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writing practise

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writing practise

Postby sasquatch » Tue 12.04.2007 5:31 am

Hi everyone,

I remember when I was in kindergarten, or maybe first year or something, we had these books in which we used to practise our writing of the letter in english. I remember they had all these different exercises like tracing the letters with ruled lines and etc to show the height of the characters and whatever, and also had the stroke order. Is there any good japanese books (or e-books possibly free) which have these kind of exercises.

Also when i write in english, my default pen holding position is retarded and not the proper way. I know the way i should hold the pen, but it doesn't feel comfortable to me. But using my position, ive just grown up with it all my life, and cuz of this its hard to write cursively. Should i try and adjust my pen holding position when i write japanese, or would i be fine the way i am currently.

Thanks everyone!
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RE: writing practise

Postby chikara » Wed 12.05.2007 8:54 pm

ゲデイー :)

Are the writing practice sheets you can download from this site what you are looking for?

As for what is the best way to hold your pen I believe that is something you will have to decide for yourself based on what feels most comfortable.
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RE: writing practise

Postby under___attack » Sun 12.09.2007 3:08 am

I remember those books I stopped by chinatown once
and picked up a book ment for chinese children that had
sheets like that in it but for whatever it is you call the
Chinese symbols in it (it even had little pictures in it so
you'd know what the symbol ment, dog, face, etc.)
Of course I'd never use the meanings for Japanese in case
of misinterpretation but it actually was great for learning
how to write kanji neatly. Maybe you have a little tokyo
were you are. (I know L.A has one)
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RE: writing practise

Postby Wakannai » Sun 12.09.2007 8:48 am

Also when i write in english, my default pen holding position is retarded and not the proper way. I know the way i should hold the pen, but it doesn't feel comfortable to me. But using my position, ive just grown up with it all my life, and cuz of this its hard to write cursively. Should i try and adjust my pen holding position when i write japanese, or would i be fine the way i am currently.


It all depends on what priority you are placing in your handwriting. If you are just writing to help remember characters it probably doesn't matter much. If you are seeking to write in a way that your handwriting is comparable or even better than many natives, it matters a lot.

You should modify both your pen holding position and you posture, especially the both feet on the floor part. When I compare my own writing to the pen-ji examples, it is always closer with both feet on the floor.

I've a similar problem, mainly, I notice my hand cramping up because I tend to tense my hand a lot because it's not used to writing in that position. So I'm constantly reminding myself to let my hand relax.
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RE: writing practise

Postby kayuu » Sun 12.09.2007 3:37 pm

To save me from starting a whole new topic, on the subject of this post, I want to discuss pens. Sorry if it seems like I'm hijacking, just thought it might be useful to the OP and anyone else who might be interested in writing Japanese. Let me know if I should move it to a new topic.

I tend to use biro pens and other such pens that require a fair amount of pressure on paper to produce a clear mark - this, as you might've gathered, is pretty much only any good for writing the English characters I'm used to.

To try and learn to write any other characters (especially Kanji which seems to require varying pressure on paper to produce something that doesn't look totally mechanical) with a pen like this seems like a futile effort, but I have no other pens lying around.

I was thinking of purchasing a nice pen to try to improve my Japanese handwriting with. I was looking at some thin fibre tipped pens (like fineliners) and small brush pens, and maybe even an ink fountain pen - but I just don't know what to go for.

What do you all prefer to use when writing Japanese script?
Last edited by kayuu on Sun 12.09.2007 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: writing practise

Postby everdream » Sun 12.09.2007 4:18 pm

^ I use fountain (ink) pens. Go for one with a smaller (or perhaps a better word is thinner) nib, as when you come to write out many stroked kanji, it'll be easier.
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RE: writing practise

Postby Wakannai » Sun 12.09.2007 7:12 pm

Pens often don't come with a fine enough tip in the US, the ones you can find force you to write the more complex characters rather large to make them clear. I did have a .38 gel pen that I was able to find in the US that wrote rather well. There are some .2 pens that can only be bought in a set of 20, but they are ink and bleed all over the place.

All in all, .5 mechanical pencil seems to win the day. Being able to erase is an added bonus. I've found my pencil accommodates changes in pressure and speed rather handedly.
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RE: writing practise

Postby chikara » Sun 12.09.2007 7:21 pm

kayuu wrote:
To save me from starting a whole new topic, on the subject of this post, I want to discuss pens. Sorry if it seems like I'm hijacking ....

Certainly has all the hallmarks of a thread hijack.
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RE: writing practise

Postby kayuu » Sun 12.09.2007 8:25 pm

chikara wrote:
kayuu wrote:
To save me from starting a whole new topic, on the subject of this post, I want to discuss pens. Sorry if it seems like I'm hijacking ....

Certainly has all the hallmarks of a thread hijack.


It becomes a bit of a double edged sword. When one creates a new post with a topic covered in another thread, that's called not looking hard enough. Yet, when one slightly diverges the original topic to one that is just as relevant (hey, I'm still on topic to handwriting practice and providing information that may also be useful to the OP) that's hijacking and equally frowned upon :P

At least I realise it may be taken that way, people can delete it if they so wish and I won't be offended. Just, people better not complain when I start a new threat similarly titled containing similar discussion about handwriting practice.

Thanks for the tips about pens/pencils. I prefer not to write in pencil because the scratching texture/sound it makes against paper irritates me like some people are irritated by nails on a chalkboard, otherwise pencil would seem quite appealing. If only there were pens that fine.
Last edited by kayuu on Sun 12.09.2007 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: writing practise

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Sun 12.09.2007 8:47 pm

Paul Blay had a great analogy for hijacking. It's like interrupting someone who's already having a conversation, to ask them the time -- because you don't want to bother someone who's not talking.
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RE: writing practise

Postby Wakannai » Sun 12.09.2007 10:00 pm

I'd consider this on topic not a hijack.

as for the scratching sound, that's really a matter of the lead used and pencil design. If the pencil design doesn't dampen vibration properly and the lead is too hard then it can squeek. At work there is a mechanical pencil that squeaks and seriously annoys me so I know exactly what you mean. It's not even a quiet squeek, but loud like the nail on chalkboard sound. The ones I have in my room and backpack don't squeek at all. Neither does the lead ever break prematurely like many mechanical pencils do, EVER. I just tested the pencil vs my uniball gell pen. The gel pen is actually louder, but the sound quality is the same. In other words, the pencil sounds like a ball pen, but quieter. I'm not certian which leads I'm using in this pencil, most probably the Staedtler .5HB since I have a nearly empty vial of it in my backpack.

Zebra M-402. Best mechanical pencil in existence. It's also one of the few pencils that double as a weapon, at least in my imagination. :P It does have the rather common drawback of a too small eraser, but I use a separate eraser pen so it's not a big deal. It's Cheap too. But they don't always have it at office max.
Last edited by Wakannai on Sun 12.09.2007 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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