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Pokarface

What kind of paper do I buy or print?

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Pokarface

Hello.

I am getting ready to leave Pinyin and start using characters. I was wondering what kind of paper do you guys/gals use?

Am I supposed to buy rice paper? Do I buy a brush and Chinese ink?

I don't think I want to learn calligraphy, so maybe I'm better off without the brush and ink.

I still want to learn how to write/read; although, knowing how to type and recognize the characters sounds way faster.

Is it okay if I use a fine tip pen?

 

I've done a search and found this old thread: 

 

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/19175-ideal-character-writing-box-size/

 

Grid Paper 9-square.pdf

 

This one looks nice, but my hand writing sucks. It's too big (using the Latin alphabet, Lol).

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abcdefg

Look into Hanzigrids.

 

In Mainland China I just buy the small exercise booklets that elementary school kids use. Cost 5 Mao or less. But it looks like you are in the US.

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AdamD

Pick up whatever's next to you and just write as much as you can. I use a mechanical pencil and the cheapest exercise books I can find.

 

If you really want grids, buy the cheapest grid-lined exercise books you can find. If you want more than that, I second Hanzi Grids.

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Pokarface

Thanks. I really didn't know how those sheets were called. I kept looking for "Chinese calligraphy worksheets" online because I didn't know how else to call them. I didn't want calligraphy ones because the ones I found had very large grids (which were meant to be used with a brush).

Yes, I'm in the U.S. I can go to China Town and look for them as well. Either options works.

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Johnny20270

aren't they called 田字格 / tiánzìgé  or something like that? I saw them in my local supermarket so maybe your local chinatown has them too

 

You can also download them or as I did just 'draw' a box and add diagonals and a cross, in MS word and copy and paste,and their you go. I preferred a bigger size that then tiánzìgé  ones

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Johnny20270

aren't they called 田字格 / tiánzìgé  or something like that? I saw them in my local supermarket so maybe your local chinatown has them too

 

You can also download them or as I did just 'draw' a box and add diagonals and a cross, in MS word and copy and paste,and their you go. I preferred a bigger size that then tiánzìgé  ones

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anonymoose

I prefer using pencil to write, but use whatever you feel comfortable with.

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Lu

As others said, just use whatever pen you like. Grids can be useful in the beginning, but after that, use whatever paper you like. The solution for bad handwriting is lots and lots of practice.

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Shelley

Have to add my two cents...Hanzi grids is the way to go,

 

You can make something similar with excel I have done it but you don't get the choices and the characters to follow as you do in Hanzi grids.

 

It is really good value, worth the small payment for the choices, but try the free version to see if you like it.

 

If you feel like something different than paper and pen/pencil try Skritter, it is not cheap but it is is useful when you are starting to learn characters.

 

You can use any type of pen/pencil you like as long as you are comfortable with it. No need for ink and brushes until you are ready to take up Chinese calligraphy which is different to learning to write Chinese.

 

Also what text book are using? for example for my text book there are online ready made practice sheets. Its worth a look.

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abcdefg
aren't they called 田字格 / tiánzìgé  or something like that?

 

田字本

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Johnny20270
I am getting ready to leave Pinyin and start using characters.

 

 

i think there is a lot of merit with  also using pinyin, ... enforces the tones :)

 

 

(@a .. g, cheers!)

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Shelley

Why is using characters not as good for enforcing tones as pinyin?

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Silent

As reading characters don't show sounds/tones. For me that's one of the nuisance of reading. I know the meaning of the character but not the sound. So I internally tend to vocalize my best guess and read on. Which may be good for reading fluency, but very bad for my pronunciation.

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hedwards

@Silent, you're not supposed to be vocalizing the characters when reading. In English you're not supposed to be doing it either, but most people never bother to read correctly.

 

As far as pronunciation goes, practice speaking and listening, just knowing the tones is only a small part of proper pronunciation. Chances are that when you're reading in your head you probably aren't changing the tones. There's plenty of 老外 out there that "know" their tones, but because they haven't spent much time speaking, they don't do a very good job of producing natural tones in sentences.

 

If you really feel the need to reinforce the pronunciation, you can always read out loud when nobody is around and read correctly when you can't read out loud.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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AdamD

Pinyin is training wheels.

 

I've always learnt characters by tone colour. That works so well for me that I only need pinyin (or bopomofo) when I'm learning a new word or have forgotten an old one.

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Silent

 

If you really feel the need to reinforce the pronunciation, you can always read out loud when nobody is around and read correctly when you can't read out loud.

What's the difference with internal vocalizing? Still gives the same problem.....

 

 

Pinyin is training wheels.

So? I experience pinyin as extremely annoying, but it has it's function in the learning process.

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AdamD
So? I experience pinyin as extremely annoying, but it has it's function in the learning process.

 

Not sure why you reacted like this because it sounds like we agree.

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tysond

@hedwards @Silent, you're not supposed to be vocalizing the characters when reading. In English you're not supposed to be doing it either, but most people never bother to read correctly.

 

 

 
Gonna be honest, I have two modes of reading in Chinese.  
 
One, I kind of ignore the pronunciation of characters and recognize the characters/words by meaning and read on, understanding the gist of the text and moving quickly through it.
 
Two, I read the entire text (sub-vocally, including tones) and get annoyed if I am unable to read a word (not sure of reading, tone) 
 
In English... it is my native language... I can read forever without vocalizing anything.  
 
I feel like for Chinese, until I become very proficient, it's better to sub-vocalized the entire text.  In fact I'd prefer to read the whole thing out loud if possible.  
 
Why am I wrong?

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AdamD

Yeah. I think it's reasonable to aim for reading without internally vocalising, but I use the two modes you use, tysond, and I probably will for another 10 years.

 

Perhaps hedwards was referring to those people whose lips move when they read in their first language. I see that a lot with Australians who read tabloids.

 

And just to wrap this back into the thread topic: Way back when I was learning how to learn how to pronounce characters (the phrase duplication is crucial there), I would sometimes write them with coloured pens. If Pokarface is interested in ways to incorporate tones into characters, that's one option.

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