How do you say "Dyslexia" in Japanese?

I am fairly convinced that my son has dyslexia, though what good this knowledge will do me in the sticks of Japan, I don’t know.

He has been having horrible problems at school this year, and finally I have broken down and admitted to myself that he really isn’t like the other kids. I did an online diagnostic test and he comes up as moderate to severe on that.

Tomorrow I have a private meeting with the teacher (yes, on a Saturday!) to discuss the kid, and I need to put this idea to him. As dyslexia is very much unknown here anyway, and this particular guy is in his late fifties, just saying “dyslexia” isn’t going to get me anywhere much.

I took part in a dicussion about this a couple of years ago, and at that time two words came up - the standard one known by most educators seems to indicate “mentally handicapped and therefore incapable of learning to read or calculate” and then there is a newer word being pushed by the dyslexia camp to try to differentiate themselves from the previous word. But I can’t remember either of them!


You should go ask over at sci.lang.japan. I’ve read several debates about Japanese dyslexia (if it even exists) ove there but just searched and couldn’t find an answer. But there are several native speakers ont he list and Jim Breen still reads it as well.


On a straight phonetic conversion, it would be di-su-re-ku-shi-a. But then, I’m not certain if I can help you with anything more.

I don’t know what the two are, but I think shitsugo-shou ( 失語症 ) is the closest common word. Or maybe “dyslexia” (di-su-re-ku-shi-a) would work too - the Japanese Wikipedia has an entry for dyslexia. It also lists several other Japanese words that are close in meaning.

It doesn’t answer your question, but this article by Cecil may be of interest anyway, considering that kanji is related to the Chinese hanzi writing system: Is it possible to be dyslexic in Chinese?

Thank you for the answers - that was roughly what I came up with later last night, and I found that the dyslexia societies here call it dyslexia in Katakana. The trouble is, I don’t think that will mean anything to my kid’s 50-something teacher, who so far has no advice whatsoever about how to deal with the kid’s problems in class.

As for whether dyslexia exists when reading Kanji - my kid is bilingual and the symptoms certainly show through in his English life. The way his brain is wired doesn’t change when he walks through the school door… So who knows? He has some kind of problem that really needs to be addressed.

I have a friend who used to teach in Japan. I will ask her to see if she knows anything or has any suggestions.


I give you homemade fortune cookie. Here, take. :smiley:

Well, thank you but it doesn’t really matter what it’s called any more.

I have just had a fruitless meeting with the teacher in which I was informed that there is no dyslexia or ADHD educational provision in this area, so though the teacher personally would appreciate a diagnosis (though he has no idea where we’d get one and will look into it for us) it will make no difference to the educational provision that is made for the kid. And he won’t change his teaching style to accommodate the kid in any way.

And husband says “He’s sick, so stop pushing him about his homework and just let him not do it.”

So actually asking for help has ended up with a worse situation than before, as the school can’t and doesn’t know how to help, and husband has written the kid off as hopeless.

Maybe it’s not as dark as I am painting but I am exhausted. If I need anything at all doing in this house, it has to be me who does it. Just for one wild moment I had the small hope that I might get some help over this. I’ll get used to the idea I am sure.

I’m so sorry things have come to pass this way. Don’t lose hope! And please don’t yield to your husband’s defeatism - can you make him realize his stake (parental, moral, emotional, financial) in seeing that your son is better prepared for life? Are there any services offered by the prefectural government to which you can gain access? You might have to spend a lot of time on the road (or on the train), but is there a big city nearby which would offer more individualized counseling/educational opportunities for your son? And as a Brit, are there any resources available through Her Majesty’s Embassy?

Things are not as bleak as they seemed a few days ago, though there is still no official help forthcoming.

The school that the kid is at is the best in the area for his needs, as it’s a tiny village school with only 60 kids and 11 in his class. So at least the teacher has time to deal with all the kids individually. (Doesn’t help that he’s a lazy git… It’s so frustrating because most of the teachers in that school are pure gold. This one’s not bad, just lazy.) So, there is nowhere to transfer the kid out to, so we have to go on with that option, and it is at least the best of a poor deal.

Husband had a long talk with the kid and that has helped somewhat - not behaviour wise of course but we all know what we all feel now. Lots of apologies all round and promises on all sides to try harder and be kinder to each other.

Husband also reminded me how very proud he is that both our boys are fluent in both languages (and semi literate in both!!) and that they have a rich and rewarding life. He was keen to remind me that the kids need not follow the “normal” path of school, college and job and that we should support them in what they choose to do. He was right.

And my hairdresser told me last night that there is an ADHD club in the area and she’s made contact with the leader in her town who will contact me later in the week with details of the group nearest to me. I shall go at least once or twice and see what that has to offer.

I STILL think he is dyslexic too; out of a list of 37 symptoms he matched about 30 of them for the English side of his life. But the teacher simply would not accept it so maybe he isn’t in Japanese… Apparently that is possible.

There’s a lot of stuff I need to read and do for myself, I am sure we could structure our lives better and get help on a private basis, even if its not forthcoming from the school (where, I must say, kid is very happy.)

It’s just daunting with the new school year coming up and me being in neck-deep with my own English school’s advertising and recruitment for the coming year (and yes, I have been made to feel guilty for working and worse, TEACHING OTHER KIDS and neglecting my own… Sigh.)

dyslexiatutorjapan, do you realise that this thread is more than seven years old?

Reported the revivifying post by dyslexiatutorjapan as spam.

Why? Not helpful.

What’s not helpful? The spam or my post indicating that I reported the spam. (Note that the mods specifically asked that people make such posts so that they’re not flooded with multiple spam reports.)

Wow! Zombie!

The kid in question is now nearly out of high school, happy, still dyslexic (of course!). We never did get any help from the school system, but we found a fantastic tutor who let him find his own way and supported him in that. He goes nearly every day to the tutor. His junior high school years were awful, the school was horrible. But his high school is great and his main teacher respects and likes him and pushes him and doesn’t put up with any crap, and he’s got good solid friends. University is not out of the question, we are now working on where he’d like to go and what he’d like to study (world history, probably.) The kid himself has worked out tips and tricks to help him along and now at last in high school he’s allowed to take electronic devices in so he photographs almost everything on his cellphone, so he’s more organised and information is always there when he needs it.

Note: This thread was revived by a spam post. That post and several posts referring to it were removed.

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