John Dalton was born in 1766, in 1794 he described for first time color blindness. No one has noticed this deficiency before. My grandfather died without knowing he was color blind. My first reaction when I learned of the existence of color blindness was to wonder how will they see the green?

I am trying to speak of a possibly similar condition. I am a native Spanish speaker, although what I am about to explain perhaps applies even more so when I read or write in English.

Is it possible that my brain processes language differently than most? More precisely, without taking into account, or to a much lesser extent than most, the inflections of the words.

For me, the interpretation of a sentence depends a lot on the meaning. My expectations about the speaker have a lot of influence on how I interpret his words.

In Spanish some words are accented depending on their grammatical function. My mistakes in such cases are too frequent, even when I want to pay attention and I am interested in getting my writing right.

I am not a linguist, but I have read that in the Chinese language, there are no inflections of words, so I think that my way of processing the language is as if Spanish were Chinese.

When others read my writings, they often warn me that they would have put words in a different order, or used a different phrase.

I have few examples, one may be the mathematician Bernhard Riemann. About Riemann it has been said: Free and unaffected command of German prose always eluded him. The German in his later papers is precise but difficult to translate into other languages. He always wrote with great effort. He found it difficult to develop his thoughts in a free-flowing lecture. The Latin in the application and in the vita is clumsy and barely tolerable.

Perhaps this is the worst forum to ask this question (because those affected will flee this site):

Is there such a thing as grammar blindness?

My question refer to native language. Perhaps some people do not acquire a complete command of the grammar of their native language? It has nothing to do with my proficiency in English.

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    “My grandfather died without knowing he was color blind.” — How do you know he was colour blind, then? Oct 18, 2023 at 9:18
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    Mi grandmother, my mother and my aunt mocking him frequently asking: what color is this?
    – user42832
    Oct 18, 2023 at 10:56
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    It is certainly the case that everybody has a different view of (their) language mentally. We all do the same kinds of things as infants, but we each have to make up our own descriptions of what we're doing, and they vary widely, as does language-learning ability, which provides both for lifelong monoglots and language sponges among the speech community. Add to that the nonsense promulgated in Anglophone schools and called "grammar", and it's clear that the community of English speakers is grammar-blind. It's like a lot of cosmetic designers arguing about the names of this year's colors.
    – jlawler
    Oct 18, 2023 at 13:55
  • No, grammar blindness does not exist because even if you use non-standard grammar you are speaking or writing and making some kind of sense, even if what you are saying/writing could be improved. So, where's the blindness??
    – Lambie
    Oct 19, 2023 at 15:01
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    I would point out that the comparison to color blindness is not particularly apt; color blindness is a disorder of perception. This (which I'm willing to believe to the first degree may exist) would clearly not be. Have you ever had a brain scan? Oct 20, 2023 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


There are language disorders of different kind (inherited or acquired, e.g., by a stroke or a brain injury) and there are several types of Aphasia. These language disorders come most close to the colourblindness analogy.

However, in the body of your question you deal with L2 speakers (second language learners). There are vast differences in the degree that people can acquire a second language, and often some features of the L1 (the native language of the speaker) interfere with the newly learned language.

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    P.S. For more question on language learning, there is also Language Learning Oct 18, 2023 at 8:40
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    @juan Misplaced commas and missing accents have little to do with grammar; that’s just codified standards of orthography. Your English is perfectly grammatical, and it seems unlikely that your Spanish should be different – especially anything like Chinese, which does indeed lack morphology entirely. Si yo hablar o escribir español sin inflección como en chino, tú yo decir si tú parecer normal y poder leer palabra de yo [= Si hablo o escribo español sin inflecciones como en chino, dime tú si te parece normal y puedes leer mis palabras]. It’s barely even possible. Oct 18, 2023 at 11:32
  • There is also dysgraphia, which tends to manifest as "bad" handwriting. But it is described as extending to orthography and diction at least, so I could imagine it applying to grammar as well.
    – Kevin
    Oct 18, 2023 at 19:31
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Sorry but his English is not "perfectly grammatical". Take a look, for example, at the first paragraph in his question....this is not to criticize him as a person but as an interpreter I take exception to your saying that...
    – Lambie
    Oct 19, 2023 at 15:15
  • @Lambie Not perfectly grammatical, no. I really meant a sort of combination of ‘perfectly fine (for a non-native speaker)’ and ‘grammatical enough to not present any real problems’ – but then it’s subsequently been clarified that it’s not actually the asker’s own English, but an AI-generated translation, which has rendered the point a bit moot. Oct 19, 2023 at 16:04

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