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Wippen (inactive)

Study tip: Use whiteboard to improve hanzi writing memory

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Wippen (inactive)

Been using a whiteboard at home to revise vocabulary (mine is red). I find this is a good way to improve hanzi writing memory and train vocabulary.

You have to use the whole arm to write. If you do not copy directly but try to remember the strokes as you write the intended word on the board, you also train hanzi memory. I think this method adds another learning dimension that, used with other methods, helps remembering how to write hanzi and at the same time trains vocabulary.

 

PS I will never achieve pretty hanzi. I am not aiming for that. My handwriting is not anything "to write home" about in any language. So this is not intended to invite critique on my writing.

IMG_20180216_175630926.jpg

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DavyJonesLocker

I use a small white board to practice writing at home. About 800mm x 600mm I think. Allows me to sit on the sofa with a coffee practicing writing for 30 to 40 mins a day.

 

I only write to help in  recognization of hanzi. 

 

I think to ensure consistency over the long term you need find a relaxing way to write. 

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Wippen (inactive)
12 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

use a small white board to practice writing

Come on, post a sample.

 

Have you felt a direct correlation between using the approach and better remembering hanzi. I actually think my writing got unintentionally less ugly.

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somethingfunny
1 hour ago, Tøsen said:

So this is not intended to invite critique on my writing.

 

But can we do it anyway?

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Wippen (inactive)
Just now, somethingfunny said:

But can we do it anyway?

Go ahead but obviously I know I have shortcomings :-)

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DavyJonesLocker
5 hours ago, Tøsen said:

Have you felt a direct correlation between using the approach and better remembering hanzi. I actually think my writing got unintentionally less ugly.

 

 

Definitely, the act of actually writing hanzi allows you to see the difference in characters especially when many can be so alike or different by just a small stroke.

 

I don't care about stroke order and 100% convinced (as long as its approximately right) it makes no difference to your learning rate. In fact I'd say it can add another layer of complexity (Waiting for the backlash on that statement lol). Ok it does make a different to the beauty of characters as the end point of one stroke can be a starting location for the following stroke. 

 

I would add though,  that the law of diminishing returns is highly relevant, After being able about to write 1000 characters or around 2000 words I found it really is not worth while and time is better spend doing other things.  More and more native chinese struggle with writing characters given our dependence on electronic format.

 

 

 

....

 

Ok I'll come clean,.... I sometimes write for no other reason that I quite like showing off:mrgreen:

 

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Shelley
1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I don't care about stroke order and 100% convinced (as long as its approximately right) it makes no difference to your learning rate.

The main reason I think stroke order is important for students learning characters, is that using the correct stroke order gives you a path to follow that ensures your muscle memory can help you to the fullest, the characters I learnt using the correct order and wrote out many many times are the ones i have retained.

 

I would hesitate to say that any stroke order as long as it is consistent will do , but I think that as the correct order has been developed over time and probably for that reason is the best way to do it. Seeing as how there is already a stoke order you might as well use that and take advantage of all the learning material available.

 

I enjoy being able to write but I do it mainly to help remember the character when reading.  As you say these days handwriting is not required to communicate, but I still think it is a skill worth learning.

 

 

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DavyJonesLocker

I think when  learning any subject "the proof is in the pudding" so to speak, when I write hanzi and the odd time I actually check the stroke order, I find I am  generally correct or maybe one off. My experience of taught chinese was something similar to  "this is the way its meant to be done" from chinese teachers without any real independent thought as to (a) why and (b) if that particular technique is right for that individual learner.

 

14 minutes ago, Shelley said:

I would hesitate to say that any stroke order as long as it is consistent will do , but I think that as the correct order has been developed over time and probably for that reason is the best way to do it. Seeing as how there is already a stoke order you might as well use that and take advantage of all the learning material available.

 

Yes, I would say to  a new learner of Chinese to proceed with established stroke order and given enough exposure one can decide it it is a benefit or a hindrance.,

 

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AdamD

Neglecting stroke order is a bit like neglecting tones: you might get by just fine, but it can look like you don’t care enough about the language or culture to do it properly.

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Wippen (inactive)
1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Ok I'll come clean,.... I sometimes write for no other reason that I quite like to showing off

How do you get a chance to show off if hardly anyone needs to write anymore? And show off in front of Chinese people?

 

1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

(as long as its approximately right)

Also feel this way. I cannot do the "down to the last detail" and then this makes it difficult to recall every detail of the character, like where does each part go

 

1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

More and more native chinese struggle with writing characters

. Is there anything from the past history which is comparable. Something people needed to do but was replaced when something took its place.  This is probably the way handwriting will go in the future, don't you think?

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Wippen (inactive)
1 minute ago, AdamD said:

Neglecting stroke order is a bit like neglecting tones: you might get by just fine, but it can look like you don’t care enough about the language or culture to do it properly.

When Chinese people write English (or another European language) sometimes it does not look perfect either, but I am not going to judge them on that.

