You may already know about the mysterious and rare condition called foreign accent syndrome. This syndrome develops after a brain injury. The person who had a brain injury starts speaking in a completely new accent.

For instance, a woman from Ontario suffered a stroke. After this, she started speaking in the accent of the Canadian East Coast even though she never met someone from this region or visited the region. A woman from Texas also developed foreign accent syndrome. She got a British accent after she underwent dental surgery.

The foreign accent syndrome is pretty rare. According to scientific research, this syndrome affects only one person per year. Something even stranger than this syndrome happened to a high school student from Georgia. The sixteen year old boy woke up from coma speaking Spanish fluently.

The boy

The boy developed a serious concussion in a soccer game, where one player kicked him in the head by accident. The boy woke up after 3 days and he could not speak English, even though his speech system was functioning properly. The first words of the boy were tengo hambre, which means I’m hungry in Spanish. The boy was able to speak Spanish fluently after he woke up from coma. Before his injury, he only knew a few Spanish words.

Diagnosis

This is not the first case in the world where a patient with a brain injury starts speaking a different language. In Australia, a man woke up from coma speaking Mandarin. Three men from three different counties, Britain, German and Croatia woke up from coma and started speaking in French.

These cases cannot be interpreted as an extension of the syndrome as according to scientists the syndrome is not a development of a new accent, but an injury to the part of the brain responsible for the motor function of speech. The similarity to a foreign accent is a coincidence. The new pattern of the speech is only a new way to let words out of the mouth of the speaker.

The boy’s family still waits for an explanation of the new language that their son speaks. However, the boy already came in contact with the Spanish language through his classmates and his brother, who studied in Spain. While the case of this boy remains a mystery to the doctors and scientists, the boy is losing his Spanish knowledge and regaining English language knowledge.

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