As I’m learning with traditional characters in Taiwan I figured out that, for writing, the grass radical 艹 is written in a wrong or not so usual way in Skritter, because for traditional characters it should be written separately in two parts, like + +, usually not combined together. Unfortunately it’s also not possible to just write in the separated way, because Skritter will not accept it as being correct, but really would like to learn in the traditional separated way as it’s also required in our class. Is there a way to allow the separation?
There isn’t support for Taiwan style characters unfortunately-- however you could apply the Taiwan stroke order rules when writing the grass radical in your class (it would be the same for any character containing it): http://stroke-order.learningweb.moe.edu.tw/characterQueryResult.do?word=茶
Why not though? I would really appreciate if skritter were to add real traditional characters that represent the difference between 月 and the meat radical e.g. in 體, as well as the real upper radical in 歡, and of course the real writing of the grass radical.
In my opinion, for advanced learners of Chinese these distinctions albeit small are crucial for a deeper understanding, and the fact that they are lacking in skritter is the single most important factor making me reconsider my subscription.
The biggest gap for Taiwan learners are not these things (most Taiwanese I know write the grass radical with three strokes in daily life) but the pronunciation differences. All of the words that are pronounced differently between Taiwan and the mainland (https://www.mdbg.net/chinese/dictionary?page=worddict&wdrst=0&wdqb=e%3A"Taiwan+pr") are in mainland pronunciation only. That can get confusing.
FWIW, I also study traditional 臺灣國語 but I still find Skritter worth it. I do hope these things are supported one day, but I know it isn’t in the short term roadmap, given everything else the team is building, so we have to evaluate the tool for our use based on what it is currently. I do highly recommend Skritter and use it daily.
If there is a shorter-term workaround, it would probably be to include the alternate pronunciation somewhere in the definition or info card, or a little red triangle warning (that could be a good idea).
I certainly agree with you on the pronounciation issue, would be great if skritter could implement at least a warning if the pronounciation between the mainland and Taiwan differs.
Concerning the radicals I also know that for Taiwanese in daily life, the fine differences between the radicals is negligible and the overwhelming majority will not care about it when hand writing themselves, though most of them still know these distinctions, and for understanding Chinese characters, which at least for me is an important step in learning them, being able to see these fine differences is very helpful as it gives you at least some indication of the character’s etymology. So I’d still love for skritter to at least consider this!
We’ve considered it, and it’s on the list of things to improve someday. Olle and I both did graduate school in Taiwan, and Michael lived there for a bit as well. Much of our staff has Taiwan ties, actually, but our data layer was built in such a way that making these changes requires an insane amount of effort, and we can’t justify the time spent at the moment. At some point, we would love to have a Taiwan toggle that has its own unique readings and audios.
In the meantime, the only thing I can say is that my experience studying reading and writing with Skritter caused a bit of pronunciation confusion at times, but in no way seriously impacted my ability to communicate and read anything I encountered along my language learning journey.
When I did struggle, I would make custom definitions (notes really) for the things that I really wanted to get correct. But, again, at the core, Skritter helped me to read graduate level textbooks (in Chinese), give one-hour lectures on complex topics, and hand write exams with ease. Skritter might not be ideal for learners in Taiwan (yet), but I do think the good elements of the learning process far outweigh the characters occasionally being a little bit different, or the pronunciation of a character being wrong. The reality is that, in context, most people will understand you and (probably) immediately think that you’ve studied in China. And if they really don’t get it, you can write the word down and then they’ll understand ya!