Aside from the standard printing style of Chinese (what is referred to in this wikipedia article as regular script), what are the main styles that are in modern use?

When looking at different styles of handwriting it appears to someone like myself (without much writing experience) that there is a large range of styles, so how do people approach individual writing styles in China? Are they taught a few different styles and they take some on board or do they usually pick on main style and stick to it?

  • I think nowadays people just stick to the regular script. If you are into calligraphy, you would probably learn a few other scripts. But these are mainly for decorative purposes because not many people can read them with ease.
    – 杨以轩
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 6:54
  • Generally in school, Chinese teachers only teach 楷书. Amateurs would learn other scripts by themselves or by private tutors. Most Chinese people don't care how well they write, they just write kind of 楷书 (when writing fast it becomes 行书).
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 6:56
  • If you're talking about the style that people actually write in, there is no style. As @Stan said, 楷书 is taught in schools and most people intend to write 'the common style that everyone uses' without much calligraphy knowledge. Since most of them have not been properly trained in 楷书 (though 楷书 are taught in schools, teachers are not being hard on the aesthetics or style aspects, instead they are strict on structural correctness and stroke order), their writing can be hardly called 楷书 or any calligraphy style.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 8:38

1 Answer 1


Short answer to question one: While you can still see them there, all of them are in use now, in different situations.

Short answer to question two: In school, teachers give the one that they like, based on local policy or their textbook. Usually, one style is enough. 楷書 or 行書, neither is easy to learn, so different people work it around in their own style, a bit mixed of several styles, or new styles. Simple is good, when people write characters.

I'll edit this post with more detail if you want.

  • When I see different peoples Chinese writing there are a few different styles and some similar changes people make. Are they taught these in class or would someone copy something they see in a book and teach themselves?
    – going
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 23:38
  • @xiaohouzi79, although I can't give you an answer that covers all, roughly, one or more of these (1) taught in school, (2) taught by parents, (3) taught by private tutors, (4) learn it themselves....
    – George
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 16:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.