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Say It Right Series

This is your brain on Chinese

Posted by boran May 3, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

<p>
An article in Friday's (May 2nd) <i>Wall Street Journal</i> discusses how reading activates different parts of the brain depending on the language.  In particular, comparisons were made between Chinese and English.  For example, Chinese focuses more on rote memorization thus the memory areas of our brain are much more active when reading Chinese than in English.  A quote from the article:
<blockquote>"Among children raised to read and write Chinese, the demands of reading draw on parts of the brain untouched by the English alphabet..."
</blockquote>
</p>
<p>
It doesn't get into discussing the scenario where a person is fluent in both languages.  I'm curious how much the brain changes when acquiring literacy in a second language.  It's a bit daunting realizing that you might need to change your brain chemistry in order to read Chinese but I guess that's one of the reasons I'm trying to learn it. 
</p>
<p>
Here's another interesting quote about just how different languages are to the brain:
<blockquote>
"It's very likely that a person who is dyslexic in Chinese would not be dyslexic in English."
</blockquote>
</p>
<a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120965705088459637.html">How the Brain Learns to Read Can Depend on the Language</a>

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