Thursday, March 2, 2023

Mandarin Blueprint review

 This is a copy of the review I left on Google for Mandarin Blueprint March 3, 2023

I’ve been using Mandarin Blueprint for about 1.5 years now. I cannot recommend it enough.

After I passed the HSK3 and worked on HSK4 for a few months, I realized the vocabulary was getting too advanced too fast and I was not able to differentiate similar characters. Remembering tones was even worse! I couldn’t even fully remember many of the characters and words I learned in HSK3. So, I started looking for something else to help me along. At first, I tried flashcards of the HSK characters. That helped some, but it wasn’t enough. I had heard about Mandarin Blueprint, but it was a little pricey (now I know why… totally worth it!) so I decided on a two week trial. That was enough to sell me on the courses. I took up Mandarin Blueprint and eventually dropped my HSK4 studies, since it wasn’t getting me to where I wanted to go.

Like other methods, Mandarin Blueprint uses spaced repetition flashcards. Unlike other methods, the flashcards in Mandarin Blueprint are very well thought out. They teach you the character from the ground up, the pinyin of the character, the tone, its meaning(s), words it is used in, and how it is used in sentences and grammatical structures. The flashcards as well as readings of graded texts they include have everything read by native speakers.

You are fed information at your own speed, bit by bit. Eventually you get to where you can read level-appropriate sentences, passages, and stories that they provide. It’s obvious they have put an incredible amount of thought into how everything in these courses is structured.

When you have questions, often they have already been asked by another student and answered in the course material, so you have an instant answer, but if you have a new question, Luke or Phil are usually quick to get back to you.

Is this a secret method so you can learn Mandarin Chinese overnight with no effort? No, of course not! Mandarin is a difficult language for English speakers to learn. There is no way to learn it without consistent effort over a period of time, but using Mandarin Blueprint will ensure you go about it efficiently. It’s going to take a while no matter how you go about it, so you probably don’t want to waste your precious time! In addition, it’s even fun!

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