my in-laws apartment in GuangzhOU

Paul Tomasovic on ``MAKE A MOVIE 今 ``

How do I know or understand when or if to drop the first letter in the sets such as en, ei, or ou. For instance, when I first look at jin (today,) I didn’t realize it was the en set until I heard you say it in the video. Other examples are jiu (old) and dui (to exchange). In the video for dui you explained that because of pinyin oddities anytime we are dealing with “uei” before initials like d, you drop the “e”, or anytime we see dui, gui, or hui the set is for “ei”. How do I know when rules for dropping the first letter in sets like these?

23:52 Movies!

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

Mel on ``MAKE A MOVIE 人``

Ross (Friends) is in Heaven’s kitchen. He is pitching bananas at Jesus, who is cutting them into pieces with a samurai blade. As the pieces fly about, they turn into banana people; they grow legs, and begin to prepare a meal inside the kitchen. Reminds me of Fantasia, when Mickey turns inanimate objects into magical cleaning helpers. ♪


Mel on ``MAKE A MOVIE 从``

Long Beach Hotel…C Walken is in the hotel kitchen. He is holding two wishbones (fercula), one larger than the other. He is explaining to the chef that one wishbone is “from” a chicken, while the other is “from” a turkey. He is insisting they served him the wrong bird based on the wishbones he found in his dinner. He then stabs each wishbone into other unprepared meats on the counter, emphasizing that they are definitely not from the duck he had ordered!


Ija Amrahi on ``Make a Movie 音``

Keyword : Sound
Actor : Idina Menzel
Set : My first r(EN)tal apartment
Prop : A vase, A sun prop

After the successful return of Mary Poppins into the big screen, Idina Menzel figured out that it is probably a sound idea to start preparing for a remake of another classic movie, The Sound of Music.

She practiced in front of my first rental house and used the vase as one of her “favorite things”. She also danced with the sun prop as her “ray – a drop of golden sun”.

She then heard the sound of police cars dropping by. My neighbours claimed that she wasn’t of sound mind as she kept on saying that she wants to follow every rainbow, till she found her dream (to get back into Broadway).


Ija Amrahi on ``Make a Movie 茶``

Keyword : Tea
Actor : Charlie Chaplin
Set : My apartment in Australia
Prop : Rose, An umbrella, Maple leaf

It was a beauteaful Thirstday afternoon and what better way to spend it than to have a tea partea. Charlie Chaplin was in the kitchen of my apartment in Australia and was using his creativitea to make Chinese flowering tea by himself.

He dried some maple leaves underneath an umbrella on my kitchen floor and then used them to wrap around a rose to form a ball, which was then again, left to dry. The ball was then placed inside freshly boiled water and after 2 minutes and thirtea seconds, the tea flower came to life. It tasted tearrific!

He was surprised at the qualitea of his noveltea home-brewed tea and thought it’s probably a good idea to share it with the tea-loving communitea.


William Edmeades on ``Make a Movie 使``

Keyword: To Cause
Actor: Sean Connery
Set: Lounge of Childhood home (1930s)
Props: Chuck Norris (亻), Razor Blade (一), Hilter (史)

Hitler was a bit down in the dumps about being rejected from Art School one too many times, so he consults his long-time friend, Chuck. Chuck pats him on the head with a razor blade and reassures Hitler that if he sets his mind to something there’s no telling what he can’t achieve! Reinvigorated, Hitler leaves the room with a positive mindset. Soon after, Sean Connery bursts into the room saying “Turn on the TV!”, to which Chuck did so, only to discover a newscaster reporting live the rise of the Nazi party.

Uh oh, I think Chuck just CAUSED World War 2!

36:05 Pronunciation

Jeff Johnson on ``Anny 老师 Review: Simple Final Ü (YU)``

The umlaut U is something that I feel really needs a minimal pairs practice section. I hear a dramatically different sound between Luke and Annie.

for ‘fish’ I hear Luke saying something that sounds like ew (sometimes when I play the first lesson on umlaut u it sounds like he is saying ‘you’ for fish).
While I hear Annie saying the long E (Chinese yi).

For ‘go’ I hear Luke saying something that sounds like Chew.
While I hear Annie saying Chee.


Christian GREGOIRE on ``The Mandarin Blueprint Method Overview``

Even if not rocket science, the practical use of ANKI remains a question mark.
It would be interesting to provide a process chart about the acquisition achievements and milestones
I am ready to undertake my 5Th or so method for mandarin which is after 10 years at basic level. Could blueprint method be the 6th one or the good one?
Thanks to you guys!


Natalia Berezina on ``Make a Movie 请``

The order of the strokes here makes me wonder if it’s a Japanese character instead of Chinese. It’s strange but the writing order is not the same for many common characters in Chinese and Japanese.


John from Email

Hi lads!Greetings from sunny Germany. Having watched podcast 43 and heard your suggestions for restructuring the course, here are my thoughts (for what they are worth).Great idea. It is tempting to be able to slog away at all 592 characters in a short length of time; it is certainly possible to learn them very quickly. That’s the beauty of the Hanzi Movie Method – it really does work. I think that the individual learning paths your students take depend very much on their individual circumstances. On the one hand, for someone who maybe lives in China or perhaps even has a basic grounding in the spoken language: sure, they can go ahead and get as many characters as possible under their belts. However, for someone like me, whose only exposure to Chinese is through your course, your sample sentences seem to me to be particularly important. I may not grasp the grammatical content from the outset but by reviewing ALL the sentences in Anki and by seeing the characters and words again and again, I am seeing them in context, which is, after all, what language is about. I also see no problem in top-down words often cropping up. By the time they, in turn, are presented in a lesson, they have been encountered so often during Anki revision periods that they hardly have to be learnt: they have been absorbed already. Another point about characters and words versus sentences is: had I just learnt 500 characters (i.e. 1200 words or more) as stand-alone elements, would I be able to read and understand the stories you provide? Surely not!Yes, I understand your considerations concerning the disparity between characters, words and sentences (grammar) but surely, in the long run, they go hand in hand and can’t be seen independently of each other. After all there is no way of cutting corners; they all have to be learnt anyway. Tempting as it may be to be able learn 592 characters in 2 months, (and soon another 900 or so in 3 months), there is no substitute for continuous exposure by reading and hearing words in context: texts. I, personally don’t mind learning everything parallel. The time it takes is irrelevant. For example: the speed at which I have gone through the course so far, has been slowed somewhat since the introduction of the Conversation Connectors. But does it matter? No, because they are just one more building block to be learnt on the route to proficiency.What it boils down to, is that despite the excellent Movie Method, a fast-track way to absorb characters, I think you will be hard pressed to invent a method which teaches all other aspects of the language as easily. So, that was my twopence worth of waffle. I hope you get my drift.Once again, thanks for the great course. Keep up the good work.John

54 episodes