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Chinese Cursive Script: An Introduction to Handwriting in Chinese (Far Eastern Publications Series) Paperback – March 11, 1958

ISBN-13: 978-0887100338 ISBN-10: 0887100333

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Chinese Cursive Script: An Introduction to Handwriting in Chinese (Far Eastern Publications Series) + Mandarin Grammar (Quickstudy: Academic) + Mandarin Vocabulary (Quickstudy: Academic)
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Product Details

  • Series: Far Eastern Publications Series (Book 28)
  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (March 11, 1958)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887100333
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887100338
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Sir Bowen on November 24, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first began to learn Mandarin, Fred Fang-yu Wang's books got me going quicker than I would have ever expected. They weren't the newest materials, but they were by far the most effective.
One of the last major hurdles for me was learning the Chinese cursive script. It's an essential skill, but I simply couldn't find any materials on it. I had checked with many teachers, and none could even suggest to me how to get started.
So when I stumbled across Mr. Wang's book on exactly this topic, I bought it immediately. It's every bit as effective as his other works, and is material that I simply have not seen anywhere else.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mike Wright on October 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
As far as I know, this is the only book that teaches English-speaking students to read cursive Chinese writing. I found it extremely effective when I first studied it back in 1965, and was very happy to find it still available here. (And I did buy a new copy.)
Unlike calligraphy manuals, it concentrates on basic principles and shows many alternative examples. It is very well organized, and most students will also be able to use it to learn to write cursive Chinese characters. The examples are practical, rather than arty, focussing mostly on pen styles.
Although it is based on the 300 characters of F. Wang's _Read Chinese_, which is no longer commonly used, these are likely to be among the first characters taught in any beginning Chinese course, and all of them are essential characters.
I believe that students of Japanese will also find this text useful, since the principles are the same as those used by Japanese writers. (I know of no equivalent text for teaching cursive Japanese writing to English speakers.)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By F. J. Powell on May 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This new edition is a reprint of a 1958 book originally published by Far Eastern Publications. It's organized very well, and assumes that you know only about 300 bookprint (''kai shu) characters! It uses these 300 characters, starting with the most basic, moving to more complex strokes to teach you about cursive principles in writing the different components of characters. They give several variations in form for each character and also give you practice sentences to read.

The one drawback is that, being written in 1958, the characters are traditional (however 80% of the time, the cursive form derives from what we now called simplified characters). Also, ALL the chinese is handwritten, whether cursive or 'bookprint' (reminds you to be thankful for wonders of modern desktop computing and publishing!).

It even has a modest cursive stroke index so you can look up that squiggle that you have no idea how to decipher!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By SusanAndDaniel on June 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
After studying Chinese for four years, it's the little things that trip me up, like reading Chinese cursive. I was looking for a book that would help me decipher friends' and teachers' casual handwriting. This book helps students understand how to read and write cursive script. It's from a casual, pen-style angle rather than a calligraphy style. It's what most native speakers really use in China. The book has many clear examples and explanations of cursive forms for common characters.

I did not give this book 5 stars, however, because it is somewhat outdated. The copyright was 1958. The book was obviously written on a typewriter, with Chinese characters all handwritten in. This gives the book a shaky, photocopied look. The Courier font is thick and slightly fuzzy. Furthermore, the characters are all traditional. Although some cursive forms are the same as simplified, others are difficult to recognize for younger students (like me) who have only studied simplified characters. I think it's a great resource for students who want to learn cursive Chinese handwriting--and I wish Yale press would update and re-issue this classic!
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Chinese Cursive Script: An Introduction to Handwriting in Chinese (Far Eastern Publications Series)
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