Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - Hiragana Charts

Hiragana Charts

Have a textbook or grammar book that you find particularly helpful? What about a learning tip to share with others?

Hiragana Charts

Postby The Final » Sat 09.02.2006 4:21 pm

Seeing as how most charts on the net are done with the Hiragino Mincho W3 font I decided to make a chart with an easier to immitate font.

Image
Image
Image

Soon I will make a chart for Katakana. Enjoy.
User avatar
The Final
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat 09.02.2006 3:20 pm

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby playadom » Sat 09.02.2006 4:23 pm

Nice work.

I like the color coding, something most charts don't have.
You should make a bigger version.
playadom
 
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue 02.21.2006 11:04 pm

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby Tspoonami » Sat 09.02.2006 4:30 pm

おもしろい!
Sometimes I think that I'm afraid of thinking, and that scares me.
User avatar
Tspoonami
 
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue 08.22.2006 1:28 pm

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby kanadajin » Sat 09.02.2006 4:59 pm

Nice work! I like it.. Very easy to read..
User avatar
kanadajin
 
Posts: 1528
Joined: Wed 05.04.2005 7:04 pm

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby Rsquared333 » Sat 09.02.2006 7:48 pm

Image
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
Rsquared333
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed 08.16.2006 12:59 pm

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby magma » Sat 09.02.2006 8:03 pm

I still think mincho looks better. I remember the first time I used Japanese wordprocessing software, staring spellbound at the elegant futo mincho Hiragana appearing instantly on my screen as if written by a magic hand, each character so beautiful in its flawless perfection. Although I love the intricate angles of katakana and kanji, I can't help but feel that the Hiragana are the most aesthetically pleasing of all the Japanese characters. (And you could argue that Hiragana are also the most uniquely Japanese of the three).

Sure, gothic fonts come closer to how the characters actually end up looking when you write them with a pen or pencil, but why not give people something to shoot for?

Before one can claim mastery over a foreign writing system, one first needs to be able to recognize each symbol in all the different ways it can be written: in print with and without serifs; handwritten in printing and cursive styles with both pen and with brush; distorted as in advertisements, movie titles, artistic renderings, etc. etc. The perfect writing manual would show as many unique styles of each symbol as possible to give you an idea of what you can expect to encounter.

If I had had such a manual when I was first learning Hiragana, I wouldn't have had the embarassing experience of not being able to recognize a "connected" hiragana ri (one without a break in the center) the first time I encountered one. And such a manual certainly would have made it a lot easier to learn how to recognize the wildly distorted katakana that appears frequently in manga panels.
Last edited by magma on Sat 09.02.2006 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
magma
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu 01.19.2006 1:32 pm
Location: 米国
Native language: 米語

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby Armon » Sat 09.02.2006 10:57 pm

magma wrote:
I still think mincho looks better. I remember the first time I used Japanese wordprocessing software, staring spellbound at the elegant futo mincho Hiragana appearing instantly on my screen as if written by a magic hand, each character so beautiful in its flawless perfection.


I have to agree with you on the minchou font being cooler looking than the gothic font, but I think that the gothic font is a lot more common and easier to read. I agree with you below that a good manual should have all the common ways write the kana


Although I love the intricate angles of katakana and kanji, I can't help but feel that the Hiragana are the most aesthetically pleasing of all the Japanese characters. (And you could argue that Hiragana are also the most uniquely Japanese of the three).


I agree with you that the hiragana are more Japanese than kanji, but I don't think, they are more Japanese than katakana because they both still evolved from kanji. (I always liked kanji over both of the kana.)

Sure, gothic fonts come closer to how the characters actually end up looking when you write them with a pen or pencil, but why not give people something to shoot for?


While the minchou font is probably better to aim for, it is hard to draw that way without a brush.

Before one can claim mastery over a foreign writing system, one first needs to be able to recognize each symbol in all the different ways it can be written: in print with and without serifs; handwritten in printing and cursive styles with both pen and with brush; distorted as in advertisements, movie titles, artistic renderings, etc. etc. The perfect writing manual would show as many unique styles of each symbol as possible to give you an idea of what you can expect to encounter.

If I had had such a manual when I was first learning Hiragana, I wouldn't have had the embarassing experience of not being able to recognize a "connected" hiragana ri (one without a break in the center) the first time I encountered one. And such a manual certainly would have made it a lot easier to learn how to recognize the wildly distorted katakana that appears frequently in manga panels.


I agree fully with what you say here. I also think a good manual should show most of the common font types.

[Edit] Reworded some parts
Last edited by Armon on Sat 09.02.2006 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ljvg.blogspot.com -- Learn Japanese for Video Games -- The first website dedicated to teaching Japanese for playing video games.
Armon
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Sun 08.27.2006 11:54 am

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby Infidel » Sat 09.02.2006 11:52 pm

Personally I don't like fonts at all, I prefer handwritten charts; because handwritten style is often different than any font.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby magma » Sun 09.03.2006 12:38 am

I have to agree with you on the minchou font being cooler looking than the gothic font, but I think that the gothic font is a lot more common and easier to read.

I disagree. It seems to me that minchou is much more common in print. Newspapers, magazines, books... even in manga it seems to be the norm. Maybe you're thinking of on the computer/tv screen, where the limited resolution favors simple fonts. Of course it's not a trivial thing to measure; it's like trying to prove whether serif or sans-serif fonts are more common for writing English....

