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Do I need to learn the writing system?


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Conclusion: We all have different learning preferences... surprise!

 

Enjoy your journeys, 同学们.... despite everything, we're all heading towards the top of the same mountain. 🙂

 

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Demonic_Duck

To clarify, my original comment was intended to emphasize that learning the basics of handwriting is useful for most learners, but learning handwriting to an advanced level isn't.

 

If you have a specific reason to learn it (e.g. taking exams that require it) or you simply value it as a skill or art form for its own sake, by all means learn it! Just don't feel that you're forced to otherwise.

 

By my definition of functional literacy, you can be considered literate if you can read and write with the aid of a computer or smartphone. Requiring handwriting seems like an arbitrary and unnecessary addition to the definition, given that it's rarely used and almost never required — even for filling out dead-tree paperwork, you can type on your phone and copy the characters.

 

All of this is separate from the question of whether or not to learn (learn = "can recognize", not "can handwrite") meaning and sound components. I would definitely advocate learning those to an advanced level if you want to improve your literacy. And once again... meaning and sound components ≠ radicals, even though people are continuing to use the terms interchangeably in this thread.

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