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liao

Reading Cursive

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liao

I was wondering how those of you who can read cursive (for example cao shu 草書) learned to do so. I can read printed characters and my friends' handwriting (if they write neatly) but that's about it. I'm often in the awkward position of going out with non-Chinese speaking friends at a restaurant and being asked to read the inscription on painting decorating the place.

I know there are dictionaries of script forms, but am not sure if this is the best way. (I thought of this because I just saw an interesting program that teaches the reading of calligraphic variants of hiragana and thought I should make an effort with reading Chinese calligraphy).

Thanks.

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woodcutter
I was wondering how those of you who can read cursive (for example cao shu 草書) learned to do so. I can read printed characters and my friends' handwriting (if they write neatly) but that's about it. I'm often in the awkward position of going out with non-Chinese speaking friends at a restaurant and being asked to read the inscription on painting decorating the place.

I know there are dictionaries of script forms' date=' but am not sure if this is the best way. (I thought of this because I just saw an interesting program that teaches the reading of calligraphic variants of hiragana and thought I should make an effort with reading Chinese calligraphy).

Thanks.[/quote']

Obviously, your Chinese has to be good enough to read bad handwriting. There's no special knack to that I think, just the usual grinding at the language will take you there. Also you would need to study the particular different cursive symbols, I've seen a number of books. Can't really do it myself - and like all poor Chinese readers I am also constantly frustrated by the really difficult stuff people always want us to translate!

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maybedaisy

in fact, for me, as a Chinese,it's hard for me to know every cursive.

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nipponman

Yeah, I have trouble reading/writing cursive too. My writing is like a computer's unfortunately.

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randyj

Cursive can be difficult in any language, I think. People in China tell me doctors are notorious for their handwriting, same as doctors in the United States.

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大块头

I thought finding some Chinese penpals to exchange handwritten letters would be a fun way to practice reading cursive Chinese, so I rented a PO box at my local post office and reached out to dozens of people on Penpal World and HelloTalk. Months later, however, I have only received three handwritten letters.

 

Can anybody recommend resources for practicing this skill?

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889

I can second Wang Fang-yu's text on cursive Chinese mentioned above. I'm not sure there's any other English book out there like it.

 

(As I recall, older copies with the loose binding have better printing quality than the new ones.)

 

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