Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dyslexia in Finland and Italy

A lie, repeated often enough, will end up as truth.
              The bigger the lie, the greater the likelihood that people would believe it.

Dr Paul Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda (1933-1945)
I have read in many articles in the internet that there are no dyslexics in some countries speaking orthographically consistent languages and not only that; there is no equivalent word in that language for the word dyslexia. This statement has now appeared in a reputable paper – The Guardian. A lie repeated long enough.....

I do not know how this got started but one person must have started it and every other clown in town just copies it as if it were the gospel truth.

I believe that every country has more or less the same percentage of dyslexics except that most of them are not discovered in countries where the language is orthographically consistent. In other words dyslexics in these countries will not have a problem reading in their native language. However, they will be classified as dyslexic when they learn to read in the English language.  As explained in my blog; dyslexia is not only a problem with reading in the English language but dyslexics have a problem with abstract words, sequencing, time, fractions etc.

Coming back to where I left off in the first paragraph, I did not have the time to go around confirming the in-correctness of the statement that there is no equivalent word in some of the languages for the word dyslexia. I spend enough time busting the myth that dyslexics have a phonological awareness deficit. Now, I am trying to bust the common belief, perpetuated by some sophisticated people, that dyslexics have a reading comprehension problem.

Fortunately for us Geoffrey K. Pullum has done the research and written about it. He says that he finds it is ‘almost unbelievable that people imagine they can continue to get away with printing flamingly obvious drivel about language in major newspapers. They always assume that since there are no linguistic scientists and no cross-linguistic dictionaries or encyclopaedias’, no one will check on them.’

To set the record straight he says, “The Italian word for dyslexia is dislessia. Finnish has three words for it, two native and one borrowed: lukivaikeus (literally "reading-difficulty"), lukihäiriö (literally "reading-disturbance"), and dysleksia.”

“The third of the Finnish words, dysleksia, gets about 57,000 Google hits, and there is an article on dyslexia in the Finnish Wikipedia, so it's not like nobody in a newspaper editorial office could have found this out. The trouble is that they didn't do even thirty seconds of research on this.”

The same thing goes for most of these professors who just copy what is written by some clown a long time ago. They write some of these articles, I believe, for nothing more than to make a quick buck on their wares. I agree with Geoffrey when he saysI am sure I have said this before, but here I am saying it again, for the Guardian's editors to hear: you just cannot exaggerate the stupidity of the brigade of morons who carry on the "things they don't have words for" trope. (I should add that I hope its stupidity. It may be worse than that: mere bullshit, written by sophisticated people who know they haven't looked for the relevant facts but couldn't care less.)”

Be wary of some of these so called professors who simply copy things wrongly written by their predecessors.

You may refer to the article commented on by Geoffrey K. Pullum here:

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