Questions tagged [writing]

Questions related to written Chinese. Note: there are separate tags for 'handwriting' and 'characters'.

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44
votes
9answers
17k views

How many characters do I need to learn?

How many Chinese characters would I generally need to learn to be able to handle most text in typical every day circumstances? How many would be required to be considered fluent? Are there any good ...
25
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15answers
4k views

Techniques for learning and retaining characters

For many of us, memorizing characters is a difficult thing. In Chinese, just because you can speak the word doesn't mean you can read it. Just because you can read it doesn't mean you can write it. At ...
21
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4answers
2k views

Reading handwriting

How can I get better at reading handwriting? Are there fonts that look like it, or web sites with examples for practice? Are there some common shortcuts that people take when writing by hand?
16
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2answers
7k views

Lowest pixel resolution needed to support Chinese?

We are creating a product which has an small embedded OLED display (64 x 48 pixels). We would love to support Chinese in this product and wonder what is that smallest resolution that would be needed ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

How do native speakers structure their essays?

When analyzing Chinese speeches or essays, I often have difficulty understanding how their the authors organized their ideas. In North America, for example, a common template for writing an essay is ...
14
votes
9answers
18k views

How to improve my Chinese handwriting?

When someone has grasped the basic concepts of writing Chinese, there comes a point where handwriting starts to look plain or mechanical. From what I have seen, the lines look very straight and like ...
12
votes
2answers
969 views

How are blanks indicated for placeholders in Chinese (like ???)

In English, in the middle of a sentence if data is being left blank (such as an unknown date, or a name to be filled in at a later time), commonly you see ???, ___ (underscore(s)), or -- to mark this. ...
11
votes
5answers
8k views

How to (hand) write Chinese characters faster

Are there any resources / how-to sources about how to write Chinese characters faster than normal while still being readable? It took me forever to take notes while in class.
11
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3answers
573 views

Thought Experiment: Twitter Character Limits

This is hopefully a fun question that is a little bit off the standard path. It's meant to elicit a light conversation but nevertheless one that illuminates fundamental characteristics of Chinese as a ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How gender specific in writing is the character 他

A couple of years ago I wrote this comment below an answer: On mainland China 他 is used for both male and female. I've only seen 她 used as a stylistic thing for advertising and some old formal ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

How to get started learning Chinese [closed]

I'm new on this website and my only objective is to get some answers. But the main question I have is: How and where to start learning Chinese? How to begin?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there differences in writing between Chinese languages, such as Mandarin and Shanghainese

There are already many questions about the different spoken languages that can be called Chinese. This question on the other hand asks about the written one(s?). Well, to start, is the written ...
7
votes
1answer
606 views

What are the different kinds of poems in Chinese?

In the question "Are there poems in Chinese that rhyme?", a debate started about what is considered a poem in Chinese. The texts I presented — 《三字經》 (Three Character Classic), 《百家姓》 (The Hundred ...
7
votes
1answer
248 views

General guidelines for learning stroke order

A friend asked me for a brief description of the general guidelines for writing Chinese characters. What are the simplest ways to describe those "rules" that apply across most characters?
6
votes
2answers
337 views

Bottom component of 青 and 䏍

When learning how to write, I had always assumed that the lower component of the left component 䏍 of 能 was just a lower variant of 月. A couple of days ago, however, I decided to look it up, and I ...
6
votes
4answers
991 views

written characters: yuē vs rì

I have some troubles in distinguishing written characters 曰 yuē (to speak) and 日 rì (sun). Although they singularly look different on computers (maybe yuē look a bit wider, while rì is taller), I find ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Proper letter writing etiquette

I've recently been writing a lot of letters in Mandarin and I have several questions regarding the form. Chinese has many salutations in letters. For the most part, is it okay just to use 亲爱? If not, ...
6
votes
1answer
28k views

Why 福 is often used upside down?

On Chinese houses, people often place scriptures for luck, health, wealth, etc. Often, they use the word 福 [fú] turned upside down, like this: What is the reason for it?
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Written Cantonese input?

Although traditionally Cantonese speakers just use standard Chinese (mostly Traditional in my experience) for writing and reading, written Cantonese does exist as you can read about in this Wikipedia ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

Input of Simplified Chinese on Windows

What options are available for input of simplified Chinese on Windows computers? Is it possible to draw characters using a mouse or stylus, or perhaps input using speech recognition?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

When is it appropriate to use 亲爱的?

In English it perfectly fine in a business context and for someone you have never met before to use Dear XXXX at the beginning of a letter or email. This causes some difficulty when moving to another ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Writing direction on seals

I am experimenting with an online seal generator, the text I have entered is 一千五百 and I have noticed that the characters go first from top right to bottom right, then from bottom left to top left. Is ...
5
votes
1answer
386 views

Where can I find Codecademy for Written Chinese?

Recently, my wife has been learning to program JavaScript using Codecademy. I like how it walks people through exercises step by step, and builds up concepts, etc. All the marking is automated, and ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the normal forms of valediction in Chinese?

For example, how do they normally sign off letters? We normally use 'Yours Faithfully' or 'Your Sincerely' but we might not be so formal in emails and instead just 'Regards'. What is standard ...
4
votes
1answer
173 views

Braille and Chinese Input

Is it possible to use a Braille keyboard to input chinese with the pinyin input method? How could a blind user ever be able to choose the right character combination if they cannot see it? The words ...
4
votes
2answers
189 views

Should tone sandhi be written in pinyin?

Tone sandhi is a phonological change occurring in tonal languages, in which the tones assigned to individual words or morphemes change based on the pronunciation of adjacent words or morphemes. ...
4
votes
1answer
676 views

Are authors of Chinese fantasy novels able to create names for fictional creatures/races?

