Are translators right- or left-brained and does it really matter?


We know that some people have an obvious talent for learning and using new languages. It is not wrong to say that it runs in the family. For example, when she was in high school, my mother’s best course was English; my sister is an English teacher in a primary school and I am studying Translation. There are other biological findings about learning languages and the brain parts. Recently, I have read the article of Marta Stelmaszak, a Polish translator, who writes about the relation between brain parts and being right-handed or left-handed within the frame of translation job. It is a quite interesting article because when I consider my family, my mother is left-handed; me and my sister are right-handed. Here, I publish some part of her article. You can go to her website by following the bottom link and participate in a little test. Enjoy!


“It is common knowledge that there are two brain hemispheres, left and right, and they have different functions in processing information. Usually, it is believed, and I believed so till today, that if you are right-handed you are left-brained and vice versa (I’m left handed for that matter, but the right-brained description never actually resembled much of who I am and how do I behave).


Brain lateralization and handedness: it’s not as you think


Brain function lateralization is evident in the phenomena of right- or left-handedness and of right or left ear preference, but a person’s preferred hand is not a clear indication of the location of brain function.

Although 95% of right-handed people have left-hemisphere dominance for language,only 18.8% of left-handed people have right-hemisphere dominance for language function. Additionally, 19.8% of the left-handed have bilateral language functions.

Even within various language functions (e.g., semantics, syntax, prosody), degree (and even hemisphere) of dominance may differ. That means that left-handed people are actually more likely to be left-brained as well.”


For the rest of the article, click here.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Viola on June 29, 2011 at 12:08

    There are left brains because they are really keen on words, grammar, they are for details, while those of the right brains get bored with details and are more kinesthetics..
    Me, am more with the last one that is why I joined this group to improve my brain left’s skills…greetings


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