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roddy

Learning to read handwriting

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Myriam

See, wushijiao, this is not a "culturally sensitive"(ness) issue - no lack of exposure whatsoever here, don't fool yourself, please.

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gougou
See, wushijiao [1], this [2] is not a "culturally sensitive"(ness) issue - no lack of exposure [3] whatsoever here [4], don't fool yourself, please.
[1] Who? He didn't even post in here

[2] What?

[3] To what?

[4] Where?

Are you sure your answer went into the right thread? :help

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imron

I was out book-shopping today, and I came across this book - 实用硬笔字60小时训练. It's basically a book on how to write cursive chinese characters, and has copious examples and exercises for you to do. 190 pages, 50 chapters and at RMB 15.50 quite the bargain :mrgreen:

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heifeng

Hey, that's only worth it if it came w/ a vcd or dvd too!:mrgreen:

I have a bunch of 10yuan writing books that came w/ vcd's I think I just bought them at 物美...heh.

edit:, note, this one is not cursive, but here is one of them....only now it's just 7.5yuan!

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imron

But that's only 45 pages long. Multiply by 4 to bring it up to around the same number of pages as 实用硬笔字60小时训练, and you have 30 yuan which is about double the price (although you do get a vcd), but even then, as you noted, it's not cursive. When I was scouring bookstores for this sort of book there were plenty of books on how to write 规范字, and plenty of 字帖, but very few books on writing cursive, hence the extra value :mrgreen:

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heifeng

Actually, (believe this or not) I totally already did the math w/ the pages, and figured it was slightly not as good of a deal as I originally thought (even w/the extra special bonus of onion skin sheets). Figures you'd totally call me out on this!!:mrgreen:

When I was scouring bookstores for this sort of book there were plenty of books on how to write 规范字, and plenty of 字帖, but very few books on writing cursive, hence the extra value

On a serious note (yes, occasionally I do have a few serious moments), thanks for the link to this book though. I'm compiling my list of things (ie heavy heavy books) to get when I'm back in China for a bit (countdown 14 days..:lol:), so I'll have to add this one.

However, I do like these type of things with dvd's (or...vcds).....Therefore.... I nominate you to record an instructional video once you 've mastered the book!:clap

Edited by heifeng

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imron

I use the book more to learn how to read cursive characters more than learn to write them, so my writing is still terrible. Perhaps Hoffman can create a video for us all.

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Hofmann

That book has many errors, but you'd fool most people.

I use the book more to learn how to read cursive characters more than learn to write them, so my writing is still terrible. Perhaps Hoffman can create a video for us all.

取法乎上! You'd get next to nothing from watching me, as I suck. Better to watch 田蘊章, and if you should copy someone, copy 王羲之.

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imron
That book has many errors,
That depends how you define errors. It's merely showing ways that are commonly used in Chinese handwriting, where often the more rigorous rules applied to calligraphy are thrown to the wind and people sacrifice "correctness" for convenience.

The errors in the book are errors that you will commonly find in Chinese handwriting, and if you wish to learn to recognise Chinese handwriting this book is invaluable and one of the few English language resources on the topic.

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hbuchtel

Any ideas for improving 'handwritten Chinese reading skills'?

I have a lot of trouble reading handwritten Chinese. I'm doing my medical internship now, and in this particular hospital the majority of the patient's records are handwritten. I'm getting tired of having to ask other people to dictate things to me, and it is really frustrating to have so much information hidden from me. This afternoon, for example, I was supposed to write a 会诊报告, but the handwriting in the 会诊单 was so bad that I just photocopied it, took it home, and asked my ever-patient wife to transcribe it for me on the computer.

Just now I was comparing the transcribed version with the handwritten version, and found that after I read the typed version it was much easier to read the handwritten version (well duh...). I was thinking that it would be really helpful to look at many examples of different handwriting styles with a transcribed version typed below - does anybody know of a resource like this on the internet?

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roddy

Merging with the first and most recently active of those, thanks to Skylee for the link compilation.

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hbuchtel

Woah!

Thanks for the links, and sorry I didn't do that before posting!

This link (psychological analysis of handwriting) has a lot of potential...if only the samples were transcribed below!

That could be an interesting subject for somebody keeping a Chinese-language-related blog - ie handwriting samples collected from the internet and transcribed. Come to think of it, keeping such a blog would be an excellent way to learn to read handwriting.. (hmm!)

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roddy

I daresay people will help you with the transcriptions if you do as much as you can first.

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imron

Just want to reiterate my recommendations of these two books:

Chinese Cursive Script: An Introduction to Handwriting in Chinese

实用硬笔字60小时训练

They provide a systematic grounding in learning to read and write handwriting. The first one provides a good introduction, the second one will give you depth.

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Hofmann

I can't hold it in. Chinese Cursive Script: An Introduction to Handwriting in Chinese is an acceptable resource if you're just learning to read people's handwriting, but it's a bad resource for learning to write correctly in cursive. The best way to learn cursive is to start with regular script using 九成宮醴泉銘, 多寶塔碑, 玄祕塔碑, etc. (and I can feel it coming. Someone will say: but brushes and pens are different. So? Stuff written with pens doesn't come close. You can still copy brushwritten models with pens.), and when you feel like your regular script doesn't have any problems, move on to semi-cursive. For that I would recommend stuff from 王羲之 and 王獻之. Then move on to cursive (十七帖, 書譜, etc.).

But I know how impatient some people are, and even though they're impatient, they aren't fast enough learners to balance it out. Therefore, to favor incomplete learning over not learning at all, the next best thing I would recommend is skipping getting a good foundation in regular script and going for semi-cursive (as it is more useful than cursive). But still, use good models. The more you look at, the better. Stay away from documents later than Qing, and perhaps also those from Qing. If republican-era examples are worst, those from Qing are second worst.

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imron

The two books above are not about learning/studying calligraphy as an art-form, but about Chinese handwriting as it exists today.

From his post above, I don't think hbuchtel is interested so much in pre-Qing calligraphy as he is in hastily scribbled doctor's notes. While such post-republican examples of Chinese handwriting are probably even worse than republican and Qing-era handwriting, he still needs to be able to read them, and the two books above will provide the means to learn to do that. Learning calligraphy is a separate matter altogether.

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hbuchtel

Thanks guys, I've ordered the 《实用硬笔字60小时训练》and am looking forward to getting started!

I'll keep the stroke-order errors in mind, but imron is right that I'm mostly interested in being able to read other people's handwriting, which is probably full of mistakes...I feel sorry for anybody who tries to read my (English) handwriting!.

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