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AdamD
Just now, Tøsen said:

When Chinese people write English (or another European language) sometimes it does not look perfect either, but I am not going to judge them on that.

 

I agree, but that’s because many Chinese speakers have a unique sense of pride and ownership in their language. It’s not quite the same in the West.

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Wippen (inactive)
6 minutes ago, AdamD said:

a unique sense of pride and ownership

Agree. is it borne out of the fact that it is so difficult to learn to master, or is it simply because it has such a long history or is it because this is what they constantly tell themselves :-)

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Shelley
13 minutes ago, Tøsen said:
1 hour ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

(as long as its approximately right)

Also feel this way. I cannot do the "down to the last detail" and then this makes it difficult to recall every detail of the character, like where does each part go

This is exactly why you should follow the correct stroke order, it has been developed over the years to be the easiest, smoothest and most memorable way to write each character.

 

Some people do take pride in writing well in English or other languages. We got taught how to write neatly and correctly in cursive at school. Before I went to school, not too many years before a high standard of writing was expected and indeed not too long ago Copperplate writing was something to aspire to.

 

But I do think its much more important for chinese because there are more than 26 things to learn perfectly, so there is much more to achieve and therefore much more to be proud of.

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Hofmann
Quote

(a) why and (b) if that particular technique is right for that individual learner.

Assuming you're writing regular script, the original regular script stroke order is usually the easiest. It facilitates execution of components so you spend less brainpower thinking about it and more on what you're writing. Just learn them. There aren't that many components. It takes like 30 minutes.

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DavyJonesLocker
11 minutes ago, AdamD said:

I agree, but that’s because many Chinese speakers have a unique sense of pride and ownership in their language. It’s not quite the same in the West.

 

More because it's hard to learn I'd say. Ever see the average Chinese person write? Nothing pretty at all about it! I'm referring to your  average joe on the street

 

23 minutes ago, AdamD said:

Neglecting stroke order is a bit like neglecting tones: you might get by just fine, but it can look like you don’t care enough about the language or culture to do it properly.

 

I think you're thinking to deep Adam. :wink:I doubt anyone looks down on a foreigner or a native chinese for that matter that he got his stroke order wrong. An interest in something doesn't have to be a full on dedication.

 

 

 

 

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AdamD
28 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

An interest in something doesn't have to be a full on dedication.

 

Sure, and Chinese people will overwhelmingly be delighted by your current ability, but if you’re looking to impress people, correct stroke order is a super easy way to do that. As @Hofmann said, it’s quick and easy to learn, so the arguments against it don’t make a lot of sense.

 

Edit, just want to add this:

 

28 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Ever see the average Chinese person write? Nothing pretty at all about it!

 

This writing is easier to read if you know stroke order, because even the messiest squiggles usually follow the rules.

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DavyJonesLocker
1 minute ago, AdamD said:

Sure, and Chinese people will overwhelmingly be delighted by your current ability, but if you’re looking to impress people, correct stroke order is a super easy way to do that. As @Hofmann said, it’s quick and easy to learn, so the arguments against it don’t make a lot of sense

 

Please don't misunderstand, I am not  suggesting you avoid it. It should be a first port of call when learning Chinese. I am suggesting that I don't believe it essential to have stroke order correct 100% of the time. If you manage to write a unknown character with one or two strokes out of the correct order,  I see no issues. i wouldn't advocate writing character with the strokes taken completely at random, jumping from a radical to a component and back again etc.  However when you understand the general rules you find you guess correctly most of the time. The ultimate aim is to be able to write that character and the final result is the key point, not how you got there. A printer doesn't have a stroke order.

 

Remember it is very naive to believe there is only one way to learn or master a topic. In any other discipline whether it be languages, science  etc that would be seen as very restrictive to learning.

 

To add: (almost) correct stroke order is important for chinese writing on a phone etc should one not wish to type pinyin. 

 

 

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AdamD
25 minutes ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Remember it is very naive to believe there is only one way to learn or master a topic.

 

Phew, good job I didn't say that then. What I did say is that stroke order is easy to learn and scores you brownie points with native speakers. It doesn't affect me at all, you could write backwards in glitter on a meat sack for all I care.

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AdamD

@Tøsen: yours is a fantastic idea, and I'm tempted to go out and buy a tiny whiteboard just to try this.

 

6 hours ago, Tøsen said:

You have to use the whole arm to write.

 

I wonder if the effect of this is similar to those people in China who write with two-metre long water brushes, throwing their shoulders into the action.

 

6 hours ago, Tøsen said:

PS I will never achieve pretty hanzi. I am not aiming for that. My handwriting is not anything "to write home" about in any language. So this is not intended to invite critique on my writing.

 

Sometimes I smash out the most embarrassing god-awful rubbish just to build a rhythm. It's really effective, but a couple of times native speakers have seen it and criticised me (!), so now I keep it hidden.

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