Gérard Depardieu
Gérard Depardieu: An Italian man, who once dated a French woman but hadn't spoken the language in decades "turned French" after a brain injury

An Italian man who briefly dated a French woman but hadn't spoken the language in decades "turned French" after suffering a devastating brain injury.

The 50-year-old reportedly speaks "movie-like French" and although it is littered with mistakes he uses the language to speak with anyone who will listen. The born and bred Italian even shouts 'bonjour' from his bedroom window every morning, thelocal.it reported.

Across the world 60 people have been recorded as having started speaking a foreign language after suffering a brain trauma — a condition known as foreign language syndrome — and the case of the Italian turned Frenchman has been recorded in Crotex journal by the University of Edinburgh.

"He uses French to communicate with everybody who is prepared to listen; he speaks French with his bewildered Italian relatives, with the consultants; he spoke French even in front of the befuddled committee deciding on his pension scheme.

"He shows no irritation if people do not understand him when he speaks in French," the journal recorded.

The man has claimed he thinks in French and has discovered a previously unknown love of the French cinema. His French has the fast-pace and exaggerated mannerisms of French movie stars to the extent he has been described as "a typical caricature of a French man".

His head injury has also led to other symptoms. The man has delusions of grandeur, sleep disturbances and unjustified euphoria that he has aptly labeled "joie de vivre".