Tips for Learning a new Alphabet/Script?

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Tomás
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Re: Tips for Learning a new Alphabet/Script?

Postby Tomás » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:40 pm

Here's a suggestion: Get a nice fountain pen and learn to write your script as beautifully as possible. For Indian and middle-Eastern scripts, you need a pen with a right-oblique nib at about a 30 degree angle. Like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xdollar+717+qalam+fountain+pen.TRS0&_nkw=dollar+717+qalam+fountain+pen&_sacat=0
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Xenops
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Re: Tips for Learning a new Alphabet/Script?

Postby Xenops » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:23 am

What I've been doing with Hangul is say the sound as I write it. I also put beginning words in Anki Wyner-style, and try to imagine what characters or sound the word is before I look at the answer. Essentially, using Anki to quiz myself.
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Re: Tips for Learning a new Alphabet/Script?

Postby aokoye » Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:50 am

Tomás wrote:Here's a suggestion: Get a nice fountain pen and learn to write your script as beautifully as possible. For Indian and middle-Eastern scripts, you need a pen with a right-oblique nib at about a 30 degree angle. Like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xdollar+717+qalam+fountain+pen.TRS0&_nkw=dollar+717+qalam+fountain+pen&_sacat=0


I really don't think it's essential to use a Hebrew nib while for writing in cursive in Hebrew. I've been writing all of my notes and most of my assignments in Hebrew from September through the present using extra fine, fine, and medium nibs. Generally I write with a Lamy Safari or TWSBI Vac 700 at school. My Hebrew prof, who is a native speaker, has had no issue with reading my writing.

I think I remember reading on Fountain Pen Network that Hebrew nibs are useful when writing with the type of script that you'll find in a Torah scroll. That's a very specific use case and not one that is at all common. Here's a thread that might be useful.
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Re: Tips for Learning a new Alphabet/Script?

Postby aokoye » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:21 am

When I learned kana (and relearned kana) I basically just drilled the kana whenever I had a paper and pen/pencil in front of me and wasn't doing anything else. It worked out well.

For Hebrew it wasn't that easy for whatever reason. What I ended up doing was handwriting a lot of things from my textbook. Modern Hebrew has a block script, which is what things are typed in, and cursive which is what people actually handwrite. It was required of me that I learn how to read both and write in cursive. It ended up working out really well. There are a few letters that I have trouble with in cursive but that's for lack of actually studying hard this term. I had no problem with said letters after I learned them last term.

I get that some people see no point in handwriting things but given how much I handwrite things in English I see no point in only typing in any other language. I think this is especially true for a language like Hebrew in which native speakers never handwrite in block print but you will also almost never see anything typed out in cursive (I'm sure there are fonts out there for it...). Kanji was also useful to handwrite because I learned the characters better if I actually wrote them down by hand.
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tuckamore
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Re: Tips for Learning a new Alphabet/Script?

Postby tuckamore » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:51 pm

I second the all advice given above.

There is one additional thing I did with Japanese kana and am doing with Thai that I didn’t see mentioned. I use words I already knew in that language to get started in reading. These can be cognates, loanwords, place names, names of people, words I already learned, etc. I didn’t know a lick of Japanese when I started, so for hiragana I practiced heavily using certain place names (like Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, etc), people names (Ichiro, Suzuki, Honda, etc), and Japanese foods (sushi, undon, soba, miso, etc). For katakana, english loans — mostly foods and colors. For Thai, I am learning to read after having decent aural knowledge of a handful of common words. So, I am using these known words to learn and practice reading. Practicing with words I'm familiar with (like place names, foods, etc.) works for me because I get instantaneous feedback when I read/sound it out correctly. A bell rings out, which reinforces my learning. There is no bell if I sound it out wrong.

Also, in doing this, I had subconsciously created a reference list of words that I used when I got stumped. For example, the katakana character for ‘na’ gave me a hard time. I couldn’t get it to stick. When I’d see it in unfamiliar words, I’d not remember. Or, if I were writing all the characters down in some down time, as recommended by aokoye in the previous posts, I’d hit a wall at ‘na’. But, then, I’d think what word do I know that has ‘na’? Or, when reading, what word has this character? Then, I’d remember ‘banana’, and with it, remember the kana for ‘na’. Then, I could transfer this knowledge to reading or writing.
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