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Phil Crimmins

It Only Took 3 Years! The Mandarin Blueprint Method is Ready

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dtrend

re: "

Well that sums it all up for me. if you don't care why should I. 

 

With friends like this...................." 

 

But then Shelley you will never see beyond the veil.  Enough said.
"When a thing is said to be not worth refuting you may be sure that either it is flagrantly stupid - in which case all comment is superfluous - or it is something formidable, the very crux of the problem." PBShelley
 

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Shelley

I was commenting on the dismiss nature of the comment  "Ahh, credibility, schmedibility!! Oy vey! 哎呀! (Āiyā)  !!!!!  😄"    and not on your course/method and that I didn't think it did you any favours in promoting your product. 

 

As with all these products/courses/methods they will be the perfect fit for some people, language learning does not have a one solution fits all.

Just because its not for all/me doesn't mean it is not with merit.

 

 

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imron
9 hours ago, Phil Crimmins said:

Yeah, Luke's an inspiration, very lucky to be working with him

From time to time, we get people coming through here promoting their methods for learning Chinese, and without naming names, more than a few have less than stellar Chinese.

 

It's refreshing to see something where that does not appear to be case.

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anonymoose
On 3/11/2019 at 5:34 AM, Phil Crimmins said:

In short, Luke’s pronunciation is outstanding (mine isn’t bad either, but it’s because I got so much great advice from Luke)

 

17 hours ago, Phil Crimmins said:

 

Credit where it's due - his pronunciation is very good, and his fluency is undoubtedly better than the majority of foreigners learning Chinese.

 

Nevertheless, he also makes mistakes. At 3:43 in the video you provided a link to, he pronounces 不断 as bǔduān.

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Moshen

Well, you asked for feedback, so I will tell you that this course is SO not for me.

When I first learned Chinese many years ago, I spent three months learning conversational Chinese before I went to work in China for a year. I could carry on a practical conversation from the day I arrived and got much better throughout the year I was there. It was 6 months before I learned to read any characters at all.

To me, your method seems like a horrible slog. I would be discouraged from the start.

Of course I am not saying you need to change anything. There probably are some people who enjoy learning to read first. The world can use more methods for learning so everyone can choose the one that's best for them. It's just that it's more than mildly annoying to see someone come on here with a self-proclaimed revolutionary method as if it's the method that everyone, just everyone has been waiting for.

It's not for everyone. Admit it!

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艾墨本
59 minutes ago, anonymoose said:

 

Got so excited about how amazing his pronunciation is, listened to it with my pronunciation tutor. Props are, indeed, due. Great job! My teacher did point that your fourth tones are going all the way to the end. Coincidentally, this is also a problem I have and am working on. Hoping my pronunciation can get to where yours is at by the end of the year.

 

To me, the biggest "pro" of this method is that it is comprehensive. It's not another half-baked attempt at producing an under-researched method from a speaker who over-estimates their ability.

 

United States Peace Corps (or 美中友好志愿者) does their training at 川大. I've sent your method to their teaching manager.

 

@Phil Crimmins Any plans on hitting the advanced students? Resources for low-level students are growing rapidly while resources for high-level students remain scarce.

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Phil Crimmins
9 hours ago, mouse said:

If you say these people are genuine then fair enough. Did you delete the blog post? I'd suggest that you should avoid deleting content such as the blog post and that comment on reddit. Like getting people to spam for you (even if they're genuine), it only hurts you in the long run by making you look dodgy. Trustworthiness is crucial for a subscription website. 

 

I'm a little confused about what you mean here. Which blog post? I think maybe you are referring to the screenshots I sent above, but those aren't representative of a blog post, but rather announcements for people on the video course. We haven't deleted anything. 

 

9 hours ago, mouse said:

I think the character side of the operation is weak however. Breaking down a character like 乙 into 一 and 乚 adds unnecessary extra information onto an already extremely simple character. 

