Chinese youth having difficulty with handwriting

Sunday, April 18, 2010

BEIJING - With increased usage of computers and mobile phones, majority of Chinese youths are now having difficulties in writing notes by hand, a study has said.

With the increased usage of computers, mobile phones and printers, handwriting is gradually being phased out, the report by the China Youth Daily Social Survey Centre said.

Many youths even reported having difficulties remembering how to write characters by hand.

“If we can submit our homework either by an electronic copy or a written copy, why would anyone continue to write it by hand?” Mei Zhu, a student, was quoted as saying by People’s Daily Friday.

Mei, a university student from Hubei, felt awkward when asked to do her homework for a course by hand.

“I have not written anything for a long time and am no longer used to writing by hand. Handwriting is too slow while typing is much faster and allows direct copy and pasting,” she said.

The study conducted on 2,072 people said only 26 percent of respondents have handwriting opportunities in their daily lives, while 74 percent have few opportunities.

More than four percent of respondents are already living without handwriting, it said.

The study said nearly 69 percent have not received handwritten text from others in more than a year, and 83 percent admitted they once had handwriting-related difficulties.

Some of the respondents believe the consequences for the decline of handwriting will be dire.

Over 71 percent believe it will undermine the identity of the Chinese people and civilization, while 65 percent believe Chinese calligraphy will gradually die out.

Filed under: Education

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