A bizarre tale from Croatia: The Daily Mail and the Telegraph are reporting that a 13-year-old girl emerged from a 24-hour coma unable to speak her native Croatian but fluent in German. The girl reportedly had basic lessons in German before falling ill and had been watching German TV programs, but she was nowhere near fluent. Now her family needs an interpreter to communicate with her.
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.