 

Couple things, I wonder if you watched the three videos we associate with this character? Focusing in on an individual character and whether or not we should have put this much into a simple character fails to recognize that people at this point in the course are still learning the mnemonic visualization method. The criticism you levied is valid if you only focus on the character itself (and I agree with you, we had to improvise for a way to make such a simple character still fit the system), but that assumes that mastering this individual character is the only goal at that particular moment in the curriculum, which it isn't. I appreciate the critical eye for detail, truly. However, I would respectfully suggest that the lens is merely too focused on the details without seeing how those details fit in the larger context.

 

10 hours ago, mouse said:

As a side note, it shouldn't take me 15 minutes to open a blog post; you need to slim down your website. I'm sure this latter issue is just teething problems though.

 

Yeah, you put it perfectly and we were actually already working on it before we made this post. We're not knowledgable around tech, so as you say, it's definitely a teething problem :D,

3 hours ago, Shelley said:

I was commenting on the dismiss nature of the comment  "Ahh, credibility, schmedibility!! Oy vey! 哎呀! (Āiyā)  !!!!!  😄"    and not on your course/method and that I didn't think it did you any favours in promoting your product. 

 

This is not dTrend's product, it's mine and Luke Neale's. 

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Phil Crimmins
2 hours ago, Moshen said:

There probably are some people who enjoy learning to read first. The world can use more methods for learning so everyone can choose the one that's best for them. It's just that it's more than mildly annoying to see someone come on here with a self-proclaimed revolutionary method as if it's the method that everyone, just everyone has been waiting for.

It's not for everyone. Admit it!

 

It's not for everyone. That's not difficult to admit at all because I never claimed it, nor did I ever say that everyone has been waiting for this method. We are striving to make this curriculum the best for the most people possible, but there will always be exceptions. We've been working on this project for over three years after we passed the HSK 6 in two years of study and wanted to share how we did it. This post is meant to tell you guys about it, as you're more likely to be interested than people on a sky-diving forum. Any further interpretation is your speculation and was never my intent with this post.

 

In defense of the underlying pedagogy of the course, reading is incredibly useful for acquiring language. Mandarin Chinese has a LOT of homophones, so reaching higher levels without a high reading level makes acquisition considerably more challenging. If you want to learn to read, 字为本 is the best way to go because characters have the most fractal-like connections to new facts about the language. Hence, the course treats characters as the guiding compass for the linear sequence of the course and fans out from there.

 

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Moshen

>>In defense of the underlying pedagogy of the course, reading is incredibly useful for acquiring language.<<

I disagree strongly with that contention.

It depends completely on what you want to do with the language.

I took a German reading course in summer school just before graduate school. At the end of 6 weeks, having started from scratch, I was able to comprehend a passage from Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and another one from Karl Marx's Das Kapital, which are both notoriously difficult works. However, I could not put together a simple sentence of German conversation. Had I spent the same amount of time in a conversational German course, I would not have been able to tackle Kant or Marx, but I would have been able to order a taxi or ask for change for my 10 Euro bill.

Reading does not necessarily help one speak a language, and conversational ability does not necessarily help one with the written language.

Right now I am catching up on being able to read Chinese because I want to be able to read the Chinese news, not because I want to improve my conversational ability. They are distinct.

It's fine to combine all the elements of a language in one's teaching, but to claim that reading is fundamental in some way is really cockeyed, in my opinion.

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Phil Crimmins
3 hours ago, imron said:

From time to time, we get people coming through here promoting their methods for learning Chinese, and without naming names, more than a few have less than stellar Chinese.

 

It's refreshing to see something where that does not appear to be case.

 

Thank you. This experience of posting here and on Reddit has been pretty wild. Because I've been living in China since 2011, I kind of scrapped western social media. Stopped using Twitter, only have a Facebook account for the occasional contact with my family, and so I can have an account to connect to our Mandarin Blueprint page, and I haven't used Reddit until now. I used to post on philosophy forums back in 2008 or so, but it's been a long time. As a result, my experience of people online has been extraordinarily positive. The Chinese people on WeChat and Weibo (with very few exceptions...I think three over 8 years) are super polite. I forgot how...erm...blunt people sometimes are on the western platforms.

