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Reincarnation and Xenoglossy

or Unlearned Language

Speaking in Tongues




Xenoglossy or Unlearned Language

Article by Walter Semkiw, MD

Xenoglossy Defined

Xenoglossy is a Greek term that means “foreign tongue” or “foreign language.”  In reincarnation research, xenoglossy refers to the ability of a person to speak a language that hasn’t been learned by normal means.

Xenoglossy is thought to provide evidence of reincarnation, as a language must be learned at some point in time.  If an individual did not learn the foreign language in a contemporary incarnation, then that language must have been learned in a past lifetime.

Ian Stevenson, MD, a pioneer reincarnation researcher, described two categories of xenoglossy:

Recitative Xenoglossy

In this condition, an individual can speak a language that hasn’t been learned, but the individual cannot respond, or converse, in that language.

Responsive Xenoglossy

In this situation, an individual can also speak in a foreign language that hasn’t been learned.  In addition, this individual can understand other people speaking the language and can respond, can participate in conversation, in that language.

Ian Stevenson makes the assertion that in responsive xenoglossy, the individual must have learned and practiced the language at some point in time. Stevenson points out that to converse in a language, practice is required.

If this practice was not done in the contemporary incarnation, then the language must have been learned and practiced in a past incarnation.

Speaking in Tongues

Let us also consider the phenomenon of glossolabia, which is the scientific term for speaking in tongues.  Glossolabia is practiced by certain branches of Christianity.  Speaking in tongues differs from xenoglossy in that xenoglossy involves the ability to speak a known foreign language, which other people also understand.

In contrast, speaking in tongues involves languages that are not known and that other people cannot understand.  It is possible that glossolabia, or speaking in tongues, can be seen as a way to create a self hypnotic state, which allows individuals to access spiritual realms.

The Ability of the Soul to Retain Past Life Personalities

Xenoglossy is considered to represent strong evidence of reincarnation, as the ability to speak and understand a language that has not been learned by normal means must have been learned at some point in time, such as in a past incarnation.

Responsive xenoglossy is especially strong evidence of reincarnation, as this type infers full comprehension of the language that has not been learned by normal means.

In some xenoglossy cases, it is observed that the past life personality appears to be almost transported in time from a prior incarnation to the present.  The past life personality may not even know that it has died.  Cases of this type include:

Xenoglossy Reincarnation Case of Sharada | Uttara Huddar

Xenoglossy Reincarnation Case of Jensen Jacoby | TE

It appears that these xenoglossy cases represent a category of reincarnation cases where an individual does not remember a past lifetime, rather, the past life personality appears fully intact.  We can visualize one's personality in a particular incarnation as a bubble that is expressed from the soul, which following death, is resorbed into the soul.  This personality bubble can then be accessed in special states of consciousness.

In sum, these types of xenoglossy cases demonstrate a particular property of the soul, which is the ability to preserve past life personalities within it.  This phenomenon is discussed further in the section: Principles of Reincarnation & Understanding Past Lives


Go to: Independently Derived Reincarnation Cases, featuring the Chldren's Past Lifes Research of Ian Stevenson, MD

Go to: Ryerson-Semkiw Celebrity & Historic Figure Reincarnation Cases

Go to: Reincarnation Cases: Alphabetical


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