Writing on a regular basis still requires a little practice. This goes just as much for my blog as it does for my Chinese characters! It’s hard to keep a routine going when all your trusted routines seem to malfunction, like going out for a late lunch on the weekend means you end up eating together with the wait staff. Of course the lack of routines makes life more interesting so I guess it’s better than boredom.
Every class my teacher gives me five Chinese characters to add to my collection. The idea being that I practice them at home and increase my written vocabulary. I’m happy I can already read the ‘mind your head’ signs and can sometimes work out the name of a store. Although I think some stores may still apply the right to left writing so even the character recognizer (or should I say cheat-app) on my phone sometimes gets confused.
The right to left and vertical writing used to be the standard system in China. Apart from the influence of English, apparently computerized typesetting as well as word processing software contributed to the eradication of right to left layout. You still see it in graphic design but newspapers and books are largely printed left to right.
I’m still a long way off watching a Korean drama with Chinese subtitles but I am constantly intrigued when I pick up Chinese books. Languages have always been a source of amazement. It is interesting to think that people came up with such a variety of ways to communicate in all these different parts of the world.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to write a blog post in Chinese. Horizontally though.