About Chinese writing paper

Chinese writing paper

To learn how to write hieroglyphics, you need a lot of trainingand special Chinese writing paper is a very important tool inthat. Children at school spend years practicing. Starting fromsimple to complex, below you will find the rules on how to writeChinese hieroglyphics, using the special paper.

For example, there are a couple of types of exercise books fortoddlers and those who teach Chinese:

  • The training ones. This paper contains the examples ofhieroglyphs, the order of their writing, the pale print of thesevery hieroglyphs, which you need to use to write your ownhieroglyphs, as well as empty space where you need to writehieroglyphs yourself.
  • The empty ones. This type of paper is a notebook thatcontains empty cells 1.5 x 1.5cm crossed cross by cross anddiagonally for training the writing of the characters.

Main rules of how to write hieroglyphics

The main rules of how to write hieroglyphics include:

  • Horizontal strokes are written first, and then you need towrite the vertical and the falling ones.
  • First, write down the stroke falling to the left, and thenthe stroke falling to the right.
  • Hieroglyphs must be written from the top down.
  • Write from left to right.
  • At first, the external outlines of the hieroglyph arewritten, then the dashes inside it are written.
  • The line that closes the hieroglyph contour from below iswritten last.
  • Draw a central vertical line first and then lateral features.

The educated person needs to know several thousand hieroglyphsand they all consist of basic elements. If you master all therules, you can write even the most complex hieroglyphs.

Paper used for writing in Ancient China

Chinese writing paper

In Ancient China, one of the most ancient states, many inventionswere discovered that influenced the further development of humancivilization. Compass, silk, gunpowder, and seismograph are justsome of the many inventions of the Ancient Chinese state. But themost famous and most significant discovery of the Chinese peopleis paper.

Writing in China was born a very long time, so there was a needto have something to write on. At first, bamboo strips, silkscrolls, wooden, and clay tablets were used for this purpose. Allthese materials were very heavy and inconvenient for writing,which made it impossible for them to be transported. Letters onwooden tablets were not stored for a long time because theyquickly dampened. Therefore, their use was also not profitable.Silk is a very light material, on which it was convenient towrite, but its price was very high, and it could only be affordedby the imperial dynasty or the officials close to the court.

The surprising fact is that in ancient times in China forwriting, tortoiseshells and canines of wild boars were used. Suchmaterial was really convenient to scratch the hieroglyphs on,which, by the way, were more diverse than at the present time.

The emergence of the tradition of writing on paper in China

The paper of Ancient China is the greatest discovery that belongsto the imperial servant Cai Lun. He perfected the outdatedtechnology of making rice paper, which was not a convenient meansfor writing, because it was very thin and often torn.

The main raw material for making paper was the tree bark. Fromthe bark of the mulberry tree, Chinese writing paper was made,from sandalwood bark – a paper for books and documents belongingto the emperor and his family were made since such paper had adelicate and pleasant sandalwood flavor. Paper of Ancient Chinawas also used for wallpapers.

Cai Lun thought a lot about how to make cheap paper to make itavailable to everyone. He knew about the method of making hashi,he knew that the cocoons of the silkworm turned into a fibrousmass, in the composition of which there were many plant fibers.So, he needed to find raw materials, which also contained avegetable fiber. Many days passed in continuous search and,finally, Cai Lun found such raw materials. It was very cheap.

From the bark of trees, rags, and old fishing nets Cai Lunproduced the world’s first real paper. This happened in 105 AD.In memory of the inventor, people called the paper Cai Hao-chih,which means the paper of the official Cai. The paper was widelyused. True, for some time, the rich, trying to emphasize theirprivileged position in society, continued to write on Tso Chenand hashi, but gradually, by the 4th century AD, Mu Chen, TsoChen, and hashi disappeared. Since from that time in China, thepaper industry began to develop.

