Arabic writing 370.
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Reading Arabic as one’s mother tongue, one uses different parts of the brain
than when reading the Hebrew and English one was raised with, according to a new
study conducted at the University of Haifa.
This is true even though both
Arabic and Hebrew go from right to left, while English goes from left to
These different brain requirements make the learning and
“decoding” of Arabic more challenging than the other two languages.
Raphiq Ibrahim of the Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of
Learning Disabilities and the Learning Disabilities Department, and Prof. Zohar
Eviatar of the Department of Psychology collaborated on the study.
emerges that the contribution of the two halves of the brain to processing
written language depends on the graphic and linguistic structure of these
languages,” noted Ibrahim.
Native Arabic is more difficult to read
“because the two halves of the brain divide the labor differently when the brain
processes Arabic than when it processes Hebrew or English,” the Haifa
The two brain hemispheres govern different types of
activities: The right hemisphere specializes more in processing spatial tasks
and the holistic (pattern- based) processing of messages, while the left
hemisphere is responsible for processing verbal messages and local processing of
synapses in the brain.