How Chinese Helps

Everyday I must memorize 10-15 Chinese characters. Pretty much the way to remember how to write them is by writing them repeatedly to practice. It enforces a “muscle memory” allowing for a recall of characters in the mind that translates directly into writing without phonetics. You often see Chinese people writing in the air with or in their palms with their fingers. This helps recall words, phrases, expressions, names, etc.

Since I am forced to write so much as of the last several weeks, it turns out my handwriting has gotten considerably better. Looking at my first week’s Chinese homework, my characters are so much better formed, positioned, and sized with practiced. I, however, certainly am nowhere near the level of some of the native Japanese and Korean students in my class who can write perfectly neat in their sleep.

More interestingly, though, my English handwriting has improved as well. The fact that I am forced to write consistently has improved the muscles in my hand for English writing as well. With my heavy reliance of typing and computers, it’s rare that I get a chance like this to really improve my hand wirting skills. I like this side-effect.