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Off topic: What did you learn to write first?
Thread poster: Chinmayi Sripada

Chinmayi Sripada
Local time: 07:44
English to German
+ ...
Feb 6, 2011

I am trying to blog about what we were first taught to write. A lot of kids were taught to write the first letter of their mother tongue. Some others were taught how to write Mama. In India, families taught their children to first write the name of the God or Goddess that is the presiding deity for their family, either on a plate of rice or on river sand.

While going through this, I was curious to know how cultures around the world taught their children. What did they teach their children to write first? Was it in school or at home?

Could you kindly help?

[Edited at 2011-02-07 06:22 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:14
English to German
+ ...
My name Feb 6, 2011

Which is rather short, so that's a good thing.

I learned to read and write at home, before I started school.


Beautiful topic, BTW!


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 04:14
English to Russian
+ ...
It depends Feb 6, 2011

I'd say it strongly depends on how eager the child is to learn. Children with a lot of initiative will most likely start from copying whatever text they have around - shop signs, book titles, etc. At least I did.

I second Nicole's version, too. In Russia, most parents would probably start by teaching the child to "sign" his/her own name.

[Edited at 2011-02-06 19:55 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:14
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I don't like this topic at all! Feb 6, 2011

Nicole Schnell wrote:

Beautiful topic, BTW!


It's all right for the young ones here! How can I remember that far back? You're talking half a century!

All I remember is that at primary school we didn't use fountain pens, let alone biros! We had dip pens and every desk had an inkwell. As far as I remember, the inkwell was indispensable for dipping blotting paper in so you could splat your classmates in the back of the neck. Try having so much fun with a PC!


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:14
Chinese to English
+ ...
My name, I think Feb 6, 2011

I think I was taught how to write my name first.

[Edited at 2011-02-06 21:56 GMT]


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Julie Skorgen  Identity Verified

Local time: 15:14
Norwegian to English
+ ...
My name :) Feb 6, 2011

went on to find a black permanent marker and wrote my name over and over again on my mothers white wardrobe... it's still there with the e facing the worng way and all:)

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Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:14
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
the alphabet... Feb 6, 2011

...one letter at a time (first the vowels, second the consonants), then two..., at school, nuns teaching. My daughter learned to write first her name, in kindergarten, before going on quite fairly in school. Finally, my grand-daughter learned first to write her name, then to read (!) and "communicate" (!!!). Donte asq her 2 rissheight dhi alfabèt or rite ènything korectly but txto (!), but she will speak French, English and Spanish (and sing the same), no problem!

Well... I don't want to generalize, but let's say that the "reforms" implemented in the education system over the last 15 years did not exactly hit their target! And as if it wasn't already enough that college students (with 13 years of "learning"!) strive to pass a French exam for being admitted to university, we now have to deal with the "new orthography"...


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Mirja Maletzki  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:14
Korean to German
+ ...
German elementary school Feb 6, 2011

I don't remember if I was able to write my own name before I started school, but I do remember learning the names "Fu" and "Ara" first. Those were the names of two sock puppets from our school books, and they were the ones teaching us all about writing.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 04:14
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
With my left hand! Feb 6, 2011

I don't remember so much what I wrote, but it was separate letters, and patterns to begin with

And I go back to using chalk on a slate!
When the teacher saw I was left handed, she said I should wait, and she would show me after the rest of the class. She took the chalk in her left hand and wrote for me to copy on my slate.

We moved on to pencil and paper fairly soon, and I too remember the dip pens, and learning to angle my hand under the line, so that I did not smudge the ink as my hand moved over the writing... But that did not come until a couple of years later.

We wrote patterns with the letters from the Marion Richarson books. Rows of 'c' joined like a Greek wave pattern, or double chains of 'o', the second written with the paper turned so that the letters came upside down.

We copied nursery rhymes or poems from the book too.

I learnt to write in Bombay, as the city was called then, in the early 1950s.


