I love receiving addresses in different alphabets! As we know, writing addresses in a country’s local script makes it a little easier on the mail carriers there, and there are lots of Postcrossers who provide their addresses in Chinese characters. Sadly, I do not know how to write any of these characters myself (…yet). The easiest solution to this problem is simply to print the address, cut it out, and attach it to the card. But if I hand-write addresses in Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, why not in Chinese, too?
My main concern with simply copying the text by hand was that my characters would turn out huge, lopsided, awkwardly spaced, and ultimately illegible. So I devised my own little way to write Chinese addresses that is…well, not as easy as using a printer, but in my opinion, a lot of fun! After sharing this process with the delightful @tulumu, she encouraged me to post it. So, here we go:
As an example, I will use the address of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing.
(Note: I had to create the line divisions, and since I cannot read the address myself, there is a high probability that I did it entirely wrong, or chopped a word in half. But I did my best, I promise! If it’s wrong, feel free to have a good laugh along with me as we pretend it’s correct! )
Here, I have printed out the address, in my desired font size, onto a scrap piece of paper and cut it out. Then, I have cut out a similarly-sized piece of tracing paper.
Next, I lay the tracing paper on top of the address and use masking tape (for easy removal) to adhere both pieces to a flat surface. (Here, I show the lightboard that I use in case I need extra illumination; in this case, it’s not necessary, as I am working in a bright area.)
Now, I trace the characters with a Micron pen! (I told you this was the cheater’s way! ) The Micron pen (here, a #03) helps me draw the very fine lines and markings of each character. They are all so beautiful; each one deserves to be painted with a calligraphy brush, but…that’s not possible in size 14, so a Micron it is!
As you can see, I use a clear straight edge and typically draw all the horizontal lines at once, working row by row. Then I move to the verticals and the rest of the markings! (Yes…if you are wondering…I am a bit of a perfectionist. )
When I’m finished tracing, I carefully remove the masking tape from the tracing paper with the traced address. My next step is to apply double-sided adhesive tape (shown above) to the back, covering the whole area with the written address, so that it looks like this:
I use my straight edge and my trusty craft knife to cut the excess tracing paper and adhesive, creating what is basically a sticker:
(Yes, those are PinkNoodle’s fingers pressing down hard as an example. )
Next, I peel off the backing from my sticker and…
Et voilá! A hand-written (and probably formatted incorrectly) address in Chinese that is legible enough for a postcard to arrive at its destination! @tulumu made the hilarious observation that it looks as if someone hand-wrote text in Times New Roman, but if it means that the address is legible, then my work here is done!
(Regarding the cat stamp in my mock postcard, I realized too late that I missed an opportunity to make it a “Fur-ever” stamp. )
What do you think of my process? (Be honest! ) Do you have another way of writing Chinese addresses that you prefer?