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Requesting some handwriting samples


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I just started learning Chinese roughly eight weeks ago. I'm taking a class and I really love it. Unfortunately most of the students aren't as motivated as me and the pace is drudging along. I am planning to study in China soon and am doing as much as I can to try to learn on my own without learning improperly. I'm doing a lot of practice writing; we have to memorise dialogues, and I'm also memorising how to write each one. We're learning the first 100 or so characters in traditional, but I don't care if you provide simplified.

All the character practice we have done in class is on those huge grid things; our character tests have been on them as well. When I am practicing on notebook paper I am unsure of how spacing and size should be working out (I'm usually just doing horizontal but have messed around with vertical as well). I have had little luck finding scans of normal peoples' hand writing, so if anyone has some scans on hand or would like to make some to give me an idea what it should look like I'd appreciate it! If you want something to write I'll give you part of our second dialogue:

A: 那個人是誰, 他是不是一個大學生?

B: 不是, 他是我們的老師, 也是我們的老朋友

A: 老師是我們的朋友嗎?

B: 是的

A: 這張桌子是你的不是?

B: 不是, 這張桌子是他的, 這把椅子也是他的

A: 哪張桌子是你的呢?

B: 那張桌子是我的, 那把椅子也是我的, 那張桌子 跟那把椅子都是我的

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I don't think the OP was talking about cursive.


I'd advise against worrying about cursive at least until you know stroke order without being told explicitly. Search on the web for character practice sheets. I think there is one at Yale in with the David and Helen material. I'd stick with filling boxes to train your sense of proportions, I still do.

Since you are doing trad. check out "Lady in the Painting" which has text hand written -- not cursive -- and uses "the first" 300 characters. try yale univ. press online. (I'm on my palm so cutting and pasting a link is a pain)

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"Normal people's" handwriting tends to not be as formalized as you should be going for to start out. It's more reduced and fast.

What you want to do when you start out is try to think of your paper as made up of squares. Each character should roughly take up one square. As far as character proportions within the square paradigm, other than the ones they tell you about in class, you shouldn't need to worry too much.

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strawberries, I am Chinese. I learnt to write (in traditional script) from about 3 or 4 to about14 (we had to write using brush and ink regularly, weekly practice and dictation etc, but it was probably just my school). And my handwriting is not great.

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Ok I'm not seeing the edit button?

edit: I just noticed neither of you used notebook/lined paper. Is it generally a bad idea to write on notebook paper or is it okay? That is part of the problem I was having is that I end up writing very small when I use notebook paper so that all the characters fit within the lines.

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But you think I should keep practicing on those grid sheets for starting out? How long should I keep using the grid sheets before I practice on regular paper?

Definitely. Until you're comfortable writing and all your characters are proportionate and the same size :mrgreen:

You said in your first post that you were using "huge grid things" in class; as you feel more comfortable writing, you might like to try using smaller ones :)

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shikang, I think you can do them in parallel. Write the characters first on grid paper then on plain paper. Do this when you feel like it and when time allows it. Don't put too much pressure on yourself.

strawberries, I think your handwriting is very neat and nice (and cute, if you don't mind). There are two errors on the last line (桌 and 跟), though. :)

Edit - shikang, I just picked up the first sheet of paper on my desk and wrote on it. Lined paper would be fine for practising. Don't worry too much.

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I'm not a native chinese writer, but here's a sample of my writing, in case anyone is interested. I chose a dialogue from one of my books, as there is a slightly wider range of characters.

Any comments or criticism welcome.


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I took Imron's suggestion and wanted to look at the font. I think it is a good on to have on hand - I am always looking for handwriting-like fonts. Before you download the font however, you might want to go to


and download their free trial to extract the files. If anyone has other suggestions or ideas about this font, extration of this font, or other links to handwriting-like fonts, please le me know.



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  • 3 months later...


You are joking about wanting to puke, right? I'm no expert, but speaking as someone who has less-than-flowing handwriting, I wouldn't mind at all having mine look like that.

For something to shoot for there is this


from our own geek_frappa.

You could try to get the book by Fred Wang. See this thread. I have a copy and it has several contributors. The emphasis is on learning to read cursive, but I suppose you could learn to write from it. The link has other suggestions.

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@naturegirl: not necessarily. I find that unless the person in question is an architect or interior designer (or other craft that requires legible handwriting), perfect handwriting is rare. In fact, native users of a writing system tend to be less legible, in my experience, because they've used it so often that they develop individualized abbreviations and slurs. Non-native speakers tend to lack those because they haven't had the time to. So I'd be surprised if your handwriting were to actually fit a drafter's standards.

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  • 6 months later...

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