Category: Media & Culture / December 12, 2012 10:33 AM EST
A woman from northern China has been surprising others since her teens with her skill for writing with both hands and even writing in two different languages and directions simultaneously.
Chen Siyuan, whose name means 'think further', said her skill was neither inherited from her parents, nor gained through practice.
She says she discovered her gift by accident during high school, when she struggled to cope with large quantities of English language homework.
Chen found that she could complete repetitive tasks much faster with both of her hands.
Her skill was the envy of many classmates, who tried to do the same without success.
"Those who hears about this, their very first instinctive reaction is disbelief. The second reaction is once they see you do it, they too want to try. The third is when they are unsuccessful, they will think that it's ok," she said.
In daily life, the ambidextrous 24-year-old from Handan in China's northern Hebei province is right-handed.
She attributes her gift to being able to focus on two separate things at the same time.
"If you are writing just one Chinese character, perhaps it depends on your memory. But if you are writing a full article or different articles, for instance simultaneously writing English and Chinese or English and English or Chinese and Chinese, I think it's a matter of two-way thinking, not just simply memorization," she said.
Chen can write out Chinese poetry, using different hands to write consecutive sentences at the same time.
In addition, she can also write vertically with one hand while writing horizontally with the other.
But what has surprised many is her ability to write Chinese with one hand and English with the other.
"English uses letters of the alphabet while Chinese is a pictographic language with lots of complicated brush strokes. English letters are more fluid and smooth, so writing in both English and Chinese is a bit harder than writing in English and English," she said.
Chen attained a college degree in English this summer and is now working as a Chinese-English translator.
Chen said she hasn't practised her skill much as she didn't see it as beneficial for her job or daily life, but she said she would like to find a training organisation that could help perfect it.