I've recently found out that I've been incorrectly writing a lot of Chinese characters



I've been writing them with the little feet (not sure of a better name for them) but have been told that they are written without them. Other examples would be:


As I've been writing the line from from the centre to the bottom straight but have been told it needs to be curved.

Looking at @congliu's answer to another question the above holds true but that was regarding a different topic and didn't cover this topic

Excluding speed writing and calligraphy how would you know what to write(By hand) based off printed text?

  • 1
    Very interesting! I never thought there were "the little feet" at the bottom of the 口日目 even when I first learnt characters as a schoolboy. If you don't care about how beautiful you write, Chinese native speakers don't care about whether you intentionally write the "little feet" in 口 or write the center vertical line in 了 straight either. Rules are for calligraphy, if you want learn some, you can try to search 楷书字帖.
    – Stan
    Oct 30, 2013 at 2:14
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    @Stan the question only comes up as I've now had a Malay girl, Sing girl, Taiwanese girl and a Hong Kong bloke point out that I was writing it incorrectly
    – 50-3
    Oct 30, 2013 at 2:28
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    The problem is the glyph of a Chinese character can be different among mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, etc. See . I should say indeed I don't see any Chinese people write the feet of 口, as most of us follow the 楷书 font; however, I would never criticize writing it with feet "wrong", because such 口 is just written in an inconvenient way following one of the printed glyph standards. Would you criticize writing English letters in the printed style? I guess no :) I think your friends just remind you there's a simpler way to write.
    – Stan
    Oct 30, 2013 at 4:11
  • It's not about handwriting vs printed, but different sytles in calligraphy. Curved or not, with feet or without, all depend on what style yor are writing. Read these: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calligraphy#Historical_evolution en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-cursive_script en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_script en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regular_script en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerical_script and buy some of these: amazon.cn/s/…
    – user3443
    Oct 30, 2013 at 4:26
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    Search 硬笔书法, you can get some idea from that. Sometimes, if you can write with 笔锋 (calligraphy stroke) or 'the little feet' you called it, your writing will be considered more beautiful. Oct 30, 2013 at 4:37

3 Answers 3


黑体 is the font you are using and talking about, it is usually set as default Simplified Chinese font, but 楷体 or 楷书 is the font that more similar to the handwriting Chinese, if you want to learn handwriting from printing Chinese, you'd better download this font, you may need some books that teach you how to write every stroke and their order, every Chinese kid learn this before trying to write the first character.

The little feet are always there, you should write like this, it is part of this character not just "serifs" for beauty. The two feet are different in the bottom, the left foot is a longer 竖(the straight line), the right foot is called 竖钩, you must write a little angle to left after the straight line, if the angle is to right it will be called 竖提, the last stroke is the bottom bar(横), connect the left straight line(竖)and the line with angle(竖钩)with the little bar(横), importantly, don't start from the end of the left line(竖), leave a little foot there.

The curve in 了字好 is also important, you may see the curve in 楷体 font.

If you want to learn more about strokes I suggest you read this in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroke_(CJKV_character)



不太容易從 "印刷體(Printed)" 去學習如何 "寫字(handwriting)"。

由於 "印刷體(Printed)" 是為了能夠使閱讀者能夠清晰辨識文字而設計的。

所以,在台灣的國小生,在一二年級的時候都有 "寫字本" 當作家庭作業,而其中的字體皆是以 "標楷體" 作為臨摹的範本。

至於,您所謂的 "口日目" 有 "Little Feet" 是為了使 "中文字" 和 "方格符號" 有所區隔。


I think the font you are looking at is just not what people write like. Calligraphic fonts are more like how people write. And people write more messily.

For example, Comic Sans is pretty much how people write the abc's, but people write more messily.

If you write with the feet or with a straight horizontal line, it's just not natural. But I've seen people write the abc's to look exactly like Courier New. It looks pretty cool.

Anyway, the enter image description here弯钩 Wān Gōu is not the same as the enter image description here 竖钩 Shù Gōu. So 了 should really, technically, be curved.

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