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Stroke Order

Buradorii

Hiragana & Katakana user
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90% of the time, with Hiragana and Katakana, I use the appropriate stroke order and the other 10% I kind of do my own way because I think its easier. I was wondering if there are many people who are really picky about this subject in Japan. Say, if a person was watching me write and I got scolded or teased (or even looked down upon)for the wrong stroke order. (And I definitely know I will have this problem once I start learning Kanji...)
 

Soloistic

Kouhai
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Your best bet is to stick to the correct stroke orders all the way through. It may not always seem practical to you, especially when you get into Kanji, but if you don't know the correct stroke order (which is usually pretty easy to understand and follow) you will have a hard time using printed/electronic dictionaries.

Nobody is going to beat you with a stick if you don't do it right, but some may consider it an unnecessary imperfection in your learning.
 

Buradorii

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I think I'd rather somebody beat me with a stick so I don't do it wrong...
Well, on a lighter note, I finally learned Katakana!
 

orochi

便利屋
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Once you start learning kanji, you'll realize how important stroke order is. With just the kana sets, it's easy to overlook.
 

Ryuk

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I've spoken to people in Japan and asked about this, but the people I have spoken to say it doesn't really matter, you just write in whatever way you find easiest. I guess there is a standard for the way it's written and if it's not your first language then you should try to learn the stroke order, but I wouldn't worry about being looked down upon.
 

bakaKanadajin

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Stroke order determines how 'natural' the character looks to a native Japanese speaker's eyes. I say speaker just because.. native writer seems slightly weird. It's the same reason why a thousand different styles of English hand writing can be unique but all look normal and as if properly written by a native speaker of English. If your stroke order is off, it's not unintelligble but it's noticable. The order determines just what portions are spaced in accordance to what other portions and also creates patterns of 'natural sloppyness'. Some complex hand-written kanji (and I guess any written language for that matter) will be unintelligble as far as deciphering it stroke by stroke goes, but because they came in the right order that blob takes on a familiar shape. Often this is what the native eye sees, not the individual strokes, so again there's a pictographic-memory element there. It's the reason why even the sloppiest English writing, if fluid, is still considered more 'native' and accomplished in appearance than the neatest attempt by a young child.

Overall I don't think stroke order is so important simply because most communication these days is via printed text or e-text. It's possible to function fully in Japanese society without knowing how to write all the kanji. We know this because many Japanese themselves do it :)
 

AJBryant

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Here's the thing about stroke order.

The order you write strokes determines how you speed up or slow down, or where you lift the pen or just drag it along the paper, when writing with any sense of fluidity or speed. If you use the wrong stroke order, your "written" Japanese may not be as clear; if you use the RIGHT stroke order, you're more familiar with it, and will be able to read more cursively written text easier.

Tony
 

Buradorii

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I see, thanks everyone for helping me get my stroke order....in order. Now, if i could be directed towards some common Kanji to remember (I'll start a different thread I guess).
 
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