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Visual

Visual learners learn through visualizing, either seeking out external images or

creating mental images of the thing they're learning. They score high in spatial

intelligence. They may need to sketch a diagram of an abstract idea or cluster of

ideas before they can understand or appreciate it. They tend to be good spellers,

because they can see the word they want to spell in their mind's eye. People with

"photographic memory" are visual learners; and even when their memory is not

quite photographic, visual learners remember words, numbers, and graphic images

that they have seen much better than conversations they have had or lectures they

have heard.

Visual-external learners learn things best by seeing them, or seeing pictures of

them; they like drawings on the blackboard or overhead projector, slides and videos,

handouts, or computer graphics. Visual-external language-learners remember new

words and phrases best by writing them down or seeing them written; a visualexternal

learner in a foreign country will spend hours walking the streets and

pronouncing every street and shop sign. Visual-external learners may feel thwarted

at first by a different script: Cyrillic or Greek characters, Hebrew or Arabic

characters, Japanese or Chinese characters, for much of the world Roman characters

— these "foreign" scripts do not at first carry visual meaning, and so do not lend

themselves to visual memory. As long as the visual-external learner has to sound

out words character by character, it will be impossible to memorize them by seeing

them written in the foreign script; they will have to be transliterated into the native

script for visual memory to work. Visual-external translators usually do not become

interpreters; in fact, it may seem to them as if interpreters have no "source text" at

all, because they can't see it. If diagrams or drawings are available for a translation

job, they insist on having them; even better, when possible, is a visit to the factory

or other real-world context described in the text. Translation for these people is

often a process of visualizing source-text syntax as a spatial array and rearranging

specific textual segments to meet target-language syntactic requirements, as with

this Finnish—English example (since visual-external learners will want a diagram):

[Karttaan] [on merkitty] [punaisella symbolilla] [tienrakennustyot] ja [sinisella] [paallystystyot]

[New road construction] [is marked] [on the map] [in red], [resurfacing] [in blue]

This sort of translator may well be drawn to contrastive linguistics, which

attempts to construct such comparisons for whole languages.

Visual-internal learners learn best by creating visual images of things in their heads.

As a result, they are often thought of as daydreamers or, when they are able to

verbalize their images for others, as poets or mystics. Visual-internal learners learn

new foreign words and phrases best by picturing them in their heads — creating a

visual image of the object described, if there is one, or creating images by association

with the sound or look or "color" of a word if there is not. Some visual-internal

language-learners associate whole languages with a single color; every image they

generate for individual words or phrases in a given language will be tinged a certain

shade of blue or yellow or whatever. Visual-internal translators also constantly

visualize the words and phrases they translate. If there is no diagram or drawing

of a machine or process, they imagine one. If the words and phrases they are translating

have no obvious visual representation — in a mathematics text, for example

— they create one, based on the look of an equation or some other associative

connection.