- O’Neal Mahmoud's family lives in Israel and is Arab-speaking
- However, he speaks English without ever having learned it
- This has left his family and doctors baffled
A three-year-old boy in the Golan Heights, Israel, has baffled his family and doctors by speaking English without ever having learned it.
According to Oddity Central, O'Neal Mahmoud speaks English with a British accent far better than he speaks his native Arabic.
Even more incredibly, he does not know the Arabic equivalents of the English phrases he knows, such as, "Oh my goodness" and "my dear."
Speaking to Israel's Channel 10, the boy's grandfather, Yahya Shams, said:
I don’t understand every word, and sometimes I tell him, ‘Yes, okay,’ and I don’t understand what he’s saying.
O'Neal's parents said he doesn't watch a lot of English programmes on TV and has never travelled abroad, Briefly.co.za learned.
In fact, O'Neal has difficulties communicating with his family at home and fellow pupils in kindergarten. They all worry that he might not integrate properly if he doesn't learn Arabic.
Experts said it could be a case of xenoglossy, a condition where a person speaks a language that he or she could not have learned through natural means.
However, it still doesn't explain why O'Neal is not picking up Arabic at the same rate he's picking up English.
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