Our brain has difficulties handling Arabic text

Posted by David Khoirul

Arabic language difficult to readMy mom taught me reading Arabic text, Quran included, when I was 3 years old. And my Indonesian tongue had no problems pronouncing Arabic as the sounds -- both vowels and consonats -- are similar to the sounds in Javanese, my native language.

While I assume that Arabic is easy, Professor Zohar Eviatar, a scientist from the University of Haifa, Israel, believes that Arabic is hard to learn to read because it requires us to use the left and right parts of our brain.

BBC writes:

The detail of Arabic characters means students should use only the left side of their brain because that side is better at distinguishing detail.

The findings from the study of 40 people are reported in Neuropsychology.

When someone learns to read Arabic they have to work out which letters are which, and which ones go with which sounds.

It is the ability to tell letters apart that seems to work differently in Arabic -- because telling the characters apart involves looking at very small details such as the placement of dots.

Professor Zohar Eviatar, who led the research team, said: "The particular characteristics of Arabic make it hard for the right hemisphere to be involved. When you are starting something new, there is a lot of [right hemisphere] involvement."

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