Language & The Brain


In 2012, 22 year old Australian Ben McMahon was in a car crash that left him in a coma. Ben spoke English before the accident, but when he woke up he could only speak fluent Mandarin. Ben could not remember any English at first, and it would take a few days before his memory returned. Ben did take Mandarin lessons at school but was not fluent. He said “It just came out and it felt natural to me”. Ben has made the most of his unusual gift, and now he lives in Shanghai where he is studying at university. Ben is one of many people all over the world who are affected in such a way. Even though it is rare, perhaps it is proof that our brains are capable of much more than we know.

If you enjoyed this lesson, why not try this one on The RMS Queen Mary?