05/09/2014

Coma Man Now Speaks Fluent Mandarin

One of the most shocking stories around at the moment is this: "Man wakes up from a coma speaking fluent Chinese".

Although that's not that impressive. There are loads of people who do that every year in the coma wards in China. The reason this is more impressive is that he didn't speak Chinese before the coma. Anyone about to sit a language exam and finding it hard should take note.

Ben McMahon, from Melbourne, Australia, suffered a car crash and was in a coma. When he came out of it he wrote down the words, "I love my mum, I love my dad, I will recover." But he wrote that in Mandarin. At first I imagine the nurses thought, "What a show off. We get it, you're bilingual. You're not a great driver though, so can it." But he went on to exclusively speak it for the next few days.

"I wasn't consciously thinking I was speaking Mandarin," he said in an accent I can't do for political correctness reasons, "It was what just came out and it was what was most natural to me."

Although he learned Mandarin at school, he was never fluent in it. Somehow the coma stopped the part of his brain that speaks English and it was his second language that he used. Science can't really explain how he became fluent though. Although maybe he didn't. When you see someone fresh out of a coma with a bandaged head you feel like a git if you pick them up on grammatical errors.


It's similar to a story that was featured on a TV show where a woman went to bed with a headache and woke with a Chinese accent. Here's a link from a radio show I did that dealt with that.

Listen here


Check this out on Chirbit

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