A 22 year old Australian man woke up from a week-long coma with an unexpected new talent – he can now speak fluent Mandarin!
Ben McMahon was put into the coma after a serious car accident and his new language skills were triggered after he saw an Asian nurse at the hospital.
Ben told the nurse “Excuse me nurse, I feel really sore here,” in perfect Mandarin. He says he wasn’t instantly aware that he wasn’t speaking English, and explained that he simply began speaking what felt natural to him.
Ben had learned Mandarin at school but had never reached the level where he could speak the language fluently.
Ben also found he could write in Mandarin and continued to speak the language for a few days while he was recovering and then had to relearn English!
After Ben had recovered he enrolled in a Mandarin class at University, began Mandarin walking tours, entered an international Chinese language competition and even co-hosted a Chinese TV show.
One of his friends says that Ben can speak Mandarin better than some Chinese, Japanese and Korean people he knows.
Doctors are not sure how the accident allowed Ben to gain the Mandarin skills but one theory is that the part of the brain that knew English was damaged and the part that deals with Mandarin woke up and took over.
Some crazy stuff, right?!
Article written by D Mulhern