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Question about Katakana

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Question about Katakana

Postby Sefam » Wed 09.08.2010 11:48 pm

I know this isn't grammar related, but there's no section to ask this directly.

http://thejapanesepage.com/node/katakan ... kana-i.jpg

What is the rule of the thumb to write Katakana(And probably Hiragana in the same case)? Do I write that first stroke up to down or left to right?
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Re: Question about Katakana

Postby phreadom » Wed 09.08.2010 11:56 pm

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Categ ... W_pictures

I know there are some basic rules of thumb for kanji... not sure about the kana. :) Someone can probably give a good answer (far better than I).

(I was actually working on some updated stuff for here on TJP that showed the stroke orders etc. But I'm always getting sidetracked.)
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Re: Question about Katakana

Postby micahcowan » Thu 09.09.2010 2:40 pm

It's up-to-down. And yes, rules for orders in kana are as important as in kanji.

This is sometimes a source of trouble for me, too, at least in the kanji. I'm still currently unsure about the direction to use for some of the strokes in the bottom-right side of 渋 (the one that looks like "x"); the two left strokes are written first, and then the two right strokes, and I currently write "down, up, up, down", but am not confident that's right.

Similarly for 比: I know that the right-hand part, the horizontal(-ish) stroke) is written up-to-down (which seems like right-to-left), but I'm not sure whether the same should be done for the horizontal stroke of the right-hand part; it's just a stylized version of the same element, but in this case it appears perfectly horizontal rather than slanted, so I'm unsure whether to use exactly the same stroke direction, or to modify it according to its changed form. I wish more of my books treated stroke direction more clearly.
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Re: Question about Katakana

Postby furrykef » Thu 09.09.2010 8:51 pm

micahcowan wrote:I'm still currently unsure about the direction to use for some of the strokes in the bottom-right side of 渋 (the one that looks like "x"); the two left strokes are written first, and then the two right strokes, and I currently write "down, up, up, down", but am not confident that's right.

Not quite. It's "down, up, down, down" (there's a red spot on each stroke showing where it should begin)

Similarly for 比: I know that the right-hand part, the horizontal(-ish) stroke) is written up-to-down (which seems like right-to-left), but I'm not sure whether the same should be done for the horizontal stroke of the right-hand part.


Nope. The left one is written left-to-right, and the right one is up-to-down.

I wish more of my books treated stroke direction more clearly.

I've seen this complaint a lot, but frankly it's always puzzled me. I've never really been confused about stroke direction... merely looking at the shapes of the brush strokes has almost always told me the proper direction. (I say 'almost' because I did have the order wrong for 比 until I looked it up just now, but that's a rather obscure special case. I think getting it wrong is hardly one of the most egregious errors one could make. :))

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Re: Question about Katakana

Postby micahcowan » Fri 09.10.2010 6:19 pm

furrykef wrote:
micahcowan wrote:I'm still currently unsure about the direction to use for some of the strokes in the bottom-right side of 渋 (the one that looks like "x"); the two left strokes are written first, and then the two right strokes, and I currently write "down, up, up, down", but am not confident that's right.

Not quite. It's "down, up, down, down" (there's a red spot on each stroke showing where it should begin)


Excellent! Thanks very much.

Similarly for 比: I know that the right-hand part, the horizontal(-ish) stroke) is written up-to-down (which seems like right-to-left), but I'm not sure whether the same should be done for the horizontal stroke of the right-hand part.


Nope. The left one is written left-to-right, and the right one is up-to-down.


Okay, good; that's how I've been doing it (most of the time); but I wasn't sure.

I wish more of my books treated stroke direction more clearly.

I've seen this complaint a lot, but frankly it's always puzzled me. I've never really been confused about stroke direction... merely looking at the shapes of the brush strokes has almost always told me the proper direction. (I say 'almost' because I did have the order wrong for 比 until I looked it up just now, but that's a rather obscure special case. I think getting it wrong is hardly one of the most egregious errors one could make. :))


I agree that the vast majority of the time, stroke direction is not ambiguous. However, for those rare occasions when it is, it would be nice to have such a resource.

Thankfully, you've reminded me of one; I'd forgotten that WWWJDIC had animated gifs of that sort; I did find some other animated gifs, but they didn't indicate starting position (so far as I could see), so didn't provide what I needed.

Thanks very much for your help!
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