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Fireside chats and foreign accent syndrome


Last night while gathered with a few friends over wine, we traveled the universe of strange topics. I brought up my amazement when I hear of people suddenly speaking fluent languages they never knew before after being in comas or hitting their head.. And no one believed me! It is true I argued! These medical mysteries do happen.. 

So I second guessed myself. 

Maybe I just am a victim of ‘fake news.’ So I went to some reports. And yes.. comforting to my ears, this language issue is real. It is called foreign accent syndrome. 

This report appeared in TIME magazine in 2014: 


A Georgia teenager who suffered a life-threatening head injury last month while playing soccer awoke from a coma speaking fluent Spanish for the first time in his life. Rueben Nsemoh, 16, shocked family members and doctors when he opened his eyes after a three-day coma and began uttering sentences in Spanish, despite having known only a few words before his accident. “It started flowing out,” the teen told TIME on Monday.


“I felt like it was like second nature for me. I wasn’t speaking my English right, and every time I tried to speak it I would have a seizure.” “It was weird,” Rueben added. “It was not scary at all. I actually liked it a lot. It was really unique to me.”
And more on the syndrome: The University of Texas at Dallas has a website dedicated to providing support to people who succumb to rare speech disorders.. A report from CNN about this also included this: Three years ago, police found a Navy vet unconscious in a Southern California motel. When he woke up, he had no memory of his previous life, and spoke only Swedish. In Australia, a former bus driver got in a serious car crash that left her with a broken back and jaw. 

When she woke up, she was left with something completely unexpected: a French accent. And earlier this year, a Texas woman who had surgery on her jaw, has sported a British accent ever since. Next time I gather with the group of friends, 

I’ll have some detailed examples to prove myself right.

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