Foreign Language Syndrome

The adaptability of our human bodies is often quite amazing. The brain in particular, is a case in point. It is the most complex organ we have and controls everything we do, both consciously and unconsciously. In the not too distant past, an injury to the brain was thought to result in irreversible damage to its overall functions, but this assumption is no longer perceived as accurate.

Causes of Foreign Language Syndrome

It seems that if one area of the brain is damaged, then another part of the brain assumes responsibility for its former functions. For example, people suffering strokes may lose the use of a hand or leg for a short time as the brain readjusts itself. Sometimes the actual process of brain “rewiring” after an accident or illness can become confused, resulting in unusual behavior patterns within patients.

The phenomenon known as foreign language syndrome falls clearly within that bracket. Foreign language syndrome occurs after a serious accident or injury to the brain which renders victims unconscious. When the patients come around they find themselves talking in completely different languages that they weren’t able to speak prior to the incident. This may continue for only a temporary period; alternatively some patients may find themselves speaking this completely new language for a prolonged period of time.


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