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Forgetting your mother tongue because of amnesia?

I just googled and found some interesting results contending that amnesia can cause one to lose their native language. What would you do if you had amnesia and forgot your mother tongue? How would your daily life change? 

Here are some links/extracts <a href="https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-07/can-you-really-wake-no-memories-speaking-different-language" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">https://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-07/can-you-really-wake-no-memories-speaking-different-language</a>;:

Famously, there's the case of <a href="http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/98/6/465.full" x-enc="class" class="-eqnspYfwljyx-uwthjxxji -ejcyjwsfq" target="_blank" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); color: rgb(0, 0, 0); transition: all 0.2s ease 0s; border-bottom: 2px solid rgb(244, 188, 168); font-family: Lyon, Helvetica, serif; font-size: 18px;">Anna O.</a>, a young Austrian woman whose treatment led to the rise of "talk therapy" in the 19th century. After the death of her father, she experienced a slew of psychiatric issues that caused, among other things, an inability to speak her native language. She spoke in English, and could still read French and Italian, but sometimes lost her command over her first language, German.

<a href="https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/teen-wakes-coma-speaking-fluent-german/story?id=10395859">https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/teen-wakes-coma-speaking-fluent-german/story?id=10395859</a>;

A Croatian teenager awoke from a coma last week to find she could no longer speak in her native Croatian -- but was fluent in German, a language she had just started studying in school, the U.K. press reports.

Following a mysterious 24-hour coma, the thirteen-year-old girl from the southern town of Knin has been able to understand Croatian, according to the U.K. press. She can only respond in German and requires a translator to communicate with her family, the stories said.



Mar 28, 2019 10:26 AM
Comments · 4

Alicia,

I've waited this moment for so long, I always wanted to share with someone in Italki this incredible episode of one of my favorite podcasts of all the time, here's the link: https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-09/my-grandmothers-disease-has-stolen-her-memories-and-our-common-language

It's a breathtaking history of an elder woman who was fluent in various languages and due to dementia she forgot how to speak English, she's living in the US and was her daily language for the last 10+ years. 

I felt so overwhelmed about this history that the night after listening to this episode I dreamed that one day I woke up and suddenly I completely forgot how to speak in Spanish (my native language) and I was only able to speak in Mandarin (the language I'm currently studying), not even English, which is a more common language among people in northern Mexico than Mandarin, I remember I felt so anxious in my dream because I live to spend the time talking with my wife and with my parent's and they couldn't understand me.

Fortunately, I've never experienced that and I have never been in comma either, I hope that would never have to go through something like this.

March 28, 2019

Another reason to learn languages:) They can serve as 'backup' languages in case of brain damage or the like.

March 28, 2019
I would like to learning english if i had amnesia and forgot my mother tongue. Even if my live would be change because i still alive in my hometown which using my mother tongue . I think that's the reason why we should forgot our mother tongue when we are learning the second language. Cause, actually translating every words to our native language is the wrong way
March 28, 2019

It's quite common if you had a stroke fore example and before that accident was fluent or experienced in some other language.

In place where I'm working now we had few years ago a man wo was working some time in Belgium and was experienced in speaking French. He said that after waking up from coma in hospital he was peaking only in French for a week. After a stroke he's now on wheelchair.


March 28, 2019