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Thread: A question about Kanji...

  1. #1
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    Default A question about Kanji...

    Why does the stroke order matter?


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    to distinguish a newbie from a pro.hehe... A Kanji written in the wrong order is easily recognizable. I would think that it will also be easy to read since everyone is accustom to that particular shape. Kanji written without an order can be quite messy and hard to read. If you are good enough to write cursively, then stroke order would be even more important to maintain some sort of legibility
    Last edited by raintree_leaf; 05-30-2008 at 05:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raintree_leaf View Post
    to distinguish a newbie from a pro.hehe... A Kanji written in the wrong order is easily recognizable. I would think that it will also be easy to read since everyone is accustom to that particular shape. Kanji written without an order can be quite messy and hard to read. If you are good enough to write cursively, then stroke order would be even more important to maintain some sort of legibility
    I see, it doesn't seem to effect my writing when I try to right in normal text, I can see how it would effect cursive though...

    Thanks.


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    Plus, it's easier to learn a Kanji in stroke order. Such as learning 四 (without the inards XD). It's left, top-right, bottom. If you try writing it left, right, top, bottom, it's just not as easy. At least writing it the proper way is always easier for me.

    I still have trouble writing 母 even in its proper way, because it's actually slightly slanted.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Chocobo View Post
    Plus, it's easier to learn a Kanji in stroke order. Such as learning 四 (without the inards XD). It's left, top-right, bottom. If you try writing it left, right, top, bottom, it's just not as easy. At least writing it the proper way is always easier for me.

    I still have trouble writing 母 even in its proper way, because it's actually slightly slanted.
    Interesting, but do schools that offer Japanese test on stroke order? or do they leave you alone about that? (So far I'm self taught in what I do know.)


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    My Chinese teacher didn't count off for not using proper stroke order, which was good, because he only taught it for like a day and I certainly didn't remember it after that He basically just said, "here's the stroke order, use it always." Maybe Chinese children remember better than American children... or listen better.

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    Often the stroke order doesn't matter. I personally don't bother learning stroke order. I tend to learn kanji better by drawing by radical instead and breaking it down easier like that. Usually that means I have the right stroke order anyway, but I can't be bothered to remember the order of the 18 strokes in 曜. I just kind of guess at it. My writing's not that bad most of the time.
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    rizuchan: I learned Japanese are much more into keeping stroke order and wriiting 'properly' than chinese Persons are (they usually scribble something without much concern)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ertai87 View Post
    Often the stroke order doesn't matter. I personally don't bother learning stroke order. I tend to learn kanji better by drawing by radical instead and breaking it down easier like that. Usually that means I have the right stroke order anyway, but I can't be bothered to remember the order of the 18 strokes in 曜. I just kind of guess at it. My writing's not that bad most of the time.
    Good to know, guess I won't be bothered with it either then.

    Thanks everyone.


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  10. #10
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    It helps me too because I was worried about stroke order as well. I probably don't do the right order but you can read it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ertai87 View Post
    Often the stroke order doesn't matter. I personally don't bother learning stroke order. I tend to learn kanji better by drawing by radical instead and breaking it down easier like that. Usually that means I have the right stroke order anyway, but I can't be bothered to remember the order of the 18 strokes in 曜. I just kind of guess at it. My writing's not that bad most of the time.

    Or the 23 strokes in 艦. I mean, I focus on stroke order as much as I can, but it's not my top priority. But with simple ones like 金 or 私, you should try.

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    As far as I know, it is just to help with making it look nicer. Plenty of native speakers don't know the correct stroke order and you can still tell what they are writing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MistressPookyChan View Post
    As far as I know, it is just to help with making it look nicer. Plenty of native speakers don't know the correct stroke order and you can still tell what they are writing.
    I would think that all native speakers know the approximate stroke orders for all characters. But everyone of them will have their own variations of certain strokes either through habit or they are not sure how certain strokes should be written. If you want to write fast and cursive, sometimes you have to forsake stroke order. The 田 are often written without lifting the pen like a spiral. These variations can become their own personal characteristic. It is still important to know the correct stroke order.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raintree_leaf View Post
    I would think that all native speakers know the approximate stroke orders for all characters.
    you'd be surprised. More and more people have trouble with kanji because of computers and cell phones. Not very many people know how to correctly write some kanji, let alone the stroke order. It's not uncommon, even in adults.

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    I personally think it matters.

    I've grown up here in China, back when I was still in primary school we had exams on stroke orders. The same goes for Japanese, I'm currently studying Japanese. Though my teacher's not that strict to everyone but me, she wants me to actually perfect my studies on Japanese probably because I've been learning lots of languages and my teacher expects me to do my best in Japanese.

    It's true that both Japanese and Chinese common people aren't that familiar with stroke orders but as a student you are forced to learn them. I think one other reason is that it does make your written word more beautiful. I mean, I've seen lots of bad written words and it really gives me a hard time reading them. But I guess I can't blame them.

    That's just my point of view, though it really depends on everyone.
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    You really should learn the stroke order.

