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I am not going to learn how to write chinese character! I will only learn to speak, write pinyin, and read simplified chinese characters because I feel I will never actually have to write chinese characters and if I do I can just use it on an electronic device. 
Jul 8, 2016 12:53 PM
Comments · 64

Jose - this is completely possible and makes a lot of sense. 

Unfortunately, most people who read your post did not read carefully and interpreted your answer as "I'm not going to learn how to recognize characters at all," which I don't believe was your intent. Every day I speak hours in Chinese and have not put the effort to learn how to write a single character...

because it is a completely different skill!

I can read several thousand characters and send text messages without any problem. According to Skritter (a Chinese studying application) I've learned close to 2,200 characters and almost 5,000 words without writing them. Writing is an old skill that is not worthing unless you personally are interested in learning how to write by hand. It should be considered a completely separate goal when learning Chinese.

If you say "yes, that is nice, but Ted... if you learn how to write them you will remember them better," that is also incorrect in my opinion. Without writing an essay, I learned 375% more words and 190% more characters in 75% of the time my friend spent using trying to learn how to write. Basically, writing just slows you down. 

July 10, 2016
You are funny.
July 9, 2016

1) To the Chinese posts that say they confuse fun with funny, the problem goes even deeper. "Fun" doesn't necessarily mean "interesting" in English; we distinguish them. So did she mean "you're funny", "you're fun", "you're interesting"? Or was she trying to let him know what he did was ok, like "you're good". Or maybe she meant something like "you're awesome". We'll never know without seeing the original Chinese.

2) It's very possible to learn the language without learning to write the characters; many have done this. However, contrary to popular belief, it's less efficient, meaning it will actually take you longer to learn the language, assuming you want to reach a decent level.

3) If you're going to learn to write, it's pretty silly not to learn the stroke order. For one thing it doesn't take very long to learn; you are basically learning a simple set of rules for all characters rather than separate unique stroke orders for each character. When you look at an unknown character, knowing these rules will let you know how to write the character. And finally, if you don't use the right order your characters will look bad, maybe even illegible at times, especially when you write fast.

July 16, 2017

Hello, José I agree with you 100%, and have been working on that for a few months now. Thanks to Ted for confirming the efficacy of the approach — I am inspired! Btw, the most interesting part about this thread is that no one else even bothered to read the original post, despite the fact it is only a single sentence long. It boggles the mind.

July 10, 2016

why not learn traditional Chinese characters instead?

I am a native speaker of Chinese, for me, some rarely used words are hard to write correctly today.

Normally, a word stroke order starts form the word's top left , then down left and top right, down right.

As for the relation between words and its pronunciation, some words just need instinctive guessing, and you know how to say them under one condition your Chinese vocabulary is big enough.

""traditional Chinese characters"" took around 5000 years to form its shapes.

During a revolution, a party leader just decided to overhaul its system.

I think why many non native speakers find it hard has to do with the new system, because for me, their shapes just make no sense, not to mention remember them. 


July 18, 2017
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Chinese (Mandarin), English, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language