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When Ben McMahon went into a coma after a car crash, he spoke English; when he woke up, he spoke only fluent Mandarin. Although the Australian man had taken Mandarin in high school, he was never fluent, and doctors are still trying to figure out exactly why he completely lost the ability to speak his native language—his English skills did eventually return—and suddenly became the "best non-native speaker" his Mandarin pals had ever heard, the Independent Journal Review reports.
originally posted by: Daalder
It must have been 1982 when mycdad came home home from work in Brazi where he had been for 3 months. We lived in Northern Europe (Holland) so Portugese wasn't a language my dad mastered. He was allways very tired from long trips so slept a lot the first week after comming home.
One night he fell a sleep very early and he started talking in his sleep. It was in fluent Portugese.
To this day he hasn't been able to reproduce this feat being awake.
I'm mates with the guy, but I don't find this close to being 100% accurate. Went to high school with him and found out about his accident on my 20th birthday.
One of the nicest and most genuine guys you'll ever meet. His family the same.
Ben had just came back from china after teaching English to school kids. He was pretty bloody good at mandarin before the accident, chatting to the Chinese students at school daily in mandarin.
I spoke to him last year about it and he said once he woke up from the coma (about a week) he had no recollection of returning to Australia and the first nurse he say was Asian. Naturally, from waking up in a coma, he thought he was still in china so he started to speak in mandarin. His mum said she freaked out pretty heavily from it.
I don't doubt he might've seemed like he spoke incredibly fluently (after thinking he's still over there) but waking up to be suddenly be able to speak fluent mandarin is pretty bull#. He had been learning to speak it since 2005 (I was in the same class as him for it).
Take what you want from that, by he's definitely the nicest guy you come across if you ever get to meet him.