Like Dr. Seuss' Wickershams and Wockets; Final Fantasy's Bandersnatches and Moogles; or Dr. Who's Daleks and Chronovores, English works of fiction (most commonly fantasy) often contain fictitious ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

Learning written forms of dialects

I've looked for this question on the site but can't seem to find it. I'm interested in learning Chinese, well, Cantonese specifically, and I want to focus on both the written and spoken components. ...
4
votes
1answer
261 views

Job requirements for typing Chinese

Many government positions in Taiwan have typing speed requirements. In Taipei city job announcements I've found which mention this requirement, the minimum runs from 40-60 characters a minute. This ...
3
votes
6answers
172 views

Why native speakers always say “一块钱” and write “一元钱 ”instead of “壹圆钱”?

The 1 RMB notes has the Chinese word "壹圆". In spoken Chinese, I hear many native speakers say "一块钱" instead of "壹圆钱"。In written Chinese, I have seen "一元钱" more than "壹圆钱". My questions: In spoken ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the correct measure word for 问题 (question)?

I'm not sure if I should say 一件问题 or 一项问题. I know I can get away with 一个问题, but I'd like to know the "correct" measure word. Note: I would like to use the tag measure-word, but I can't. I used "...
3
votes
7answers
4k views

My Chinese Character Writing is Sloppy

Since learning Mandarin through Rosetta Stone, Youtube videos, and friends, I've begun to keep a journal of mandarin characters and phrases. I first draw the character, along with the pinyin and ...
3
votes
3answers
209 views

How to indicate “long pronunciation” in writing in Chinese?

In English I can change "what the heck" to something like "what the heeckkkkkk" when writing in order to show that the pronunciation of "heck" is being dragged out. When writing Chinese characters, ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

How To *Write* The Northeastern ‘ber lou’?

A long time ago a Northeastern friend of mine showed me how to write ‘ber lou’ using 汉字. ‘ber lou’ being the northeastern equivalent of 额头. I have since forgotten how ‘ber lou’ was indeed written. ...
3
votes
2answers
433 views

Why is 开 written within a 门 in this sign (without being written 開)?

This sign is in the hallway near our lab. I believe it says: 南开大学:现代光学研究所 Nánkāi dàxué: Xiàndài guāngxué yánjiū suǒ But the 开 is written inside a 门. I thought it would be a traditional ...
3
votes
2answers
389 views

How widely used are 印章 compared to signatures?

印章 appear all over chinese works, especially in the past. Most noticeably in documents relating to business and arts, companies and individuals would use seals in place of signatures. In modern ...
3
votes
3answers
201 views

Phonetic clue of characters in languages or dialects other than Mandarin?

Many characters are made up of a semantic and a phonetic part. Is the phonetic part only valid with regards to Mandarin pronounciation? Or not even for Mandarin in all cases? Or does it work with ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

Cannot recognise a chinese chracter handwriting

Can anyone else tell me what the last character is please?
3
votes
1answer
44 views

Most appropriate word for proxy/substitute/surrogate

Please forgive my lack of knowledge of Chinese. I'm doing book research and am looking for the most appropriate word for 'proxy' in the sense of a substitute or surrogate. For the sake of clarity, let'...
3
votes
3answers
203 views

Does cursive script have any order logic?

I think most people know the basic rules of character writing, like from top to bottom, left to right, etc., but it seems that the rules don't work at all when it comes to cursive writing. Question: ...
3
votes
1answer
354 views

What is proper way to WRITE “knock-knock”?

What is a proper way to write knock-knock (the sound of knocking in the door) in Chinese?
3
votes
1answer
253 views

Why 奇蹟 (and not 奇迹) In Simplified Texts

I often run across the word 奇蹟 in simplified texts written just like that: 奇蹟. For example: Yes has an article entitled: 【上帝之子】全美票房创18亿台币奇蹟. Here's an excerpt also with said writing (emphasis is ...
3
votes
1answer
540 views

Understanding different Chinese writing styles

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Windows 8 Chinese Input: Trackpad and Stylus

When using a laptop touchpad to input Chinese via handwriting on Windows 8, I either have to double tap or press down in order to write. On a MacBook, I just write without needing an initial double ...
3
votes
0answers
133 views

How To Go About Learning Tangut [closed]

I have tried to research this topic for many nights, but I cannot find any resources. I know it's a very old but i've always been intrigued by Tangut. More specifically, i'd like to go about learning ...
3
votes
3answers
119 views

Are [ɚ] and [ər] interchangeable for (儿化) er-hua?

I've got different resources doing different things for er-hua, e.g.: 包儿 resource material #1 [pər] resource material #2 [pɚ] is [ɚ] and [ər] interchangeable for (儿化) er-hua? I would hazard ...
2
votes
2answers
176 views

What does 甘蝦 mean when used as an answer to 保重? (Taiwan)

On Taiwanese Facebook page I read a conversation under a post from a hospital. A lot of people of course write 保重 (get well), and the poster answers 甘蝦 to all of them. When looking up this in a ...
2
votes
3answers
219 views

How do Chinese students write words whose characters they haven't learned?

To clarify, I mean Chinese schoolchildren who may, for whatever reason, need to express a word that they haven't learned the character for, e.g., 餐 in 晚餐. Would they use pinyin, like 晚cān, or ...
2
votes
4answers
613 views

How do you learn and remember 左 and 右?

Because 左 and 右 are so similar in the shape, I am wondering how do you learn and remember them? I need a good method to teach.
2
votes
2answers
173 views

Stroke order of 㠭

I usually use yellowbridge.com when looking up stroke order, but they didn't have any information on 㠭. This isn't the first time this has happened, but usually it's easy enough to guess. However, ...