English and Chinese Dyslexia Are Very Different

Katherine Harmon writes in Scientific American that a new published study reveals substantial differences between how dyslexia impacts English and Chinese-language readers:

English speakers who have developmental dyslexia usually don't have trouble recognizing letters visually, but rather just have a hard time connecting them to their sounds.

What about languages based on full-word characters rather than sound-carrying letters? Researchers looking at the brains of dyslexic Chinese children have discovered that the disorder in that language often stems from two separate, independent problems: sound and visual perception.

The pronunciation of detailed and complex Chinese characters must be memorized, rather than sounded out like words in alphabet-based languages. That requirement led researchers to suspect that disabilities in the visual realm might come into play in dyslexia in that language. "A fine-grained visuospatial analysis must be preformed by the visual system in order to activate the characters' phonological and semantic information," said lead author Wai Ting Siok of the University of Hong Kong, in a prepared statement.


Link | Image: NASA

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Sorry Tim, I am regret to tell you what you said is not totally correct. As a Chinese, I probabily know what you mean. In KangXi Dictionary of Qing dynasty, there are 47035 Chinese characters. And that doesn't include all the characters inside although it's the most representitive Chinese character dictionary. And combination of characters form some meaningful unit [we call them 'Chinese phrase'. e.g., English word, 'study', in Mandarin Chinese will be printed as 'du shu(in Pinyin)' or '??(in Chinese characters)' that include 2 Chinese characters] that could be translated into English as words, or phrases. 6000 Chinese phrases will be sufficient for almost every situation in everyday communication or even in communicate in written form. However, 6000 Chinese phrases will include far more than 6000 Chinese characters.
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"Which you said are very right, I think it’s more diffculty to study Chinese than English."

Still... you really should brush up on the english. Don't quite have that one in the bag yet, mate.
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After living in Italy for a while, I discovered there is far less dyslexia there because of its phonetic alphabet. Stuttering is also less prevalent... most likely for the same reason. (I have a bilingual friend who only stutters in English... not in Italiano or French)
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I am dyslexic and I can now read and write English without any problem, I haven have a degree in English literature. I got a shock when I started to learn to read and write Japanese, I found I was making errors recognising the characters. I wasn't even seeing them right, my brain was linking characters with the wrong meaning. Even with the teacher telling me what the character was I was still "seeing" a different character. I could talk Japanese OK but as soon as we started linking words to characters I fell behind in class. It was similar to the dyslexia I had where I could not distinguish between "d" and "b".
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