differences in writing

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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differences in writing

Post by dragon89 » Mon 05.30.2005 6:48 pm

Konnichiwa! I've been wondering this for a while. In english there is a dozen ways to write one letter. And if you compaire people's writing there's always differences. Is japanese the same or is it more uniform because there is a specific stroke order?

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Native language: English

RE: differences in writing

Post by spin13 » Mon 05.30.2005 7:58 pm

Like Japanese, English also has set stroke orders that are taught in lower elementary school curriculums. These exist for both print and cursive writings. Growing up in New England, I was taught the D'Nealian alphabet. The Japanese have (and have had) many schools of shodo (書道), the art of caligraphy. Through these ryu-ha and other means of transmission, the Japanese, like us English speakers, have catagorized and transmitted various styles and methods of writing characters throughout the ages.

I would venture a guess that the standard population finds ways of deviating from the prescribed. Perhaps the Japanese, having a government prescribed sets of kanji, are less lenient in their ways than us, but I leave judgement of that to those in the know. Either way, despite rules and regulations, for each letter, each stroke there is a different human doing it a different way each and every time.


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RE: differences in writing

Post by InsanityRanch » Tue 05.31.2005 10:29 pm

Yes! Japanese handwriting is hard to read. I frequently cannot read handwritten notes despite knowing all the words and all the kanji -- it can be idiosyncratic and some people's "fists" are just difficult. Some people "abbreviate" certain kanji and other people use more classical styles. And I can hardly read "brushstroke" style at all sometimes, though I am getting better.

And then there are "fad" writing styles, like the round character style that was apparently big with jr. high and high school girls awhile back.

In short, handwriting is a whole can of worms in Japanese.

"Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself." -- Vilfredo Pareto

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