How do you write addresses?

Hi Alex, wellcome to Postcrossing :slight_smile:

I haven’t really noticed any differences in the travel times, but I usually write the cyrillic or chinese etc. letters by hand. I zoom in so I can read it good from my screen.


With Russia I personally haven’t noticed any difference in travel time, but with China a little/sometimes. Usually, if I write the address down for a country with a different script than mine, I’ll put it not in my regular cursive handwriting, but I’ll try to write it really clearly. Otherwise, especially for China I’ll print out the address.


Hello Alex,
I know the problem, had my first postcard to China but I write it in our alfabet, english and it went well. It just took al long time about the persoon did get my postcard. So good luck!



Thank you so much for your quick responses.
I was really thinking about trying to write in Chinese or Russian but I’m not so talented at that and I guess it would minimise the chances for the card to arrive towards zero😅
I guess I’ll continue writing in “normal” letters and see what happens.


I like to write the address in English and their language, if both are provided. I’m sure children have better handwriting than my Russian or Chinese, but it must be legible enough because they generally arrive.

I think at least the city and country need to be in your own language so your mail system knows where to take it. Otherwise it could get delivered to a random city thousands of miles away and have to make its way from there.

I also think of the mail carrier- it’s not reasonable to expect all of them in every country to be able to read Latin characters.


If I get an address in Cyrillic or Chinese, I often write it in that script. I believe that at least some mail carriers in Russia and China don’t know much English or other languages with Latin scripts, so it will be easier for them if the address is written in Cyrillic/Chinese. And when it’s written in Chinese, it won’t travel via a translation office.

You might want to check out these threads:
Writing Chinese characters on postcard address
Hand-writing Chinese Addresses: The Cheater’s Way stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

Quoting @meiadeleite from one of those threads:


Because I do not trust my (non existent) writing skills in foreign alphabets, I always use the Latin alphabet. Postcards have arrived fine this way. As othera have mentioned, I always use block letters instead of Cursive so that it is legible more easily.


Like @MrsFuchur, I don’t trust my skill at writing alphabets or characters other than the latinate, which is familiar.
So, if provided in other texts, I print off the address and paste it on to the card. My general experience is that this arrives a bit quicker than the latinate version. My feeling is that the recipient of a card has made the address available in their script for a reason.


If Russian or Chinese postcrossers give their address in their own alphabet, I always write them like that. That way I have actually learnt the Cyrillic alphabet, i.e. I can read it :slight_smile:

And yes, all my postcards addressed in Chinese have actually made it - even though I still have no clue what I’m doing there :wink:

And no, I don’t think you have to be very skilled at drawing to do this. After all, we also can read things written in the Latin alphabet even when they have NOT been calligraphed in perfect primary-school-kid style! Probably my Chinese writing is much more precise than it needs to be… At least I often get praise in registration messages for my “beautiful writing”…


I’ve just recently began writing them in Cyrillic or Chinese. Those to Russia arrived slightly earlier, but it might as well have been a coincidence. One recipient even said in the hurray message that it was cool that I had hand written it.
As for those to China, they haven’t arrived yet, although they’re still in a reasonable delivery threshold. Let’s cross fingers.


@Lunamuc Welcome to the forum :slightly_smiling_face:
In the German forum area we have a topic that might be interesting for you as well [TALK] Postkartenversand ins Ausland - Infos und Tipps

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Tyvm Bille

I print labels for the addresses on all of my cards. If the recipient provides their address in their own language, I use that over the rating alphabet. It is my understanding that in China, there are postal employees whose job it is to go from post office to post office to translate addresses. If my card arrives addressed only in the latin alphabet, it is set aside until that employee shows up and translates it. hard to validate that with real life experience, as I have not kept track of which cards i sent to China had the address in Chinese character and which in my native alphabet. Regardless, postcrossing is a hobby that does require some measure of patience!


This is true. When I lived in university dormitory, one of my friend did a part time job in the university’s post office, to translate the address from foreign countries.
Usually he went to the post office once a week, so only after the address is translated, I can get my lettes.


This is extremely interesting, I did not know that translation in these post offices works like that.


I’ve just received an address for a Japanese Postcrosser. I have an English and Japanese version of the address. I will try and use the Japanese version…but should I also add JAPAN in English at the bottom? I’m worried that no one here will be able to read it and route it correctly! Or does it get read by a machine which can translate…so it’s not necessary?

Also, has anyone found that their computer cannot handle all the characters in a Chinese address?
I was given an address in Chinese and I copied it and tried to print it. But my computer took issue with one of the characters and rendered it as a simple square instead of the complex character it should have been.

I’m assuming that character wasn’t supported in my Word software or something? I ended up using the English version of the address instead because I did not trust that my handwritten rendering of the Chinese characters would be decipherable by anyone or anything! :grimacing:


I didn’t know either and I’m glad to read about it here. Thanks for that information

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Yes, it’s good to add JAPAN if it isn’t there already.


Thanks! If it’s there in the Japanese script version…I can’t read it. I will add it in English to the bottom :+1:t2:.

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If the Chinese/Japanese characters cannot be read in Word as a character, one of the way to print it is to do a screenshot. Cut only that name and address part, save it and print it as if you’re printing a picture (.jpg). It’s like what you see is what you get, without have to copy-and-paste the characters. :blush:
Just an idea. Hopefully it’s make it easier for you.