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Claudia Luque Bedregal  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 04:14
English to Spanish
+ ...
My name Feb 6, 2011

The first thing I learned to write was my name.
I also learned to read and write at home before going to school (and then I got bored when I started school because I already knew this and the others didn't)

Interesting topic!


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Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:14
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
The hand of the devil... Feb 7, 2011

Christine Andersen wrote:

When the teacher saw I was left handed, she said I should wait, and she would show me after the rest of the class. She took the chalk in her left hand and wrote for me to copy on my slate.


At that time, we were not allowed to write with our left hand. The nun would shout something like "this is the hand of the devil!" and the devilish fingers would taste the wood of the nun's ruler! Lucky me, since I always used my right hand to write, I was authorized to draw using the devil's!


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Ricardo Gouveia  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:14
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mostly the first name Feb 7, 2011

Most people whose first written word I know is mostly their first name, I think that's the kind of things parents (at least in Portugal) teach to write the kid first. I loved the face of joy and happiness of those kids that showed me a piece of paper with their name written in it with twisted letters (R, mostly), but when they are aware of what writing/reading is, it's their name that they want to know first. They usually want to know that and make sure they "bring their lesson" before starting school, which I find quite funny.
For me, I am not sure, I am able to write since I remember, I was 3 back then according to my parents, grandparents and my doctor. I recall seeing a piece of paper somewhere in one of my baby albums which had "RICARDO" (me), "PAI" (father), "MÃE" (mother), and a lot of other words like car, television, cartoons, parking, bolachas.

I got curious about this and went to ask my parents and it seems I wrote my first English word at 4, "food".


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Johanna Timm, PhD  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:14
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
whole words Feb 7, 2011

My parents did not teach me how to read or write before school – they assumed I would be bored (and I had not shown any interest). I was supposed to start school just like everyone else when I was six years old; but after only a week the teacher determined that I was not ready to sit still and be quiet and sent me back home to play for another year.
At the end of that year I had perfected the art of sandcastle building, had become a speedy knitter and could recite all major Grimm fairytales by heart. So when I finally started school at age 7, I still did not know how to read or write, let alone spell my name...
The school I attended used the “whole word” or “whole language” approach http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_language , meaning we were first taught whole words (written in cursive) instead of individual letters. I believe “Uli”, the name of the blond-haired protagonist in our reader, was the first word I read and wrote. I remember thinking that Uli was rather uninspiring and phony, and I detested his equally boring dog called Lumpi - most likely because their adventures were rather lame compared with the gruesome Grimm’s stories I was used to!! But I was able to sit still and feign some interest, and by the end of grade 1 I had become a fast and furious reader... and all the knitting and playing in the sand must have made my fingers extra-nimble, because I absolutely loved the writing exercises







[Edited at 2011-02-07 06:18 GMT]


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Chinmayi Sripada
Local time: 07:44
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lovely Feb 7, 2011

I am wondering if it is allowed on Proz to ask regular questions for knowing the way of life and cultures of the people in the world. Perhaps, one concept at a time.

In India, education today begins as early as 3 with preschool. Everything has to be done quickly, early here. That seems to be the dictum. Conventional education begins with LKG or Lower Kindergarten when the kids are about 4 and Upper Kindergarten going up to Grade 12, which signifies the end of school.

However most of the kids were usually taught to write by their grandparents. I would daresay that it still continues today. And hence we were given a slate and a piece of chalk and taught to write the first letter in our mother tongue. Or 'Aum' or as I said before the name of the family deity on a plate of rice. River sand is perhaps left in the past.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 05:14
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
At school? Feb 7, 2011

At school we had stylos and slate with lines to write between. Then we probably started with zig-zag-lines up and down, later letters "l" connected etc.
My parents did not teach me, but I copied text I liked. I remember copying the writing of the lid of the game "Mensch ärgere dich nicht", where the "M" starts with a mighty tail.
My son TOM two-three years old signed his drawings "MOT" until he finally learned to change the order.


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