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Teenager wakes from coma speaking German

Posted on Wednesday, 14 April, 2010 | Comment icon 16 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
A Croatian teenager who fell in to a coma has awoken to find that she is now fluent in another language.

The 13-year-old who until then had been able to speak Croatian but had only just started learning German baffled her family and doctors alike when upon awaking she was only able to communicate in fluent German.

"The girl, from the southern town of Knin, had only just started studying German at school and had been reading German books and watching German TV to become better, but was by no means fluent, according to her parents."

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 Source: Telegraph


  Discuss: View comments (16)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Grimmace on 14 April, 2010, 17:48
i live in croatia, so i've been kind of following the case from when it happened. it seemed that the girl ended in coma due to blood poisoning and when she awoke, she understood what the parents and the doctors were saying in croatian, but relied only in german. after a few days, she started speaking croatian again. and i think i've also read that there's a whole team of psychiatrists, neurologists and other doctors examining her. what i think happened (and what some neurologists were suggesting) is that she learned much more of german prior to her coma (via school, tv...) but that knowledge w... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by RamboIII on 14 April, 2010, 17:57
If true this would be astonishing. This needs much more study and better reporting of the facts before I'll get too excited. I must admit a bit of scepticism. She started learning German then awoke fully literate in the language "according to her parents". Big coincidence there don't you think? Can anyone else independent verity her ability pre-coma? Of all the thousands of languages she 'suddenly' becomes proficient in the very one that she's studying... hmmm .... well it ONLY makes even a little sense if its a language she was learning. How on earth is it less strange if she woke up speaking... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Watchers on 14 April, 2010, 19:20
My theory on this whole deal is this: We know that REM plays a huge role in converting our memories into coherent, learned facts that are understood and stick with us in our long term memory. Perhaps the coma that she was in had her stuck in some stage of REM sleep. So whereas the normal human only gets a sporadic 90 minutes of REM sleep each night...this girl could have received 24 straight hours of uninterrupted REM sleep. Perhaps this is the key to how she was able to process 100% of everything she learned in German. If we could figure out how to induce (safely) comas such as these, then th... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Drj312 on 14 April, 2010, 21:16
watch too much fringe i thought of that too.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Codehook on 14 April, 2010, 23:39
My theory on this whole deal is this: We know that REM plays a huge role in converting our memories into coherent, learned facts that are understood and stick with us in our long term memory. Perhaps the coma that she was in had her stuck in some stage of REM sleep. So whereas the normal human only gets a sporadic 90 minutes of REM sleep each night...this girl could have received 24 straight hours of uninterrupted REM sleep. Perhaps this is the key to how she was able to process 100% of everything she learned in German. If we could figure out how to induce (safely) comas such as these, then th... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by lookingfortruth on 15 April, 2010, 0:31
see what changed and replicate it
Comment icon #13 Posted by Cristina1 on 15 April, 2010, 12:06
get her to German language specialist and determine with what German accents she speaks (geographically), would be interesting to know
Comment icon #14 Posted by Codehook on 15 April, 2010, 23:38
get her to German language specialist and determine with what German accents she speaks (geographically), would be interesting to know Would be interesting considering how she probably picked the language up, but I would hazard a pretty safe guess at German with a Croatian accent. My sister speaks French with a German accent
Comment icon #15 Posted by Flinderschnab on 16 April, 2010, 13:25
this story reminds me of that movie 'the exorcism of Emily Rose' and that girl it was based of, Annalise Michel, who when she was 'possessed' could speak dialogues she had never encountered. i wonder how she managed to pick up her dialogues :S ..
Comment icon #16 Posted by Sthenno on 16 April, 2010, 13:44
That's not the first time something like this has happened... http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/09/czech-teenager-.html It's worth noting that the boy here had also just started learning English. I suspect the brain has already absorbed the knowledge and it processing it somehow. There are however even more improbably stories, like that of Irina Lakoba, which exhibit similar phenomena: http://english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/15151_reincarnation.html


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