27/12/2012 09:58 GMT

Englishman Wakes From Stroke Speaking Fluent Welsh, Despite Never Learning Language

An Englishman has woken up after a massive stroke and started speaking fluent Welsh, despite never learning the language.

Alun Morgan, 81, was evacuated to Wales during the Second World War and during his time there he never picked up the native tongue.

Since recovering from the stroke, his wife Yvonne has been the only person who can understand him and has had to translate for doctors.

Doctors believe the language sunk in as a boy and was released by the stroke

Morgan, from Bathwick, Bath, Somerset, told the Bath Chronicle: "I don't remember anything from the time of my stroke.

"But gradually I started speaking a few words in Welsh.

"This was strange because I'd not lived in Wales since I was evacuated there during the war."

Doctors have diagnosed Morgan with aphasia, a form of brain damage that causes a shift in the brain's language centre.

The most common cause of aphasia is stroke, but gunshot wounds, blows to the head, other traumatic brain injuries and brain tumours can also cause aphasia.

It can also result in a disorder known as Foreign Accent Syndrome, which causes a sudden change to speech so that a native speaker talks with a foreign accent.

Morgan is now being taught English again

Researchers at Oxford University have found that patients with Foreign Accent Syndrome have suffered damage to tiny areas of the brain that affect speech.

The result is often a drawing out or clipping of the vowels that mimic the accent of a particular country, such as Spain or France, even if the sufferer has limited exposure to that accent.

The syndrome was first identified during the Second World War when a Norwegian woman suffered shrapnel damage to her brain and developed a strong German accent.