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The word "Anstrich" is used in different contexts. Here I'm refering to a stroke beginning the sketch of a character. This stroke is not part of the character but often used when it comes to handwriting. What word is used express "Anstrich" in that context?

Note As mentioned by splattne: without context the most common meaning of the word is "paint/paintwork/coat of paint" (noun).

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I vote to close, since you know the german meaning, but search for an english word, which is off topic, imho. I used this post on meta as an example – user unknown Jul 14 '11 at 13:35
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would go with "upstroke". But use the terms with some caution: A quick Google search shows that this term is indeed used, but that some writers feel the need to specify that it's not any kind of stroke heading upwards, but indeed the stroke at the very beginning of a word or letter. Some examples:

Others again simply write "upstroke" without feeling the need to specify that it is actually the "Anstrich" which is being referred to.

Edit: "Upstroke" and "downstroke" have other related meanings as well; it is used in conducting, guitar playing and painting as well.

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upstroke sounds good - can you provide a source for downstroke in that context? – mbx Jul 13 '11 at 13:52
@mbx: You're right "downstroke" is not used specifically for the first stroke of a word or letter. I'll correct it. Thanks for the comment! – Stovner Jul 13 '11 at 17:45

I think


is the right word in this context. Dictionary: here.

In this glossary page there's this definition of Aufstrich (= Anstrich):

Beim Schreibvorgang eine nach oben gezogene Linie eines Buchstabens.

Note: without context the most common meaning of the word is "paint/paintwork/coat of paint" (noun).

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