Writing practice (ひらがな)

Recently, I’ve been trying to practice writing kanji on paper. Since I felt those would be a good foundation, I committed hiragana to memory. As person with a dominant right hand, writing not only vertically, but also from right to left, has been challenging. The attempt(s) in the image are some of the first I’ve taken outside of the boxes with grid. Feel free to offer critique, as I’m anything but experienced.


こんばんはまいさん、おげんきですか?
せんじつ、はなをみました。
「それはーはるのきもちですね」とかじました。

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Great job! Just a few thoughts:

  1. I think you have lovely handwriting – certainly way better than I will ever have, in any language but especially in Japanese (I’ve been “writing” entirely using a keyboard for decades…)! My only criticism is that it wasn’t immediately clear to me if you were trying to write 「んじました」or 「んじました」, but I assume it must be the latter.

  2. That said, I had a hard time reading this in general because it’s only hiragana – it makes it difficult to identify separation between words. Until you’re writing with kanji (and katakana too), consider using a bit of spacing for the benefit of others (though obviously your goal is kanji anyway, something to consider until then).

  3. On a similar note, while it is really nice the way you wrote it, nowadays most people in most contexts write Japanese left-to-right. The only time I typically see top-down-right-to-left Japanese is in printed books and newspapers (I know! I forgot they existed, but I saw a real one while traveling earlier this month! I swear!) So I think it would be more useful for you to practice left-to-right instead…unless your other goal is to get into 書道, which is a a huge rabbit hole of its own – and not something I’d want to discourage since, unlike me, you may actually have an aptitude for it! :rofl:

I hope this is helpful. Cheers! :slight_smile:

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Your writing is so pretty! I can see that there are still a few places where your letters are a bit unround, the か that brenty mentioned, and also the に, but something about it looks really neat. I think it’s the even spacing and the way the characters are lined up so neatly that makes it look kind of professional :smile:

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It’s also worth noting that the vast majority of Japanese people don’t write particularly neatly (the same as Americans with English…), and somehow they can read each other’s writing (I can’t; I really am quite reliant on digital technology!) So it doesn’t actually need to look professional to do just fine here, but this looks great. :slight_smile:

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I’m gonna reply to both of your messages here.

  1. Thanks for taking the time to read through and thanks for the compliments! I admit while practicing the writings, I looked up different ways other people have written hiragana and kinda copied whatever I found looked good :sweat_smile:
    Yeah, I really messed up that か at the end, right? Unfortunately I thought I was so far in already, that I didn’t feel like doing it all over.

  2. I would totally agree usually, though I only wanted to practice the hiragana in this case, and I thought it would be nicer to do an actual sentence than just random gibberish. Really, do people actually do space between writing? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that. Sounds good tho, I will keep it in mind. And yeah, my goal is to write with kanjis, as you’ve assumed.

  3. It being Japanese (with manga and all), it never crossed my mind that people may write from left to right as well. Honestly, something about it doesn’t really sit right with me, but it’s certainly reasonable (and a lot easier probably).
    No way, I’m sure if you’re not as talentless as you say! :smiley: It did take me a lot of time to write those two texts, casual writing is sure to appear more hasty!

  4. I struggle with reading anything that’s not printed honestly :disappointed_relieved: some things just look super different from what I learned, its crazy!

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Thanks for the compliment!

Yeah really messed up with the か, ngl. I feel as if I know how to write the に, but somehow it still always comes out looking off, here’s to hoping to make it work with practice!

I’m really happy that it appears to be lined up, because it was such a struggle to get it and the more I looked at it while writing, the more it felt crooked :sweat_smile: so thank you again!

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My handwriting in latin letters, Japanese kanji and kana, and also Hangeul characters, are all abysmal.
Yours looked so great.

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It‘s all practice, honestly. Copy someone with pretty handwriting while focussing on the shapes, curves, hooks and tilts – all very slowly – until you’ve understood the rhythm, then practice a lot to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. And then practice some more – or rather, just write a lot with your new handwriting – until you don’t have to think about it anymore.

Sincerely, someone who has tried to learn good handwriting about five times throughout her life and has finally more or less succeeded a few years ago.

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Couldn’t agree more. It’s literally what I’ve been doing with hiragana (copy someone, then practice).

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Practice: that’s the spirit! I hope I didn’t discourage you with what I meant as objective (and hopefully constructive) criticism. Honestly, I feel the same way: those are two that I struggle with in particular, and you’re already way better at writing them than me. Just keep it up and you’ll get there!

Sorry, I really should have been clearer, but I didn’t want to leave you an even bigger wall of text than I had already. If you’re writing just for yourself, to practice, then don’t worry about it. I just meant that if you’re writing to give to someone else it will be easier for them to understand your intention if you delineate words. You could even do that with “line breaks” where it makes sense, rather than “spaces”. I haven’t seen adults do this because they use kanji and katakana as well, but I have seen my friends’ kids spacing words when they write only in hiragana, and I think it helped them read their own sentences as well as making it easier for their parents and teachers. :slight_smile:

I struggle to think of a good, solid list of everyday situations (which are the majority) where things must be handwritten, but it’s almost always left-to-right: just as a general catch-all, anything that needs to be filled out will be that way, including any narrative – city office, hospital, and immigration come to mind (I had to write a paragraph or so, which turned into a page because I can’t write well enough for it to be readable except at a fairly large size!)

Seriously, though, I have a medical condition called 不器用 – half joking, but I am never going to be good at writing (or a lot of other things), and I’m okay with that; there’s other stuff I am good at, so that’s where I focus. :grin:

I am able to read a lot of handwritten text…of people with nice handwriting who aren’t in a hurry, but they’re definitely the minority; we just have to hang in there and get it eventually なんとなく. :sweat_smile: :pray:

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You might find this video helpful

It really helped me get the angles right,

I was a bit thrown off while reading your writing since the text you’ve typed says
こんばんはまいさん
But your written one is
こんにちはまいさん

The に and the か need some work the short upper line of に should be horizontal, it’s more similar to the way you write it in た, the か needs some loving there, making the left line a straight diagonal one that reaches the ground could be enough to make it more defined. の can be less smooshed but other than that you have a nice handwriting and I could easily read it.

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haha I’m practicing with that video too! About halfway through and I’m noticing my letters have become much smoother already. Definitely recommend it and the whole channel. It’s also good listening practice because he’s very easy to understand and uses simple words.

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I will take a look at the video when I have the time, thanks for the recommendation!

Whoops, that’s my bad. I guess I was in a different mindset when I made the post and wrote こんばんは without thinking about it further :sweat_smile: You’re right of course!

Also thanks for the tips, I will try to keep them in mind; and thanks for the compliment.

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字がとってもきれいですね!よくできました!

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ありがとうございます!
がんばります☆

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