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I would like to ask you for advice about writing. Could you please tell me if you focus on writing or just speaking, reading and listerning. How do you practice your writing, caligraphy and what are you using to write, pen, pencil or something different.
I am trying to learn to write as well but I have plenty of doubts when it comes calipraphy.
I used to learn how to write characters before just by copying what I saw on my screen. I followed the basic stroke order rules but didn't care about following them exactly. Now after having spent a couple years without practising writing, I've forgotten some so I'm teaching myself them again. I do focus on it because I find it helps me remember the character better and also remember other occasions that character is used, thereby making it easier to remember how it's pronounced because of shared pinyin. My current approach is learning to write the radicals and then learning a character with one stroke more, two strokes more, etc. This has made it very easy to remember the stroke order with little effort. I use flashcards to test my Chinese, so when I am doing an English -> Chinese test I will use a pen to write them down.
As native Chinese, we have Chinese handwriting classes . And when I in primary school, I used 《字帖》 to practice. We use GEL pens to write.
It is a very interesting question. It kind of depends on what type of learner you are and also, strange enough, where you're come from!:)
What I mean by that is, I've noticed that German and Scandinavian students tend to practise on all 4 aspects (speaking, listening, reading and writing) right from the beginning, coz they believe the effort that they put in writing and reading will eventually be paid off once they've reached a certain level. But English, American and the rest of European learners seem tend to only focus on speaking and listening.
If a student who learns writing and reading and one who doesn't both reached intermediate level in speaking, the former will progress to the advanced level much more faster than the later. The reason is simple, the former student is "literate"!
I'd encourage you to learn writing and reading from the beginning! It's not as hard as you think, it's worth the effort!
To practise your handwriting, you can find "字帖" online and practice. Good luck!
I am from Poland, but when it comes to style of learning it's rather Scandinavian and German. I would like to read and write as well.
I will try to find 字帖 online.
Thanks for your comments.
Hi, I'm from Peru.. I think it's better learning to write since the beginning... Here many people, just want to learn speaking and listening.. and they completely forget reading and writting. Conclusion: they never learned and they never passed the basic level.
In my chinese class, my teacher ws very strict, we had a kind of notebook (our adaptation of the 字帖 - unfourtunately there are no many materials to learning languages here) where we have to repeat each new character we were learning in each lesson.. (like 15 times per character). She taught us the right way to write the word... stroke by stroke.. then we repeat as a homework.. and if you write something wrong in your homework or in the exam.. you must to repeat again and again, until you get it right.. One time I had repeat the same character in 3 pages hehehe
I settled for an in-between, "reading/typing" :) I do find writing nice, and practicing writing can certainly help remembering characters, but it does require a lot of time. Instead, I learn characters with the help of flashcards, making me able to read them and recognize them when I type using "pinyin input". In the world of today, I think I'm more likely to write an email than an actual letter (in which case, I could still copy the characters I don't know..)
I have been told that the Chinese and the Japanese characters are the same. So, I would like to tell you some ideas about my own learning style. First of all, I think one needs to understand the writing, in order to be able to identify the character. Handwriting seems almost hopeless to me. That's why I decided to use word processors. Besides, it is useful to compare characters because many of them are just the combination of simpler ones.
we find some characters hard to wring not mention caligraphy. forget about that.
if wring characters is like crawling then drawing caligraphy is classical ballet dance.
I am from germany, and I first learned Japanese. There I learned also the characters, but not from the beginning. I started with the specific Japanese alphabet, that is derived from the Chinese characters.
My opinion is, you should try to learn characters and pronouciation in the same time, as 林柳 also wrote above.
Concerning the writing, I recommend to get a good book and to learn in the right stroke order. This is an order developed over thousands of years and it teaches you to write the characters in a clean and economic way!
Good luck! 加油！
Just to clarify writing caligraphy I meant handwriting characters not exactly caligraphy with special tools ans taking care of each stroke's thickness etc.
Thank you very much for all your responses, they are very motivating and useful.
I am going to learn Chinese handwriting because for me it's kind of exciting. I learn Chinese by myself and for myself so I don't think that learning chinese characters is a waste of time.
When it comes to way of learning how to write till now I was trying to learn from "Remembering Simplified Hanzi" but I've learned the signs seperatly from pinyin. I think I will try the Floboy's way-studying them together.