Angie, an Australian woman got her tonsil surgery done but did not expect such serious after-effects of it. The next day when she woke up her Australian accent had gone and instead she was speaking in an Irish accent! She said, “I still can’t believe I woke up with an Irish accent yesterday. I’ve never been to Ireland. I grew up in Australia. My Aussie accent is gone.”
“I spent the whole day yesterday freaking out about why this is happening to me and I went to the hospital and also called my specialist and asked them why this is happening and they couldn’t provide any answers. They just told me to sit tight and wait for my body to heal after my tonsil surgery last Monday, about 9-10 days ago.”
Turns this syndrome is a real thing. It is called the ‘Foreign Accent Syndrome’ which is a super rare condition. Angie will consult many other doctors and specialists. She is also using the internet as a means to spread awareness about this condition.
Professor Lyndsey Nickels, a speech therapist and language impairment specialist said, “Foreign accent syndrome is when someone suddenly develops what is perceived to be a foreign accent. This is despite the person having never necessarily having spoken that particular foreign language, never necessarily having spent time abroad, nor having mixed with people with that foreign accent.”
She added, “Foreign accent syndrome is usually thought to be caused by brain damage (eg from stroke or brain injury following a bump to the head) which causes difficulty with moving or coordinating the muscles that we use to produce speech (lips, tongue, voice box, breath). In turn, this means that the speech sounds change.”