Monday, March 13, 2006

Culture: the power of the Dutch human mind

Cindy Hoong asked whether the power of the human mind to read messed up text would hold in Dutch (and other languages). It is not difficult to do a short test in Dutch:

Dit is een meiojlke tkest oevr het fmeeenon van de kahcrt van het mjelnesik biern. Eglinejk is het mekakjikr om gownee slelnpig te tpeyn doaarm maar een ktroe tkset dzez keer, ik doe heir al vjeitifn meutnin oevr. Bibakraljr weet ik ook neit zveeol lnage woeordn.

I don't know how easy it is to read it in Dutch, but my impression is that turning around of the coupled letters (ei, eu, ij, etc) makes it more difficult to read.


hoong said...

Hi Joitske,

Yes. It works!

But it is interesting to read that it is taking you more effort to scramble those words then to if you would just spell it the normal way!

So what does this test prove? But I am think there is another reason why we can read those jumbled-up words/text. I first tried to figure out what were the first 2 or 3 words mean. Once I know what they are, I kind of know what you are trying to say, therefore it becomes very easy to guess the rest of the words.

This experiement reminds me very much of the game show on TV: That's the Question.

hoong said...

This exercise stays with me for qutie a few days.

It is true one can read with the words all mixed up. But one must know how many alphabets in each word, and composed with which alphabets etc. BEFORE one can jumbled up the alphabets in each word.

I have to say I am buffle as to why such an experiement is carried out. Is even more silly why it is still bothering me!