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roddy

Learning to write, finally.

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imron

It's pretty slow going at the beginning, and it can be frustrating trying to figure out the correct keys for some characters, but it does serve as a very useful tool.

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muyongshi
Another thing that helped was getting a cell phone that enabled me to handwrite characters. Then, for about two months or so, I only sent Chinese texts messages by handwriting, often having to look up characters.

One thing that I noticed after I started handwriting my text messages was that there was a good amount of characters that I knew I knew but all of the sudden I realized that I was missing a part or I just simply couldn't remember how to write it. I type it all the time but don't use it anywhere else than text messages (meaning not in class) and the really obvious ones, there were a few that just couldn't write out... So it helps

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trien27

=

+ a form of the character on the right side of this combined character , not + half of 丝 in traditional form [on the bottom]

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roddy

I think you might have missed the point there, but never mind. One down . . .

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shibole
Use Wubi when typing on computers.

I basically just started learning Mandarin but I'm glad that I looked at wubi today, if only because I noticed that 言 is in the "dropping to the right" section of the keyboard. Before that I was like "what? direction matters for dots?" I was also thrilled to see that I already knew all the primary radicals for each key (well all but one of them, and now I know that one too).

Anyway I feel like this has given me more insight into what matters when writing characters and I'm certainly going to pay attention now to what direction dots are written from. I'm not sure if I'm going to dive into wubi just yet, but maybe it makes sense to try learn the wubi code for a character each time I learn a new character. Even if I don't test myself on it or use wubi seriously just seeing how someone decomposed the character to fit wubi might be insightful.

Also, in order to avoid forgetting how to write I'm using Anki and actually testing myself on writing each character rather than just recognizing it. Hopefully this will work out well and I won't have to make sure I can still write 大 and 中 every time I go through the deck.

I'm curious what people think of this: Whenever I run into a new element of a character that I haven't seen before I have this urge to learn the radical or character the element is based on and find and learn at least one other character using that element. I'm not yet sure if this is good or not as it seems like I'm just forcing my brain to learn too much at once, but on the other hand if I can put a name or concept to a strange new squiggly mark and see that it really does occur elsewhere too then it keeps me from feeling like I'm going to have to learn thousands of totally unique unrelated squiggley marks and makes learning hanzi seem less overwhelming.

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imron
but maybe it makes sense to try learn the wubi code for a character each time I learn a new character
I'm not sure if I agree that this is really necessary. It might be worth thinking about how the character is composed, and how you might type it using wubi, but learning, or trying to remember the code is probably overkill.

Just in the same way that when I touch type in English I don't think about what finger needs to type which key, when typing in wubi, I don't really think about the wubi code - my fingers just know which keys to go based on how the character is made up. E.g. when I type 想 I don't think SHN, I think 木 目 心, and my fingers automatically know which keys to press.

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shibole
It might be worth thinking about how the character is composed, and how you might type it using wubi, but learning, or trying to remember the code is probably overkill.

Yea, I see what you mean. I might as well learn the unicode or GB encoding value if I were going to do that. I think I was thinking I'd try to type each new character in wubi and look up the key sequence if I couldn't figure it out right away, then try to figure out the logic behind the key sequence. Maybe eventually I'd learn something from that, but I wouldn't try to test myself on remembering how to type each character or put a high priority on learning wubi just yet. I will try out that wubi program you recommended though as it looks pretty cool.

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imron
I think I was thinking I'd try to type each new character in wubi and look up the key sequence if I couldn't figure it out right away, then try to figure out the logic behind the key sequence.
Yes, this is something completely different, and is not only worthwile, it is almost essential for some of the trickier characters e.g. 追. The important thing though is knowing the logic as once you know that you can apply to future characters.

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DoraYao

I am new here, and I would like to say that I am very impressed with all of your posts, both Chinese learners and natives. Everyone is so enthusiastic and this really motivates me to keep learning and improving my Chinese. Thanks everyone.

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