 

Overall, I think it's a good thing that whips us into shape, but boy did I have trouble sleeping last night. We're genuinely trying to create something that helps people learn Chinese in a faster and more relaxed way, and our love for what we do and the people who have benefited from it can cause skepticism of our motivations to feel quite sharp. When people say we're "spamming" or there are "red flags" suggesting that other people's posts are secretly us writing glowing reviews for ourselves it makes me sick to my stomach, because I would never do that. In the same breath, I understand it and don't begrudge anyone their skepticism. Skin-thickening begins now!

 

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Phil Crimmins
3 hours ago, 艾墨本 said:

United States Peace Corps (or 美中友好志愿者) does their training at 川大. I've sent your method to their teaching manager.

 

Wow, thank you!

 

3 hours ago, 艾墨本 said:

Any plans on hitting the advanced students? Resources for low-level students are growing rapidly while resources for high-level students remain scarce.

Quote

pon00050 Also asked: I am curious. Will you guys also provide a separate course that teaches the advanced stuff?

 

Yes, we're working on it presently. Next stage will go to higher level characters and we're super excited to have 游黎老师 from 川大 shoot some videos about characters. The man's a legend, absolutely LOVED his classes at the university (one of the very few teachers I liked). Advanced learners will enjoy it immensely. It's a big project, but we'll let you know when it's ready.

 

19 minutes ago, Moshen said:

Reading does not necessarily help one speak a language, and conversational ability does not necessarily help one with the written language.

 

Yeah, I mean, almost anything doesn't necessarily help with the other, but here's an argument for how reading can help speaking from our podcast:

 

https://youtu.be/Wy0Wbi_EAes?t=3064

 

 

Edited by Phil Crimmins
Wanted to inform pon00050 that this is where I answered his/her question

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Flickserve
32 minutes ago, Phil Crimmins said:

 

Overall, I think it's a good thing that whips us into shape, but boy did I have trouble sleeping last night. We're genuinely trying to create something that helps people learn Chinese in a faster and more relaxed way, and our love for what we do and the people who have benefited from it can cause skepticism of our motivations to feel quite sharp. When people say we're "spamming" or there are "red flags" suggesting that other people's posts are secretly us writing glowing reviews for ourselves it makes me sick to my stomach, because I would never do that. In the same breath, I understand it and don't begrudge anyone their skepticism. Skin-thickening begins now

 

 

I think people like balanced arguments to weigh things up and therefore credibility will improve. When reviews are written in a too-good-to -be-true fashion from one off posters, skepticism starts to develop.

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dtrend

Shelley

  • Shelley

"I was commenting on the dismiss nature of the comment  "Ahh, credibility, schmedibility!! )  !!!!!  😄"    and not on your course/method and that I didn't think it did you any favours in promoting your product. 

 

As with all these products/courses/methods they will be the perfect fit for some people, language learning does not have a one solution fits all.

Just because its not for all/me doesn't mean it is not with merit."

 

Oy vey! 哎呀! (Āiyā) ....  for the record Shelley,  the thing you said  ain't worth refuting ... (and it's not because it's a formidable construct).  May I encourage you to be reasonable and imaginative at the same time? Too hard to juggle those 2 things you say? Nay,  you  can do it. I believe you to be eminently capable. Don't tell me you can't!  Try son (or lassie as the case may be)!   227 years and it's all dissipated?  No!  Hell no!  What would Percy say? "Reason respects the differences, and imagination the similitudes of things." Percy Bysshe Shelly.
 

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Moshen

>>We're genuinely trying to create something that helps people learn Chinese in a faster and more relaxed way, and our love for what we do and the people who have benefited from it can cause skepticism of our motivations to feel quite sharp. When people say we're "spamming" or there are "red flags" suggesting that other people's posts are secretly us writing glowing reviews for ourselves it makes me sick to my stomach, because I would never do that.<<

From a marketing point of view, it would have been far more effective to put the wildly enthusiastic testimonials on your own website rather than ask your fans to come here and post their enthusiasm. I don't believe anyone would have looked askance at that. Likewise, it would have been fine for you to mention that there are user testimonials on your website.

There's a communication strategy lesson here for anyone who wants a takeaway. I'm not sure it has anything to do with politeness or bluntness.

