What is this condition called?

kenneth collins kenneth.p.collins at worldnet.att.net
Tue Jan 11 00:53:54 EST 2005


"Mimi_s_Mum" <mimi-s-mum at earthling.net (remove minuses)> wrote in message 
news:nj83u09hbh4sgjll2t9rvk0k8oc9f45qpp at 4ax.com...
| Hi there
| I'm a RN working on a neurosurgical ward.  We have this patient who
| has presented us with a difficulty in expressive verbal communication.
|
| This gentleman is a native speaker of English but also a fluent
| speaker of chinese and had taught English in China.  He suffered a
| cerebral bleed in L) hemisphere (probably in front-parietal region
| but, not sure excatly where it is, sorry), has severe weakness in L0
| limbs and has had difficulty speaking in English.

The lesion seems to involve Wernike's [wer-ni-ka]
area, which is a language association area.

The differential abilities to speak in Chinese and
English after a left-hemisphere lesion typically
results from the fact that "picture-symbolic" lang-
uages involve the right hemisphere.

| PS
| I'm a fluent bilingual speaker myself and probably that's the reason
| why I'm particularly interested in this case.  I myself experience
| difficulties in switching between two languages when speaking, but
| never have problem comprehending.  Why is that?

This's just because, when you're speaking in one
language, your brain is relatively-strongly internally
configured with respect to speaking in that language.

To switch to the other language requires a relatively-
large internal configuration shift, which takes 'time' to
do.

It's completely-'normal'.

Why it seems different on the listening side is that,
when one listens to conversation, the internal con-
figuration of one's brain is automatically driven by
what one hears.

If I had to guess, I'd guess that you experience the
need to shift between speaking the different languages
=relatively= infrequently [that you have a primary
language in which you most-frequently speak, which
is 'normal', too].

If you want to achieve a "smoother" and more-rapid
shift, just seek out unstressful opportunities to "practice"
doing so. You know, with someone who understands
what you want to accomplish -- not at some "fancy"
social gathering where there's a "premium" placed on
"appearances" -- because the "stress" of that gets in
the way.

Go for a walk in the park with a bilingual friend with
whom you are comfortable, say, once or twice a week.
Make a game of it. Every other sentence in =your= con-
versation has to be in the "other" language.

Laugh, and enjoy the "miracle" that will be happening
within you.

Cheers, ken [k. p. collins] 





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