April 21, 2005

hao nei ma?
From cogsci on LiveJournal: Is it possible to be dyslexic in Chinese?
Chinese has no letters (one ideogram = one syllable = one concept); therefore, you can't be dyslexic in Chinese, right? No such luck. While it's true that letter reversal is common in English-speaking dyslexics, the term refers to any reading disability, and the Chinese have their share of folks who struggle to make sense of the written word.
The article goes on, with talk on research by Bryan Butterworth and Joey Tang:
Dyslexia is the same for everyone, and affects "phonemic analysis"--the ability to convert letters into sounds, which the reader then assembles into syllables, words, sentences, etc. [...] Butterworth and Tang suggest that the dyslexia = sucks-at-phonemic-analysis theory also explains why there are fewer Chinese dyslexics: phonemic analysis is an extra step for which Chinese readers have less need.
(links added by moi)

Wait, but from what I know about speed-reading, you shouldn't have to "read in your head" in order to understand what a text is saying. That is, the letters don't have to be converted into sounds for the words/sentences to have meanings. Hmmm...

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