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Do you subvocalise?

(52 Posts)
kjarvo Sat 09-Sep-17 22:54:40

Subvocalising is basically 'reading' the words in your head as you read, rather than just looking at the visual words and processing that as the word.

It is supposed to help with comprehension, but it slows reading down. I subvocalise, but my sister, who reads probably twice as fast as me, doesn't.

I can't seem to read a book without doing it.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Sat 09-Sep-17 22:57:01

I just realised that I do. I read really quickly too, but speed read subvocally. I hadnt thought about it before until I read your post. I also subvocalise what I'm writing (Or sometimes speak it out loud even blush )

Apple23 Sat 09-Sep-17 23:11:32

I can read both ways and its certainly quicker not to sub-vocalise.

However, I enjoy reading far more when I do. I like to hear the voices in my head and read quicker during exciting parts. It helps with recall and understanding as well.

InsaneDame Sun 10-Sep-17 09:57:07

How weird! I didn't even know this was a 'thing'! I've ALWAYS sub-vocalised, I don't think I could read without doing so, I thought everyone would need to? How can you read a word and not say it in your head? I'm also a very quick reader, it has never slowed me down.

InsaneDame Sun 10-Sep-17 10:01:46

I don't sub-vocalise different voices though, it's all in my own voice in my head!

MarthaMcMartha Sun 10-Sep-17 10:07:01

Not if I'm reading for pleasure. I just scan the page and read vey quickly.
However if I'm studying and reading a complicated text with unfamiliar vocabulary I will probably read each word carefully. Tedious though.

waycat Mon 11-Sep-17 16:06:35

I read in this way. I find myself "visualizing" how each character sounds in my head, what their accent is, etc....

I also find that sub-vocalising enables me to understand a story with greater clarity, remember parts of the story that are referred to again later, and totally immerse myself in the book.

alltouchedout Mon 11-Sep-17 16:08:50

No, generally I don't. I'm a very fast reader (it's my one and only superpower).

That said, if I am reading something I find very difficult, I do subvocalise. It's the only way I can make sense of it!

NinaMarieP Mon 11-Sep-17 18:55:30

I don't know how to read without subvocalising. I can't even imagine it. How do you see/comprehend a word and not hear it in your head?

I'm still an extremely fast reader though. I can hear words in my head far faster than I can say them out loud.

holdthewine Mon 11-Sep-17 21:43:01

I was just wondering this the other day as on holiday and been reading a book a day. I'd never heard the expression 'sub-vocalising' but, yes, I do it and was wondering if everyone does. I am also a very fast reader, speaker and writer... I used to find revising aloud helpful, I wonder if that's why...

tigerdriverII Mon 11-Sep-17 21:46:12

Yep. All the time.

I was reading properly at 3: irritatingly reading the Telegraph out loud to my parents and reading it silently to myself.

There is always a little voice vocalising

KeithLeMonde Wed 13-Sep-17 08:08:39

I've never heard of this before but I don't do it and I'm a fast reader smile

I do tend to skip bits inadvertently, and also if I see a complicated name, I read it as a recognisable but undeciphered jumble of letters, rather than trying to work out how to pronounce it.

Cagliostro Wed 13-Sep-17 08:10:13

Do you mean you hear it in your head as if you're reading it aloud? I do that. Also doing it while writing this post grin

Trills Wed 13-Sep-17 08:20:26

I was about to say "no, that would be too slow" smile

I process language visually more than in their sounds - if I encounter a word I don't know in conversation, or meet someone with an unfamiliar name, I always want to know how to spell it so I can remember it.

Trills Wed 13-Sep-17 08:21:48

The names of characters in books - I do need to figure out how to pronounce them, so I have the full knowledge of the word in my head.

But once the word is "familiar" I don't have to think about the sound every time.

NinaMarieP Wed 13-Sep-17 09:37:16

I often misread or mispronounce unfamiliar names as I'm subvocalising rather than paying attention to their spelling.

For example as a kid reading Malory Towers I read Alicia as Alice-ah (not the same as Alyssa) I still have to remind myself not to do this.

And McIlravey is probably Mack-ill-ravey but I'd always 'said' it in my head as Mick-gilvery.

holdthewine Wed 13-Sep-17 12:10:33

Nina - I know 2 Alicias, one a baby, and one aged 27 and they're both pronounced Alic-eah I think that IS the normal pronunciation. Isn't the other one a different name? Anyway, although it's a pretty name I always think of Enid Blyton's character and am surprised people use it as I associate it thus with the school bully. Not every parent was a Mallory Towers fan obviously!

Cagliostro I have also realised that I am reading aloud in my head even reading this. I can skim read (usually when I'm trying to get the gist of an article or when a book is too scary) and then I don't voice it I suppose. I also know where on a page something was so the rest of you? I don't have a full photographic memory though like a young man I know who can read he page he can envisage, lucky thing!

NinaMarieP Wed 13-Sep-17 13:33:11

I don't have the "ee" sound in my head. It's literally the bane Alice (Aliss) followed by "ah". The emphasis is on a different part of the word compared to Alyssa.

WyfOfBathe Wed 13-Sep-17 13:39:35

I do, but it's all in my own voice.

If I'm skim-reading I don't subvocalise but I sometimes miss the details.

I also know two Alicias, one pronounced alice-ee-ya and one pronounced like Alesha.

soupforbrains Wed 13-Sep-17 13:40:30

when I was a child I was very intelligent (not anymore I just peaked SUPER early) and I was put through various tests and testing when I was around 9 or 10 by people interested in my intelligence.

I was asked then by a 'doctor' in one of the experiments whether when I read I 'heard the words in my head' or whether I just read them. I was told at that time that sub-vocalising doesn't always slow people down and that being able read at high speed while sub-vocalising is a marker of high intelligence.

I don't know how much research has gone on in that area since or what conclusions have been found but I remember at the time thinking "how does everyone else do it if they don't hear the words?"

ChristopherWren Wed 13-Sep-17 13:43:43

I've never heard of this before but I think I must sub vocalise as I say the words out loud in my head as I read them. I can't imagine how to read any other way. I'm an extremely fast reader so I don't think it necessarily slows you down.

CoolCarrie Wed 13-Sep-17 18:38:21

I do this too, and it definitely doesn't slow me down.

EdnatheHousemaid Wed 13-Sep-17 20:36:10

About a year ago I was training myself to read faster after searching online for a programme and it mentioned subvocalising. Up until then I thought that's how everyone read.

I can skim read but it's a less enjoyable experience.

Trills Wed 13-Sep-17 22:03:13

I don't think it necessarily slows people down, but it would slow me down, because that's not how I read so I'd have to do it on purpose.

InsaneDame Thu 14-Sep-17 08:19:29

Even when I skim read I sub-vocalise. I also do it when I type/write. I wouldn't know how to not do it really! I was also a very early reader and can read very quickly so it doesn't slow me down.

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