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Language: An Australian woman woke up with an Irish accent


A young woman explained how to learn to live with ‘foreign accent syndrome’.

Angie Yen suffered a speech problem after surgery on her tongue.

Angie Yen suffered a speech problem after surgery on her tongue.


Last year, an Australian woman woke up with an Irish-like accent. After tonsil surgery, he suffered from foreign accentuation syndrome, a very rare but long-recognized brain disorder.

Angie Yen says she was born in Taiwan but founded in Australia when she was 8 years old 7 News How she discovered this amazing disorder and how she lives.

The 29-year-old dentist from Brisbane, who never had a speech problem, discovered his new ‘accent’ while singing in the shower after surgery. “I was panicked. I felt like I was awake in someone’s body, but what I saw in the mirror was my face, ”he says. And to make it clear that he had never set foot in Ireland.

Aside from pronunciation, the young woman sometimes avoids stuttering or gestures.

Another difficulty is that this syndrome is less well known and doctors do not take it seriously. She even enjoyed the teasing. And some said they believed he was doing this on purpose to attract attention.

Improvement over time

First, Angie Yen had to do a lot of research on her own. She discovered that her syndrome was mainly caused by a stroke or a head injury. In addition to the difficulties she had in expressing herself, she feared that a stroke would come even though she was in excellent shape.

Over time, his speech improved, but he says his Australian accent did not fully return. She says it has a little more Irish-like accent. “It is most pronounced when I am depressed or tired,” he says. She still stumbled at a few words at times.

“Accepting my new accent, my new voice and my new identity is a long-term challenge,” he says.

Within a year, the young woman was in contact with others suffering from the same syndrome. It did her a lot of good, she explained, because her disorder “isolates” her.

He testified in the hope that anyone waking up with a “funny accent” would be taken seriously when seeking help.

When asked by 7News, the experts explained that the young woman did not actually have an Irish accent, but her speech was damaged. Some sounds are mispronounced but there are a lot of variations in the results. His pronunciation for some words sounds like Irish at times, but sometimes not.

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