Invest Time in Writing?

Aye, fair enough.

Good points. As a future software engineer, I’m gonna be near electronics no matter what. I can just look up the stroke order for any kanji. So what may have taken me 5 seconds to write now takes 20 seconds (assuming that I don’t type it in the first place). Now assuming I don’t have any electronics in front of me, I may or may not be in trouble :stuck_out_tongue:

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This isn’t really contributing much, but I’m always baffled when people say “well no one really writes anymore nowadays anyway”, or something along those lines. All my friends and family still write quite a lot by hand every day. Notes, quick ideas, or even just a grocery list. Sure, none of them is writing a whole novel on paper, but still - the handwriting is there.

As for Japanese, I take all my study notes by hand because it helps enforcing them. For that alone being able to write in Japanese is useful, or it would take a lot more time to even write the most simplest sentence.

On a more personal note, being able to write in the languages I study is rather important to me. For me, I only really know a language when I know all parts of it - speaking, listening, reading and writing. And even if people might not use writing as much nowadays, I think it would be incredible sad if that skill would get forgotten at some point. Just because everyone is using technology to write instead of writing by hand, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good thing. But that’s just my opinion.


How long do you guys need to take, on average, to get comfortable with taking handwritten notes (and not get uncomfortable with over-kana)? Skritter or other trainings included. Of course, I don’t mean perfect writing.

Baffeled, you say? Well, you and me both! I love to write. I love to use different pens. People can trivialize writing all they want, but we’ve done it for thousands of years and we will continue to do it for thousands of years. Just because the really computer savvy people believe that writing doesn’t matter anymore doesn’t make it true. Writing is, and will be, forever. And, as such, very important.

Not teaching stroke order is the biggest deficit of wanikani in my humble opinion.


I’ve been learning for just a few weeks, so I still read the kana syllable by syllable :slight_smile:
“ko”…“n”…“ni”…"oh hey I know what this is :smile: "
Doesn’t matter. The more you read and write, the more your brain will adapt. It takes time. Might take a lot of time. But the solace is that your brain will get used to it sooner or later. Personally I already started dreaming about reading and writing kana, so it’s already underway for me. And like I said: I’m a beginner! Don’t forget: the brain is but an instrument. Like clay, it will take the shape you will it to, and for things to become habits the only thing the brain needs is time, time, time.

Yes! I agree 100% with you! Also, I’ve tried using computer based notebooks such as Evernote etc. but I always return to my trusty old paper notebook. I can carry it around at all times and don’t have to be scared that the battery might run out, or that it’s too bright outside to read on the screen properly. Handwriting is just a lot more convenient. But maybe we are old souls haha.

As for the stroke order, there’s a useful script for that, in case you didn’t know yet.

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すごい!! ありがとございました!
According to some, there’s nothing more personal than handwriting. Thus, to me, writing by hand is like body and mind getting to know each other. That’s a beautiful way of looking at it, isn’t it?
Thanks for the link! Bery bery nai-se! :wink:

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Beautifully said! That’s really a nice way of looking at it. And it’s true, I’m a lot happier about a handwritten postcard than a digital greeting.
どういたしまして :smiley:

Could not agree more. The argument of writing not being important is frankly ridiculous. I work exclusively with technology for a living, and yet, I spend a lot of time with pen and paper, either working out conceptual solutions to problems, or taking notes as I write code, or making a to-do list, or abusing my trusted whiteboard. Sure, this is anecdotal, but it only takes one example to disprove a statement.
All around me people write all the time. As you say, it’s not a novel, but the convenience of writing appears to be spectacularly understated.
Should writing be a priority when you’re starting out? Perhaps not, I can’t say for certain, but I don’t think it is necessarily essential.
Should writing be a part of the journey?
Well, given that “literacy” is defined by MW as the ability to read and write, you tell me.