Particularly famous for the manufacture of paper were Sichuan andShanxi provinces. In the middle of the 8th century AD, an eventoccurred that contributed to the spread of paper makingtechnology in other countries. The Chinese commander Gao Sen-chistarted the war against the Arabs. His army consisted of 30thousand foot and mounted soldiers. A fierce battle took placenear Taros, which lasted five days. Chinese troops were defeated.The Arabs captured many prisoners, among whom were people whoknew the secret of making paper. The Arabs forced them to build apaper mill and produce paper, which was then sold to othercountries: Africa, Egypt, and Spain.

Gradually, the Chinese way of making paper penetrated intoEurope. And in the 15th century, the paper industry becamewidespread in many European countries.

Paper making technology

Chinese writing paper

The material was prepared by mixing several components, rubbingthem together. A mixture of hemp, brought to boil, mulberries,worn fishing nets, and fabrics was mixed with each other, groundto a homogeneous mass, similar to gruel. The resulting mixturewas placed in a sieve fixed on wooden frames, a layer of mass wasapplied and shaken so that the glasses were superfluous. Theresulting sheets of paper left to dry in the sun. After drying,the paper of Ancient China was ready for later use.

Useful tools to learn Chinese hieroglyphs

Beginning to learn Chinese, students are faced with a shockingfact – in Chinese, there is no alphabet. There are onlyhieroglyphs and their Latin transcription (pinyin). At the sametime, not having much experience with the Chinese language, onecannot know for sure what it means and how this or thathieroglyph is read. There is only one way out – to learn them.

Some of the difficulties, which initially arise for every studentin the learning of Chinese hieroglyphs, may be overcome using thefollowing useful tools.

  • The most effective advice for the learning of hieroglyphicsis the use of special Chinese writing paper. It can be different,depending on the age of the student. Experience shows that thehieroglyphs of students, who use Chinese paper instead of usualnotebooks, are much more accurate and elegant.
  • A more advanced equivalent of Chinese writing paper isspecial paper for calligraphy, on which you can write with water.You can write a hieroglyph with a brush dipped in water, andafter a minute it will disappear from the surface. There arethree advantages to such paper: they train memory, it is fun andinteresting to work with them, especially for younger students,and they are convenient and economical because there is no needto print out the prescriptions and store them every time.
  • The writing of hieroglyphs must necessarily be accompanied bythe correct order of strokes as well as their direction. This isthe key to the successful reproduction of hieroglyphs in thefuture, when the hand will remember the necessary elements. Inaddition, only the correct spelling of hieroglyphics isaesthetically pleasing. The teacher always explains the generallyaccepted rules of hieroglyphics and comments on writing morecomplex elements.
  • Even the hieroglyphs that have been repeatedly written havethe property of being forgotten. To avoid this, it is recommendedthat you recall them from time to time using a flash card system.To learn the keys (the constituent elements of the hieroglyph),it is advisable you to cut cardboard cards, where on the one handthe key will be written, and on the other hand – its meaning.Note that repetition is more effective when it is bilingual.
  • Finding the meaning/pronunciation of the hieroglyph using astandard paper dictionary can take some time. The search for ahieroglyph on the screen is more convenient. The English-Chinesedictionary nciku supports this function when installed on Androidand Apple platforms.
  • In case you are looking for a hieroglyph bymeaning/pronunciation, it is recommended to use electronicdictionaries.
  • Entering the hieroglyph from the keyboard is done byinstalling the Chinese language in your workspace (computer,tablet, or phone).
  • The input of the transcription of the Chinese language withthe tone is supported by the pinyinput program. Afterinstallation, it will be displayed as an additional language inthe language bar.
  • The function of the floating translation of the hieroglyphswhen hovering over them is supported by the MDBG Chinese readerprogram.
  • Recognition of hieroglyphs on the image and conversion totext is carried out by the Shangshu OCR program.

The tools mentioned above will greatly simplify the first stepsin learning the Chinese language. Using them, you will understandthat the hieroglyphic language can be taught as easily andinterestingly as the European languages using the Latin alphabet.

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