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10-03-2017

Brilliant brains

One of the best things about being a translator that we have the opportunity learn new things every day. This makes us geniuses who know more than practically anyone else in the world about practically every subject in the world. We are also fantastically resourceful and brilliant at using computers. The constant stimulation of our brains means that we are totally awesome.

Seriously though, our bodies may not get the exercise we need, but our brains get an incredible workout every day we work.

Different areas of the brain are used for different language and speech skills. One of these is Broca’s Area, in the left hemisphere, which is associated with speech production and articulation. This important area is responsible for our ability to articulate ideas and to use words correctly in spoken and written language.

Another crucial area for language is in the posterior superior temporal lobe. Wernicke’s area is mainly concerned with comprehension, whether written or spoken. Thirdly, the angular gyrus helps us to process numerous types of language-related information. It is close to other critical brain regions such as the parietal lobe and the occipital lobe and allows us to associate a perceived word with different images, sensations and ideas.

Isn’t it amazing that all these areas work together to enable us to translate, understand and speak?

However, some people suffer from difficulties speaking and understanding. This condition is called aphasia, which is described as an acquired loss of language which causes problems with all or any of the following: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Depending on which part of the brain is affected, victims experience different types of speech and language disorders. For example, in Broca’s aphasia, suffers experience difficulties using spontaneous speech and motor speech control, difficulty with repetition and severe impairment in writing. In contrast, people with Wernicke’s Aphasia speak effortlessly in sentences of normal length, but the person’s speech is devoid of meaning. In the meantime, logopenic primary progressive aphasia is caused by degeneration of the angular gyrus in the temporal lobe and causes slowed speech with normal articulation.

All this makes me realise that all humans are awesome, because our incredible bodies are capable of performing all these miracles without even trying…. But even more so if we are translators!



Juliet Allaway

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