Hand-writing Chinese Addresses: The Cheater's Way 😜

Your process is amazing!

When sending a postcard to China do you put the address in English too?

My first postcard to China never arrived :frowning_face: so now I print out the Chinese address and tape it on there along with the English version. :mailbox:

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I have handwritten addresses in Chinese and Cyrillic in the past and they have always arrived. I did get comments saying it looks childish and weird but the postal system has been fine with it.

You don’t need to do both. Address in local script and country name in English is enough.


Oh that‘s a good idea, will try it next time.


Wow, what a dedication …

… that I will never develop in this life, as I am far too disorganized, too impatient, too clumsy to bring myself to such a level - and also too uninterested in this grade of neatness.

So I guess I’ll stick to my attidude of ‘if a billion Chinese folks can write legible, my five minutes of hand-copying will do too’


I would love to try it out but it seems like sooo much effort! :wink: I also don‘t dare to write Chinese addresses by hand because I‘m afraid that I will miss lines or that it looks way too shaky - so I always print them. But it‘s nice to see what ways others have found to avoid printing :slight_smile:


i don’t understand. do people not at least appreciate that you try to write chinese?

i’m scared to try it myself because i know they have a lot of characters that look slightly different so if i make a small mistake i could be saying something totally different.
i actually think that op’s progress of writing everything over is perfect for learning the language, if that’s what you want. i do love the dedication, i would stop after just printing out the address :sweat_smile:


I’m not even going to write the address in Chinese. Either the card with the English address will go or it won’t go, that’s all. I just put it in an envelope to leave a free space for postal workers to rewrite the address if really the country is so bad with English.

Wow! Your dedication is very cool! It seems like you have a lot of fun doing so.

Like many here I don’t have a printer so I just write the addresses by hand. Sometimes I write (or rather copy) in Chinese and sometimes in English, it’ll depend how much space it’ll take - I always choose the one that seems “smaller”. This goes for Russian (but this one is often easier) and Japanese as well - once I was afraid if a card to Japan would arrive, but it did and the receiver was happy that I tried (and then I was also happy I tried).

Just as a fun note, a few days ago, after I had write-copy the entire address (it was long, or felt so) with a pencil (first I try with pencil and then pen) I realised it was the wrong card! I had drawn three addresses and had sorted out the cards and the first thing I write is always the address - although now I go for the stamp first, but I am rambling). So I struggled “do I just send this one or do I write all again twice on the other one?” I ended up writing all again because I thought the receiver would like the other better. It’s still in its way, I hope it gets there!


Would be interesting if it was meant as ‘beginner’ and ‘uncommon’. Ah, language, semantics, communication.

When writing Cyrillic or Chinese, I either got comments like ‘decent’ and ‘cool that you took the effort’ or no comments at all. Nothing negative so far (hopefully b/c there is absolutely no reason to be negative)


@PinkNoodle Your 10-step cheater’s tutorial is – and I mean this as a compliment – beyond extra. :star_struck: :star_struck: :star_struck:

Meanwhile, I’m sweating bullets when I have to write ß for German addresses. :rofl:


If this ß is in Straße (Street) you can shorten it to Str. :wink:

I usually try to hand copy chinese address es by making the script on my phone very big.


as @Jarana already wrote, there is no need to write “Straße” (even I never do it! I always use the abbreviation). If it’s in another word, you can just put ss instead. It’s a bit uncommon when writing in non-capitalised letters, but everyone will understand. If you don’t want it to look “noobish” just write the complete address in capital letters… there is no ß as capital letter (it will turn to “SS” then!)


The person you quoted, I think, is from the US. The USPS requires an English translation of all international addresses if there is one:

“Addresses in Russian, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Japanese, or Chinese characters must bear an interline translation in English of the addressee’s full legal name and complete address (including country). If the English translation is not known, the foreign language words must appear in Roman characters (either printed or script).”

I know it’s a pain in the butt to write the address twice or print it twice, but I do it anyway to increase the chances of it being delivered.

Edit: Ah, never mind my post. I thought you wrote Chinese was enough rather than English was enough. I think I need more coffee. :stuck_out_tongue:


I used to be very “typewriter”-ish in writing non-Latin characters…until I had a Chinese pen pal. His handwriting was horrible! I looked at the return addresses he had on his letters to me and thought…how can anyone read this? It gave me the courage I needed to start relaxing when writing characters by hand and not worry too much if they aren’t schoolbook-perfect!


Per @valdavid’s assessment, I am officially renaming this PinkNoodle’s 10-Step Method to Making a 2-Step Task Unnecessarily Complicated. :grin:

I applaud @yudi, @Regndroppar, @Stevyy, and others who took one look and said, Oh, hell no. :rofl:

@GJG, I do not write the English address in addition, but I also did not know about the USPS rules that @syaffolee mentioned. :grimacing: So far, everything has arrived in decent time, so…to be honest, unless my mail carrier knocks on my door to scold me, I think I will just keep using my weirdly-copied Hanzi, with the country name in Latin letters. (How do they expect me to fit two addresses on a postcard, anyway?!)

Funny that you mention this, because my friend (also a Postcrosser) and I have a running joke that we will make this kind of error and our cards will be mistakenly addressed to the Moon, where moon aliens will have amassed a stash of mysterious postcards from us. :full_moon:

NOOOOOOOOO. :sweat_smile: I can easily see myself doing this. At least you got more practice writing the address? :woman_shrugging: Anyway, I know the recipient will love it!

:cold_sweat:um…I think I’ll just keep writing my wonky ß in that case.

Nice! One of these days, I will start practicing writing the characters freehand! (Probably in pencil first!)


but why do you make it sound like that’s a bad thing. maybe they will start writing back :nerd_face:


A bit off-topic, but…

There is now a capital ß! There was previously no need for such a thing, because there is no word that begins with ß. But because in many forms and also in advertising, etc. where one writes only in capital letters, since 29. June 2017 there is officially a capital (“big-written”) ß, at least in Germany (probably not in Switzerland or Austria, where the lovely ß has been pretty much abandoned…). It looks like this: ẞ. With a German keyboard I can generate it using [Shift]+[AltGr]+ß.


Good News @PinkNoodle
Since 2017 capital ß is allowed and officail in the german orthography reform. Both forms ss and ß can be used in catipal letters.

The capital ẞ did not form part of official German orthography until June 2017, the Council for German Orthography officially adopted a rule that ẞ would be an option for capitalizing ß besides the previous capitalization as SS (i.e. variants STRASSE vs. STRAẞE would be accepted as equally valid).[14][15] Prior to this time, it was recommended to render ß as SS in allcaps except when there was ambiguity, in which case it should be rendered as SZ. The common example for such a case was IN MASZEN (in Maßen “in moderate amounts”) vs. IN MASSEN (in Massen “in massive amounts”), where the difference between the spelling in ß vs. ss could actually reverse the conveyed meaning.

Source Wikipedia


Never too old to learn something new, thank you @ColorfulCourtney + @Jarana (the capital ß looks really weird though!)


Yes, for typographic aspects I would rather stay with ss in capital letters.

Capitalising was a very common tool for advertising, but actually it’s absolutely reader unfriendly. Ok for headlines, but not in the middle of a text.