The most bizarre thing happened to a 16-year-old Afrikaans speaking rugby player who spent three days in a coma, he woke up randomly speaking fluent Zulu!
“It started flowing out,” the teen told Daily Sun. “I felt like it was like second nature for me. I wasn’t speaking my Afrikaans right, and every time I tried to speak it I would have a seizure.”
According to Daily Sun, Piet Van Vyk, had suffered a severe concussion after another rugby player had accidentally kicked him in the head. He began having seizures after going into shock and had to be airlifted to a hospital.
Apparently after finally waking up, Piet motioned for food by saying, “Ngi lambile,” (which means “I am hungry” in Zulu), surprising his mother who says he has never spoken a Zulu word before.
“I was very shocked. That’s something he’s never done before. When he got up and he started speaking Zulu, I was confused,” his mother said.
Even though this instance is very rare, it has happened before. Diagnosed as Foreign Accent Syndrome, people can randomly start speaking other languages after suffering Traumatic Brain Injury.
Reports of FAS have dated back to the 1940s, when a Norwegian woman was left with a German accent after suffering brain injury during a bombing in Germany. More recently, a woman from Texas was left with a British accent after having surgery on her jaw earlier this year.
“It’s an impairment of motor control,” Dr. Karen Croot, one of the few experts in foreign accent syndrome, said a few years ago. “Speech is one of the most complicated things we do, and there are a lot of brain centers involved in coordinating a lot of moving parts. If one or more of them are damaged, that can affect the timing, melody and tension of their speech.”