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Phil Crimmins
11 minutes ago, Moshen said:

From a marketing point of view, it would have been far more effective to put the wildly enthusiastic testimonials on your own website rather than ask your fans to come here and post their enthusiasm. I don't believe anyone would have looked askance at that. Likewise, it would have been fine for you to mention that there are user testimonials on your website.

There's a communication strategy lesson here for anyone who wants a takeaway. I'm not sure it has anything to do with politeness or bluntness.

 

Agreed, we missed the mark on that one. Thanks for the feedback.

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mouse
2 hours ago, Phil Crimmins said:

I'm a little confused about what you mean here. Which blog post? I think maybe you are referring to the screenshots I sent above, but those aren't representative of a blog post, but rather announcements for people on the video course. We haven't deleted anything. 

 

 

I was referring to your "A Quick Favor for Luke & Phil" post, which I couldn't find, so assumed you deleted it. Maybe it was an email though, in which case, my apologies. It's not true that you haven't deleted anything though. You deleted this comment on reddit where you suggested someone might have the condition Aphantasia.

 

2 hours ago, Phil Crimmins said:

Couple things, I wonder if you watched the three videos we associate with this character? Focusing in on an individual character and whether or not we should have put this much into a simple character fails to recognize that people at this point in the course are still learning the mnemonic visualization method. The criticism you levied is valid if you only focus on the character itself (and I agree with you, we had to improvise for a way to make such a simple character still fit the system), but that assumes that mastering this individual character is the only goal at that particular moment in the curriculum, which it isn't. I appreciate the critical eye for detail, truly. However, I would respectfully suggest that the lens is merely too focused on the details without seeing how those details fit in the larger context.

 

 

Your method is basically Heisig, and I'm not the first person to point out that Heisig overburdens the learner with unnecessary and often irrelevant information. Also I think it matters if you tell people that 乙 originally meant 'a swallow' when that's not correct. I understand you want to have 乙 in order to say 乞 is made of 𠂉 and 乙 and so on. But for me, piling on the layers of superfluous meaning — a loser plus swallow which is a female actor etc etc — is my main problem with this approach. The fact that you say inaccurate things about Chinese characters is separate problem.

 

1 hour ago, Phil Crimmins said:

When people say we're "spamming" or there are "red flags" suggesting that other people's posts are secretly us writing glowing reviews for ourselves it makes me sick to my stomach, because I would never do that.

 

That's fine, but you have to understand why it looks that way. There are at least two new users on here (dtrend and Zhade) who copy pasta'd their posts on here and reddit. Most sites (not to mention their users) don't appreciate this sort of thing.

 

Edit: You addressed this last point while I was writing my post, but I didn't notice it before posting.

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Flickserve

With respect to product development,  you feel you have a great product and invested a lot of time in. Lots of people say it’s fantastic. Some will approach it with skepticism. It’s easy to feel aggrieved and disaffected. What I suggest is a better method is to ask a wider audience to review (Chinese forum users are a good source) explaining strong and weak points of the product. It may be great already but you sound like my bank manager trying to sell me financial products that are ‘right’ for me. She asked me why didn’t I buy the product she suggested. I said you never told the cons nor give comparisons with other products.

 

One of the strategies other products have done on this forum is to offer discounts in return for a balanced review. The advantage of this is you have a user with a track record of posting and learning chinese before knowing your product. If they write they felt the techniques on your course were effective, then that really improves the credibility of the product. If you take users opinion, and respond to them with some tweaks, your course would be looked upon even more favourably. 

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Shelley
9 hours ago, Phil Crimmins said:

This is not dTrend's product, it's mine and Luke Neale's.

Sorry for the confusion, thought he was one of your team.

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陳德聰

@dtrend I just tried to clean up your post, but for some reason because of the way you copy-pasted Shelley’s post instead of using the “quote” function, there is a little residual line I can’t seem to get rid of. Also, no need to copy-paste your original post as it is still intact on the first page of the thread.

 

Be as enthusiastic as you like, but you’re not doing Luke and Phil any favours by being an arse to people here.

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