Writing Chinese characters on postcard address

Hello there. I’m due to send a postcard to China and the recipient has requested that her address is printed and stuck on to the card, as the local postman cannot read English script.

I no longer have a printer at home and have decided to copy the Chinese symbols as carefully as possible by hand. Has anyone tried this and had success?


This might be helpful:
Hand-writing Chinese Addresses: The Cheater’s Way :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Sadly the ‘cheater’s way’ still requires printing the address first.
I would be at a loss as well, having no possibility to print.
I never yet encountered this problem thus far, but it’s not unlikely that I will.
I’m very curious for a solution as well…
Maybe you have an answer @meiadeleite ?

And is it indeed such a problem should the address be written in English ?
Any thoughts on this ? Anyone in China ?

I know this has been discussed in some way or another before, but it would be great to get feedback from China.

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Before pandemic I often printed the Chinese address.
Now I don’t do it anymore. I am living near university. Now that there are no students in my area, printing services shop are closed.
Most of Chinese addresses I got request the same thing. I just ignored it and wrote English address. In the end they always arrived.


I’ve written the address out on paper. Will stick it on to the card. See if it works. There is also a postcode which must surely narrow the location down.

If you are on a mobile device you could turn the brightness to max and put a (thin) piece of paper over the display. You should be able to see the Chinese characters through the paper and copy them on the paper. Afterwards you can glue it to the card.

@BrianFraser Please don’t post any private address here in public :scream:


Ok I removed the address from here.

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Usually the post offices will have the addresses traslated before letting postmen deliver them, so it won’t be a problem to write the address in English. It’s not a must to print the Chinese address.

But China covers a big area, who knows, maybe the post office of where the recipient lives is unreliable or has bad services, so she doesn’t trust them to handle the English address well.

I’ve received several cards with handwritten Chinese address from people who doesn’t know Chinese. They draw it carefully and clearly, a bit like children’s writing but easy to read. I do enjoy it and appreciate their efforts.


I have no knowledge of Chinese WHATSOEVER and have written Chinese addresses by hand very often and it never was a problem.
I didn’t trace them either but really just drew them on the card.
You can use Google Translate to check if it’s legible. It never was a problem for me.


Same for me as for @lauranalanthalasa.
Lately I have been trying to write the Chinese addresses by hand (I know zero about Chinese) and all the cards have arrived.


That’s the card sent. I’ve previously written addresses in Cyrillic and the cards always got delivered. I suppose writing large clear characters can perhaps even be easier for a mail person to decipher than a local scrawl.

I think you can ask that person to translate the address into English. Chinese post offices do accept address written in English

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@elenion said it all, I think! Chinese addresses written in Latin characters go through a translation process where the Chinese address is usually scribbled somewhere on the card. This might introduce a little delay, depending on where the translation is made, but it’s not usually very significant.

But! Anyone can draw the characters — they’re just lines! It’s a matter of making them really big on your screen and copying them one by one. People are sometimes scared to do this for fear of messing up, but it’s really not a problem. They’ll certainly be more readable than some of the Chinese handwritings I’ve seen… :sweat:


This is what I do now! (I’ve graduated beyond my previous way of printing and tracing the characters! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

@BrianFraser, give it a try! It won’t look great, but it’s okay! Chinese Postcrossers have always been so gracious in their appreciation of my ham-handed attempts to write hanzi, even when it’s not necessary. :joy:


I’m studying Japanese, so I know how tricky kanji is!

My advice is to practice writing the kanji BIG first. You don’t need to worry about stroke order if you’re just writing an address and want it to look right. There is a logic to stroke order (in Japanese it’s left to right, top to bottom, in Chinese language characters it’s different)

Start by downloading a Chinese dictionary app onto your phone so you can copy and paste the address into the dictionary on your phone. Most dictionary apps for Chinese/Japanese will show you how to write the characters line-by-line, so you can recreate it bit by bit until it’s finished.

Write them one at a time. Practice writing the character BIG on some scrap paper and then you can write it on the postcard. Do them one at a time, there’s no rush.

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I once met someone who only wrote English, but the post office simply translated it and sent it. In some places, the postal service is underdeveloped, and even the sorters are unfamiliar with some road names, which may lead to loss. I live in Lanzhou, the capital of Gansu Province, which is not very developed.The postal service is notthe domestic registered mail can go by air (even if the freight train only need takes about 8 hours)

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To be honest, after reading this question about Chinese addresses, I realized that it was too much for me to directly ask others to write Chinese addresses in the introduction. For people who do not understand Chinese, Chinese is as difficult to understand as Arabic letters. And this request is not very polite. I decided not to make this request.
If you don’t have a printer, I suggest you still use an English address, unless you can write Chinese.The post office does not translate all addresses, usually only the part of XX路X号,X栋/X幢X室".

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I am brand new (one month) to Postcrossing and am wondering if writing Chinese addresses in their English format (as provided) means it is less likely to be delivered, or if the postal service just takes longer as it is overwhelmed?
I’m trying to figure out if I should in the future print out the Chinese address and tape it to the postcard instead of the English one, or print BOTH so that sending from Canada will be read by our Postal agents, and then by the Chinese postal agents when it gets there.
What has been most successful for people?

When I have sent cards with Chinese addresses in the past, I usually go with Chinese characters. I don’t know if it is true or not, but I think that they should be easier for post offices in China to understand. If the Chinese post office must translate the English into Chinese, that may introduce a slight delay. Same goes for addresses written in Cyrillic.

However, I will write China in English characters as well so that Canadian postal agents know which country it’s being sent to.

I also practise writing my Chinese characters this way so that’s another reason why I write out addresses in Chinese.

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I usually print addresses given in Chinese and Russian but now my printer is broken. When I got an address to China, I wondered what to do but I decided to try writing the address with Chinese characters. I was afraid that I made silly mistakes and wrote something stupid :face_with_hand_over_mouth: The card arrived in three weeks and the receiver told my writing was very good :blush: I also wrote one address in Russian, it was very easy compared to Chinese address :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
Many people write in Latin letters very badly so we shouldn’t be so afraid to write other letters!

@devodevo You don’t need to print both addresses, only the one in Chinese as long as there’s China on the bottom line. Your country’s postal system doesn’t need anything else than the country of your card.