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vellocet

Is there a word for people like me, who learn characters but not handwriting?

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vellocet

I keep seeing these great learning apps - but all of them want you to learn handwriting.  I personally love handwriting.  I love sitting down with a brush and rice paper and filling pages with writing.  But, in my personal life it is an utterly useless skill, one that I can't justify spending the huge investment of time to learn.  Hell, I hardly even handwrite in English any more.  The shopping list on the fridge was the last one, and even that has moved to my phone since the last time I forgot to grab it before going to the store. 

 

Is there a keyword or label that describes people like me?  I'd like to search for learning materials that don't require handwriting to complete.  The best I was able to come up with on my own was "semi-literate", but that seems slightly derogatory and not any help in searches. 

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889

I won't give you The Speech telling you it's nonetheless worth it, but perhaps you've got dyslographia.

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realmayo

People are only guessing if they tell you that it's-worth-writing-in-the-long-run.

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skylee

I was just at the commercial press trying to get a pen that I like (but failed). Last time I wrote with a pen I wrote a note in Chinese pointing out two errors of our accountant. I wrote it in Chinese as it involved a name in Chinese. It was on a post-it, and I don't usually type on a post-it. But this is just my experience. I suppose not everyone needs to know how to write.

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889

The point is that learning to write helps lock in the characters for reading as well, and it's especially important for knowing how to read cursive Chinese. "Long-term" means we're talking about someone making a years-on commitment to Chinese.

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eion_padraig

@vellocet, I can't think of a term if you're trying to search for resources that don't require you to write. I guess I'd just look for apps or resources that are computer or cellphone based that allow pinyin input methods. Maybe use that as a keyword.

 

Maybe you'll get some other useful suggestions and not just people admonishing you for not learning how to write by hand. I'm with you on the versatility vs. limited time of learning to write by hand by memory. I've learned how to write all the radicals and I know how they get put together for characters, but remembering from memory how to handwrite every word is a huge time suck.

 

I wonder if there is any research out there on the impact of learning to write by hand from memory and what impact it has on reading ability for non-native learners of Chinese. That would be an interesting topic.

 

Eion

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querido

"I have a wonderful proof (of what is or is not "worth it" in this life) but unfortunately the margin of this page is too small to contain it".

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realmayo

889, you're right that writing helps lock in characters for reading, and if I find I'm forgetting or confusing characters when reading, then I'll spend a couple of weeks learning again (and then eventually forgetting again) how to write those particular characters, for this reason. But whether the effort of memorising how to write 2500+ characters was worth the effort years ago, I'm really not sure. I don't think there's any way of knowing for sure. I certainly couldn't write 2500 characters from memory today.

 

For reading cursive -- sure, it's important. But if someone simply learned how to write 50 characters and then stopped, they should have the rules of stroke order in place.

 

And if someone eventually needed to be able to write thousands of characters from memory, maybe -- maybe -- it would be more efficient to learn to do so once you can already read extensively and speak good Chinese? As opposed to when you're a beginner. Just in terms of time and effort spent.
 

Is there a keyword or label that describes people like me?

 

 

I really wonder if that word might be "normal"? Or "typical-learner-of-Chinese"?

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Hofmann

You are literate. There is no special word for your case because writing is only the act of recording information, just like tying knots, carving shells, or embossing braille.

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vellocet


Definition of semiliterate


  1. 1a :  able to read and write on an elementary level




  2. b :  able to read but unable to write



Pretty much nails my situation.  Off to hit the books and reduce definition 1 as much as possible!


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Angelina

The point is that learning to write helps lock in the characters for reading as well, and it's especially important for knowing how to read cursive Chinese. "Long-term" means we're talking about someone making a years-on commitment to Chinese.

 

Definitely. 

 

 

You do not have to put an emphasis on handwriting, however it is better to slowly learn how to write (spend more time reading, talking to people in Chinese, only a fraction of your time, when you have nothing to do) instead of avoiding handwriting. 

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eion_padraig

 @akdn, thanks for the article. What I gathered from the paper is that researchers are just starting to look into it in the last 10 years or so. It looks like the evidence is mild and the research only involved 48 participants. Also, they were only looking at it over the course of 5 days too, so it's hard to say what the long term situation looks like. It would be interesting to see larger studies that cover a longer period of time.

 

On the positive side, this research does indicate people typing pinyin seem to have a better relationship between the sounds and the words than those who are just handwriting. Again, hard to say if that would hold up either.

 

Eion

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lips

Let's see ...

Learning pinyin makes one grasp the relationship between the sound and the words better than those learning handwring only.

Learning handwring makes one better in reading the characters than those learning pinyin only.

Mmm ...

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li3wei1

I'm pretty good at hand-wringing, but I never thought it would be an advantage in other areas. :P

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