Nathanael Green's Blog

An advertising copywriter, novelist, and freelance writer's brain goo.

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Accent Syndrome

Go into a Coma, Speak Fluent German?

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In a previous post about language disorders, I mentioned Foreign Accent Syndrome. That’s where  a person who’s suffered a brain injury suddenly  sounds as if they have a foreign accent, usually due to a specific speech impediment.

Something seemingly similar, but actually quite different, happened recently in Croatia. This article talks about a recent instance when a girl awoke from a coma unable to speak her native Croatian. Instead, she was fluent in German.

Of course, being in a coma didn’t impart any miraculous lessons ala Phenomenon; she had been studying German already.

Still, it’s interesting to think about how the brain handles language if her first language (Croatian) is suddenly inaccessible and her facility with a second language she’d been studying is enhanced.

I don’t know how much follow-up there will be in this case, though I’d be very interested to learn if her Croatian returns, and if so, will she still retain a high-level of German proficiency?

Written by Nathanael Green

April 23, 2010 at 4:54 pm