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Słuchaj i ucz się – S-06. Savant skills

Wersja do druku

Voice 1

savant - uczony, mędrzec

skills - umiejętności

Hello. I'm Marina Santee.


Voice 2


And I'm Elizabeth Lickiss. Welcome to Spotlight. This programme uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.


Voice 1


You have one minute to answer the following maths question. What is thirteen divided by ninety-seven? ... Please state your answer.

divided by - podzielony przez

state the answer - podać odpowiedź

Voice 3




Voice 1


Ok, thank you. You can stop there. That is the correct answer. How did you do? Did you get the answer right? Probably not, unless your name is Daniel Tammet!

did you get the answer right? - czy dobrze odpowiedziałeś?

Voice 2


Daniel Tammet became famous in March 2004. He shocked people with his highly developed mathematical skills. Daniel can solve the most difficult number problems - in his head! He has a rare and exceptional gift.

highly developed - wysoko rozwinięty

solve - rozwiązać

rare - rzadki

exceptional - wyjątkowy

Voice 1


Daniel has 'savant syndrome.' This is a rare condition that affects the mind. A person with savant syndrome has some kind of development disorder. The mind is damaged in some way. But a savant also has a particular ability. This ability is above the savant's overall limitations. And in rare cases, the ability is above anyone's limitations!

savant syndrome - syndrom uczonego

condition - schorzenie

affect the mind - oddziałowuje na umysł

development disorder - zaburzenie rozwoju

damaged - zniszczony

overall - ogólny, całkowity

limitations - ograniczenia

Some people are born with savant syndrome. And other people develop the condition after an injury to their brain. This is what happened to Daniel Tammet.

injury - uraz

brain - mózg

Voice 2


When Daniel was three years old he had a series of epileptic seizures. When a person has a seizure he loses control of his body. He may fall to the floor. His body shakes. Sudden releases of electrical activity in the brain cause seizures. In a seizure, the brain's messages become mixed up. Seizures can cause permanent damage to the brain. In rare cases, something very strange also happens. After the seizure, a person is able to perform extreme skills. This is what happened to Daniel Tammet. After his seizures, he could memorise pages of numbers. And he could solve difficult number problems, usually impossible for the human mind. Daniel had become a savant.

epileptic seizure - atak padaczki

release - uwolnienie, zwolnienie

mixed up - pomieszany

permanent - trwały

perform - wykonywać

memorise - nauczyć się na pamięć, zapamiętać

Voice 1


Daniel is an 'autistic savant.' Autism is another condition that affects the brain. Autism affects the way a person communicates and connects to people around them. People with autism do not all behave in the same way. Daniel is unable to drive a car. He cannot tell you which is his left or right side. But Daniel can answer a complex number problem in seconds!

autistic - autystyczny

autism - autyzm

behave - zachowywać się

is unable - nie jest w stanie

complex - złożony, skomplikowany

Voice 2


Around ten percent of autistic people are also savants. But no one knows exactly why. In fact, scientists do not know a lot about autism. This is largely because of the nature of the condition. Autistic people struggle to communicate their thoughts and feelings. So, this makes research into autism more difficult.

struggle - usiłować, starać się

research - badania

Voice 1


This is one of the reasons why Daniel Tammet is such a special case. He is able to communicate his feelings. He is an autistic savant. Yet he can describe what happens inside his head! Scientists are very excited about this. So what does happen inside Daniel's head? How can he answer such difficult maths with such ease? He describes it like this,

special case - szczególny przypadek

with such ease - z taką łatwością

Voice 3


'When I multiply numbers together, I see two shapes. Then the image starts to change. And a third shape develops. This shape represents the answer. It is mental imagery. It is like maths without having to think.'

multiply - mnożyć

mental imagery - obraz mentalny

Voice 1


In Daniel's mind, each number has a defined shape, size and colour. He can see thousands of them at a time. Colours and shapes flow before Daniel. So, how would Daniel perform in a test that went against his mental images?


Voice 2


Researchers give Daniel a piece of paper with different numbers on it. The numbers are all the same size. Daniel performs well. As usual, he is able to state the numbers from memory. Researches then give Daniel another piece of paper. This has the same numbers on it. But they are different sizes. Some numbers are big. And some are small. They are opposite to the way Daniel sees them in his mind. As researchers expected, Daniel does not perform well. In fact - he is a little angry. He does not like the experiment. After all, to Daniel, numbers are his friends. As he says,

researcher - badacz, naukowiec

after all - mimo wszystko

Voice 3


'A poetic writer uses an image to give human qualities to a river or a tree. In the same way, my world gives me a sense of numbers as personal. It sounds stupid, but numbers are my friends'.

human qualities - ludzkie cechy

Voice 2


Daniel Tammet's mind has become a window of discovery for scientists. They are performing tests to understand more of the savant's world.

a window of discovery - okazja na dokonanie odkrycia

Voice 1


Dr Darold Treffert has studied Savant Syndrome for nearly forty years. His work explores how savants use their minds to perform such highly developed skills.


Voice 2


Savants use more of the right side of the brain. The right side of the brain is responsible for skills including creativity, maths and memory. The left side of the brain is responsible for processing, reasoning and social skills. There is some interesting research from savant studies. It suggests that the right side of the brain develops more. It develops to make up for the damage to the left.

creativity - kreatywność

processing - przetwarzanie

reasoning - wnioskowanie

social skills - umiejętności społeczne

make up for - nadrabiać

Voice 1


Dr Bruce Miller specialises in the nervous system. He discovered new savant skills in some of his older patients. These patients had a particular kind of dementia. The dementia affected the left side of their brains. And they lost some of their normal abilities. However, test results showed developments to the right side of the brain. In fact, they were similar to the results of young autistic savants.

dementia - demencja, otępienie

Voice 2


Researchers from Flinders University in Adelaide have also studied savant skills. They claim to have succeeded in causing new savant skills in people. They used a process called TMS. Doctors use TMS to treat depression. TMS uses magnetic fields to force brain activity. Researchers used TMS to temporarily disable a front part of the brain. During the test, some of the people showed new savant-like skills - such as maths skills. These studies suggest that we may all have savant skills. But we are simply not using them.

claim - twierdzić

succeeded in - udało im się

cause - spowodować, sprawić

treat - leczyć

magnetic field - pole magnetyczne

force - wymusić

temporarily - chwilowo

disable - wyłączyć

Voice 1


If this is true, the possibilities are endless. Imagine we all have savant skills within our minds. This includes mathematical skills like Daniel's. And it also includes other savant skills - musical or artistic. Future developments in the world suddenly have no limitations. But, we will have to find a way to reach these skills. And what will this cost us? Do we have to sacrifice part of the left side of our brain - for the right side to develop? Or, is it possible to develop both sides - without the sacrifice?

endless - nieskończony

sacrifice - poświęcić

Voice 2


Well, savants like Daniel Tammet seem to come closer than others. He has highly developed skills from the right side of his brain. And he does not lack as many of the skills from the left side. Scientists hope that Daniel will help them unlock the human mind. If they do, who knows what the future holds? Knowledge is power. Let us hope that wisdom comes with it.

lack - brakować, odczuwać brak

unlock - odkryć, odsłonić, otworzyć

what future holds - co niesie ze sobą przyszłość

knowledge - wiedza

power - potęga, siła

wisdom - mądrość

The writer and producer of today's programme was Marina Santee. The voices you heard were from the Untied Kingdom. Computer users can hear our programmes on our website at This programme is called, 'Savant Skills.'


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