I agree with you that the hiragana are more Japanese than kanji, but I don't think, they are more Japanese than katakana because they both still evolved from kanji.

Katakana are just pieces of kanji, written using the same strokes a regular kanji would (some of them even look just like complete kanji: カ, エ, タ, ニ, ハ, etc.).

But Hiragana are descended from a form of Chinese calligraphy called sousho according to the Wikipedia article. The reason Hiragana characters seem more distinctly Japanese than Katakana is because they drifted from the original Chinese forms, being smoothed by the action of innumerable Japanese ladies' brushes writing them over and over again, just as flowing river water polishes a stone. Look at the chart in that article and see how much they changed! I wonder if Chinese people can recognize what characters they came from anymore?

While the minchou font is probably better to aim for, it is hard to draw that way without a brush.

But it's fun to try.

Personally I don't like fonts at all, I prefer handwritten charts; because handwritten style is often different than any font.

You speak as if there was just one handwritten style....
Last edited by magma on Sun 09.03.2006 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
magma
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu 01.19.2006 1:32 pm
Location: 米国
Native language: 米語

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby Infidel » Sun 09.03.2006 1:05 am

You speak as if there was just one handwritten style....


No, I speak as if people don't write like exactly like the printed fonts, reguardless of the base forms. In fact, every book on writing I've read said "do not" imitate printed kanji or kana.
Last edited by Infidel on Sun 09.03.2006 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby magma » Sun 09.03.2006 1:31 am

Oh, I see. That makes sense, I think. But am I the only one who sometimes preferrs a printed form over the recommended written form?

For example:


With every fibre of my being, I am convinced the first stroke should be longer than the second, but not every book agrees.


Some people make three little dots on the bottom like you see in 魚 (Chinese people especially seem to like this). I think that looks weird.


I like to leave the pen on the paper so it's one fluid line with no break in the middle. That way it's easier to distinguish from the katakana リ (also I don't like hooking the first stroke in the katakana version).


Some Japanese kiddies just draw it like a three: ,3、I hate that! It makes it look like they don't even care. :(

and and and...
I think the first stroke should be significantly longer than the stuff under it, but many handwriting manuals disagree....

Sometimes I wish I had gone to a Japanese school, because now it's too late for me to learn the "proper" way to write, if there even is one. Perhaps the Ministry of Education has published an official guide of how each character ought to look? But I'd probably disagree with them on some points, so it wouldn't help anyway. :D
Last edited by magma on Sun 09.03.2006 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
magma
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu 01.19.2006 1:32 pm
Location: 米国
Native language: 米語

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby Infidel » Sun 09.03.2006 2:11 am


With every fibre of my being, I am convinced the first stroke should be longer than the second, but not every book agrees.


Are you sure you are not confusing it with 夫? Kirei na Ji has the top line very slightly longer. Printed characters often have exagerated strokes to compensate for the small type.

雨 and 東 and 百 and...
I think the first stroke should be significantly longer than the stuff under it, but many handwriting manuals disagree....


This is a good example of what I was talking about. In handwriting it is prefered for the top line to be shorter than you would expect if you see the printed form.

This is the kana chart I refer to.
Last edited by Infidel on Sun 09.03.2006 2:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby magma » Sun 09.03.2006 2:22 am

Are you sure you are not confusing it with 夫? Kirei na Ji has the top two lines the same length.

That website is the most convincing counter-argument I've seen yet (本当にきれいな字ですねー!). Nevertheless, I remain committed to my heresy for philosophical reasons: 天 is supposed to be showing the heavens, and the heavens are up there, hence the uppermost stroke should be the longest (or at least no shorter). :)

This is a good example of what I was talking about. In handwriting it is prefered for the top line to be shorter than you would expect if you see the printed form.

That makes no sense to me, but I guess it doesn't have to. :/

If only I'd met you 5 years ago, Infidel-san, things could have been a lot different.... Now, after all those thousands of hours writing incorrectly, how can I have any hope of unlearning what I have learned? :(
User avatar
magma
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu 01.19.2006 1:32 pm
Location: 米国
Native language: 米語

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby Infidel » Sun 09.03.2006 2:27 am

heheh,

Actually, I misread 天 myself the first time, apparently I edited after you had already started reading. If you look there are some red circles right at the edges of the bottom stroke. I think the point is in handrwiting you want the difference in length to be present, but subtle. Don't exagerate the difference in stroke length.
なるほど。
さっぱりわからん。
User avatar
Infidel
 
Posts: 3093
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 1:12 am
Native language: 英語

RE: Hiragana Charts

Postby magma » Sun 09.03.2006 2:40 am

You've made me realize that I've just been copying those printed fonts designed to be readable when shrunk to tiny size. Maybe that's not so bad though: I've noticed I can still read my kanji, even when I write them very [small]very small[/small]. :D

Is the "Kirei na Ji" site based on any authoritative source? Maybe the webmaster is a descendant of a famous 書道 master from the 11th century? Or is it just some guy's opinion?
User avatar
magma
 
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu 01.19.2006 1:32 pm
Location: 米国
Native language: 米語

Next

Return to Learning Materials Reviews & Language Learning tips

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests