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The value in *knowing* Chinese Characters?

Posted by iaing January 14, 2013 in the Group General Discussion.

I use Chinese Characters a lot.

Reading and writing weixin messages and general emails. Reading weibo posts. Reading blogs and online Chinese news. Posting, in Chinese, on websites. Decipehering Chinese menus. Reading interesting magazine articles. 

But here's the thing, I don't *know* any Chinese Characters. 

When my girlfriend sends me a long weixin message, I just tap on it, click "Pleco Reader" (giving me the english translation of each word), and I read the message.

I type my reply using Google Pinyin input, copy it into pleco or mdbg (giving me the english translation of each word), correct any mistakes where I have inputted the wrong character, copy it into weixin, and send.

Same for email.

Weibo posts just get cut and pasted into mdbg, which then gives me both pinyin and English.

Same for blogs and online news.

When I am at a restaurant, I use Pleco OCR to "clarify" a menu item. If I still have no idea what is in "Grandma's hot and spicy, white cabbage, luncheon meat soup", then, I just ask the waiter what is in that dish, using the dish name that I just OCR'ed.

When my girlfriend puts a magazine article under my nose, I just put OCR over it, and then chat to hear about anything I don't understand.

What is the value in progressing beyond this?

I can speak and hear Chinese, very well. Most of my time is spent on improving this.

I see no value in *knowing* the Characters. 

Why do you choose to learn the characters?

 

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