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For the people who suggest that nobody writes anymore and that people don’t even know how to write correctly: what age bracket are you in and where are you from? Personally I’m in my 30s and live in Canada, and even though I know several people who think that cursive writing is becoming useless (I disagree, but I digress), I doubt they would agree that all writing is useless. The idea of someone literally not being able to write something except in a childish scribble is so foreign to me, and really sounds like illiteracy. On the other hand, maybe I am just old fashioned and hopelessly out of touch? :thinking:


I’m 19, USA. The only time I write by hand is when i’m filling stuff out on a test :stuck_out_tongue:

For everything else including: grocery lists, short messages, etc, I use my phone or PC.

I do believe that writing is useless (assuming you have quick access to a computer and internet), or at least not as useful as just typing things out.

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I love being able to read/write in cursive, but it is pretty much dead. Where I’m from it’s only used for the purposes of signatures, which are more of a formality than anything else at this point.

Edit: I lied. I think some of my family members, who are all over 50 years old, will write seasonal greeting cards in cursive…

However, being able to write by hand is far from useless. We still haven’t replaced hardcopy forms and documents, especially in the case of individual transactions. On the basis of daily activities most people can go without writing altogether, but even as a tech orientated person I find written notes to be situationally faster than electronic means. I always keep memo pads and notebooks nearby because of this.

I don’t think society has reached a point where we can establish a blanket ruling on the usefulness of writing. Maybe in a few years, but that’s more than enough time for me to justify kanji writing practice ignoring all of the other benefits.

(And seriously, what are you people doing that keeps from you getting exposed to handwritten kanji, calligraphy, or stylized fonts? Talk about missing out on culture.)


Yeah, I am starting to think it might be a generational thing.

I regularly take notes for work in handwriting, and I am a programmer. I also write some notes for Japanese study by hand. I write notes to my husband by hand, and same with grocery lists. I have written out postcards and even sent one handwritten letter (ok, that one is unusual, I admit) in the last year! I do write notes on my phone occasionally but sometimes I just prefer to have the paper out in front of me because it’s much faster and more convenient than whipping out the phone and unlocking it every time I have to reference it. Maybe other people don’t have passcode and/or pattern unlock on their phone? idk. This actually happened just the other day at Ikea when I’d taken down some measurements on my phone and had to keep opening up the phone to look at them.

Also, do none of you give people cards for their birthdays, babies, weddings, etc? Or are you the kind of person that doesn’t write a message? That one just seems odd to me :slight_smile:


Depends on your abilities, I’d say. If you are naturally very good at recognition, there’s probably no need. As embarrassing as it is, I can’t even write most kana.

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BTW, I have found that, Kanji writing not only help differentiate similar Kanji, but it also help cement both Kun and On reading at the same time… (and probably also Nanori, if you know an associated name.)

This is about the catch-up writing. I have just finished writing Kanji up to Level 60 a few days ago.

If you write a newly introduced Kanji in new lessons, it won’t help as much.

And, thanks to Iverson method, I can remember 35-40 Kanji per day… both stroke orders and components.


I am 19 and from Canada and I regularly write things out. I need my pen and paper often to work out a math problem, do notes, drawing, lists, help me plan things out and other things. Almost all of my other friends also use pen and paper more than the computer. I find that just typing really limits what you can do and even efficiency. I tried to do everything on my phone/computer once and I was lagging far behind those that were just writing it by hand due to computer lag, opening the right application, spell check, lack of short hand etc.


Somewhere in the forums someone stated they write out every kanji several times each time it appears in their reviews. I tried this out and found that my recognition improved a lot and I can recall the meaning and reading much faster (so thanks for the tip!).

Overall, I’m in my twenties and do a lot of handwriting on a regular basis just like a lot of my friends. I can’t really imagine just typing everything out though I definitely see how convenient it is with Japanese and also type a lot of my study notes to make it faster.

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I try to write regularly because I found that it helps me remember the kanji and vocab more deeply.

In my opinion writing is helpful for recognition but it’s mostly a production skill so I train my writing while doing Kaniwani sessions. That way I train the English to Japanese part of learning Japanese while writing stuff.

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