    Most unasians will say whatever, but coming from most asians it really does. It really ticks me off when people don't know stroke order and at the same time say they know the kanji. I say if you don't know the order, you don't know it at all ...
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    if you ask me if it's important, I would say yes. then is it necessary? not really... like other replies, I think it'll really show once you start getting used to writing kanji and therefore start writing faster... then the shape of the character might turn out different than it's supposed to. as shinnraiu mentioned in her post, I think most Asian will say it's important because calligraphy is important part of their culture. for example in Japan, some kids learn calligraphy when they're young (along the same line of learning an instrument, tea ceremony, abacus, flower arrangement, etc. that kind of stuff)

    I personally think it helps you to learn the characters faster. the more complicated the kanji is, the more parts you can break it down to and the stroke order helps you to learn the parts.

    if you're having trouble learning the stroke orders, the general guideline is usually left to right, top to bottom, outside to inside parts and enclose last (if needed). that should get you through most kanji. the minor detailed orders, don't worry too much about it. I went to elementary school in China and Japan and I remember the teachers taught me different orders, lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby_MoonT View Post
    I personally think it helps you to learn the characters faster. the more complicated the kanji is, the more parts you can break it down to and the stroke order helps you to learn the parts.
    I say the opposite actually XD For example, I remember 新 as "stand, half, tree, enclosure, T" in terms of the radicals. For whose who don't see it, here are the kanji:

    立 半 木 [enclosure] T

    I suppose the "half" isn't really there (it's part of the "stand") but I didn't think of using "thousand", so it kind of stuck. Actually, the original version was "roof" instead of "stand" cause a friend of mine told me that it's "roof" in Chinese (the top half of "stand").

    Similarly, I remember 数 as "rice, woman, weird thingy" and 曜 as "day, yo, yo, other weird thingy" and 階 as "Beta (Greek letter), hi, hi, day". I could continue, but I won't XD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ertai87 View Post
    I say the opposite actually XD For example, I remember 新 as "stand, half, tree, enclosure, T" in terms of the radicals. For whose who don't see it, here are the kanji:

    立 半 木 [enclosure] T

    I suppose the "half" isn't really there (it's part of the "stand") but I didn't think of using "thousand", so it kind of stuck. Actually, the original version was "roof" instead of "stand" cause a friend of mine told me that it's "roof" in Chinese (the top half of "stand").

    Similarly, I remember 数 as "rice, woman, weird thingy" and 曜 as "day, yo, yo, other weird thingy" and 階 as "Beta (Greek letter), hi, hi, day". I could continue, but I won't XD
    The thing about stroke order is that all the parts have names and if someone asks you how to write a kanji you would usually say it in stroke order. (First left radical, or if it's two parts, then say for example in your earlier example, "onna no ue ni kome" (rice above woman), then you continue with the rest.) Each part has a name [hen (left), kanmuri (top), nyou, ashi, etc...]. It's really helpful to learn about it to be able to spell out kanji through speaking rather than through simply writing it down.

    If anyone wants more information about these things, feel free to ask but I won't spam now.

    ~Taka
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    Interesting, I guess I'll give it a shot after all then, just to see if it helps or hurts my learning process, then go from there.

    本当にありがとうございます。


    たいくつしている。

    ----------------------------------------------------

    I'm currently teaching myself Japanese via books.

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    Good quote from one of my music professors from the past.

    "Only when you have perfected the rules, may you break them."

    I apply this to kanji stroke order. =)
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    I used to detest learning stroke orders, but now I can sort of understand why it's necessary, and I really wish I payed more attention at grade school. Even in English (or perhaps any language) good handwriting is a sign of respectablility and independence. How would you feel as a business partner if someone signed his papers like a third grader, or as a professor grading entrance exams written in hardly legible squiggles, or as the family of a bride if the address on the wedding card was crudely written?

    Any language has a set of rules to follow, and although you wouldn't feel any hindrance in daily life, there will always exist a line where you will cease to be taken seriously if you do not learn those rules.

    In any case, there are several tendencies to follow (the vertical line usually comes before the horizontal, etc.), and a few exceptions to remember, but it's not like you have to learn the exact stroke orders for every kanji.
    Last edited by Datenshi; 07-16-2008 at 05:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ertai87 View Post
    I say the opposite actually XD For example, I remember 新 as "stand, half, tree, enclosure, T" in terms of the radicals. For whose who don't see it, here are the kanji:

    立 半 木 [enclosure] T

    I suppose the "half" isn't really there (it's part of the "stand") but I didn't think of using "thousand", so it kind of stuck. Actually, the original version was "roof" instead of "stand" cause a friend of mine told me that it's "roof" in Chinese (the top half of "stand").

    Similarly, I remember 数 as "rice, woman, weird thingy" and 曜 as "day, yo, yo, other weird thingy" and 階 as "Beta (Greek letter), hi, hi, day". I could continue, but I won't XD
    Haha I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that. It works well in my mind but makes explaining difficult xD

    What do I do... well, I learnt stroke order for the first 80 or so (they aren't exactly difficult :P). I only know about 150 right now, but now when I learn I just have a quick look at stroke orders, and then I'm alright from there.

    By the way, what order are you guys learning kanji? I've been going through the jouyou.
    *prays that she isn't going to get told 'thats the stupid way!' or something*

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    It doesn't come out right.Tree Kanji can come out crooked alot if it's wrong.Nihongo can look coroded and stuff.

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    @Datenshi: Ironically enough, possibly the worst handwriting I've ever seen from a prof was my Japanese prof's response to a letter we had to write to her in my Japanese 3 course. It was hardly legible, and she is native Japanese (like, she's about 50 and came to Canada maybe when she was like 45, like *real* native). And don't knock people who still write like 3rd graders! I resemble that remark! (lol jks, but I do have really bad handwriting for real)

    @Anyaa: The Kanji book my school uses is posted in the books sticky at the top of this forum. After we finished the book, I picked up a Kanji DS game in Japan when I was there in May and have been using that to study (it's yellow and has the number 250 in the title...otherwise it's too long to remember and I don't have it on me atm).
    日本語をならっている。 まちがえれば、おねがい知らせてください~!

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