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Chinese Handwriting

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Chinese Handwriting

Postby Anonymous » 29 Mar 2004, 18:27

Does anyone know of a guide or guides to Chinese character (quick?)handwriting (I think the English term is "cursive"). I am continually needing to ask my wife to write something a second time, after she writes me an address or something similar by hand, in a "style" that I can read.

Obviously she is not using calligraphy (enough of a challenge on it's own).

I figured out how to read, but not write, my chinese name and her's, in this style, but little else apart from the extremely obvious.
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Postby Kobo-Daishi » 30 Mar 2004, 19:54

Dear Rian,

Rian wrote:

Does anyone know of a guide or guides to Chinese character (quick?)handwriting (I think the English term is "cursive").


HANDWRITING IN CHINESE: AN INTRODUCTION TO CHINESE CURSIVE SCRIPT*
Fred Fangyu Wang
This is an introduction to learning the techniques of handwriting in Chinese. The first 300 characters of READ CHINESE BOOK ONE, are here practiced in their handwritten (rather than printed) form. They are presented systematically so that the student may apply the principles to other characters. Stroke formation, stroke order are all combined with reading materials.
ISBN 0-88710-033-3
Book: $15.95

Link to page at Yale's Far Eastern Publications blurb on book

Kobo-Daishi, PLLA.
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Running writing

Postby Juba » 31 Mar 2004, 00:49

Most bookshops have a calligraphy section. Look or ask for a book about "xing2shu1" 行書. There is another really scribbly style called "cao3shu1" 草書, but I think it's "xingshu" you need to look at.

Image
Scribbly writing by Chairman Mao
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Postby Anonymous » 31 Mar 2004, 10:36

Tks Juba and Kobo-Daishi.

Maybe caoshu is what I am looking for - how ayi might write if leaving me a note (I am in China and she does not know pinyin) or my wife writes down an address for me (she is fromTaiwan and struggling with hanyu pinyin).?

I might be wrong - I think cursive is the key word in the translation.

I have seen caoshu mentioned when I was searching the subject.
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FYWang book nice

Postby Dragonbones » 31 Mar 2004, 11:00

The book by FY Wang mentioned by Kobo-Daishi is the best I know of. It gives, for example, in lesson 1, 32 characters with the regular kai3shu1 next to two examples of semi-cursive xing2shu1 structure, then 20 example sentences for you to practice reading and copying. The characters which have not yet been introduced in semi-cursive are written in regular script, which is nice. Also, the author does a good job of starting with the most basic and common characters, and also of showing in the notes how cursive elements can represent different characters or components thereof. Appendix II also compares cursive forms easily confused. I do recommend this book, but if you're interested in having really beautiful handwriting, you might also consider attending a calligraphy class, first learning kai with a brush, and then xing. As for real cao3shu1, it is often too hard even for native speakers to read, and never really moved beyond use by the literati artists. You could study it later if interested, but that would be the last step and you won't really need it.
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Postby ironlady » 31 Mar 2004, 11:34

Yeah, and in my experience (back when I actually used to translate handwritten stuff -- now thankfully it's almost all electronic files :lol: :lol: ) if you really can't tell what the character is, nine times out of ten it's "neng2" for "able to."

Don't know why this was so often the case, but I swear it was true. You wouldn't believe how they mangle that little fellow.
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Postby Anonymous » 31 Mar 2004, 14:13

Many thanks to all.

I am in the process of ordering the book.

Along the way I ran into this little gem (or so it would appear).

http://www.elgin.free-online.co.uk/cursive.htm

As I said - I am not looking to be able to write beautifully - just read notes and other informal hand writing.
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cursive character lookup

Postby Dragonbones » 01 Apr 2004, 17:55

Well, in reference to the indexes for Wang's book at the link you provided, there are whole (comprehensive) dictionaries of xing2shu1 and cao3shu1, so you can look up what a character looks like, but the problem is that you have to at least be able to guess what it is you're reading. Chances are, with Wang's book, a little elbow grease and some experience, you'll be off to a good start.
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It is impossible to read CAOSHU for foreigners.

Postby Guest » 05 May 2004, 15:35

Why not see the link of writing Chinese in my signature.
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Re: It is impossible to read CAOSHU for foreigners.

Postby Anonymous » 06 May 2004, 14:28

mandarinmentor wrote:Why not see the link of writing Chinese in my signature.


Duh - what link?
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