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Bizarre Two Australian women reveal how they developed thick Irish accents while recovering from surgery

It has emerged that Ms Yen and Ms Baggs both suffer from a rare brain disorder known as Foreign Accent Syndrome


Two Australian women who both developed thick Irish accents while recovering from surgery have been telling their bizarre stories to the country’s 60 Minutes news programme. 

Both women, Brisbane dentist Angie Yen (28) and Kate Baggs have been recounting how they suddenly began speaking in foreign accents following different procedures.

Even though Ms Yen has never been to Ireland and has no Irish heritage, started speaking in a thick Irish brogue following an operation on her tonsils.

The accent didn't materialise until eight days after the operation in a phenomenon even her doctors couldn't explain.

When she documented the Irish accent progressively getting stronger on TikTok she became the subject of ridicule by those who were convinced she was pretending to get attention.

“The Australian accent that I've known for a very long time was just wiped out overnight,” Ms Yen told 60 Minutes reporter Sarah Abo.

“I'm sick of being taken as a joke. It's a very serious thing.”

Meanwhile, Kate Baggs, who also began speaking in the foreign accent soon after suffering a rare form of migraine in 2019, recalled her accent just “shifted” in the middle of a sentence. She described it as the “strangest feeling”.

Ms Baggs (30) an embroidery artist from Melbourne, Australia suffers from a particular type of extreme migraine

Kate had her first episode in 2015, where she had to learn how to talk again after a brutal migraine - but her accent turned Canadian.

It eventually went back to her normal Australian accent until it suddenly turned Irish while she was on holiday with her godparents.

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Kate has lived in Australia her whole life and has never visited either Canada or Ireland.

In a previous interview, Kate said: "Going to Ireland has always been a dream of mine- hopefully it will be my next trip and I'll be able to sound like a local.

"The first time I had a stroke-like migraine, it took me two months to learn how to speak again and when I did speak, I had a Canadian accent.

"It only lasted a couple of months, it faded quite quickly and went back to my Australian accent.

"The most the doctors can understand is that the migraines are probably happening at the speech and language centre of my brain.

"It's been Irish ever since and it doesn't show any signs of going away anytime soon.

"I had no control over it but I thought 'that sounds really funny.

However, it has emerged that Ms Yen and Ms Baggs both suffers from a rare brain disorder known as Foreign Accent Syndrome.

And Professor Kirrie Ballard, a speech pathologist, confirmed the condition is medically genuine.

he labelled Foreign Accent Syndrome a “legitimate disorder” which is triggered by psychological or neurological damage.

In one Tiktok clip, Ms Yen recalls how: “I woke up this morning and I was speaking with my Aussie accent, and I called one of my friends and confirmed that my Aussie accent was back but during the phone call, within five to 10 minutes, she could see the deterioration of my accent back to Irish.

“I don't know what to do, this is something that's very different. I'm not even trying, I'm completely freaked out. I thought it was going to go away eventually.'

Soon after, Ms Yen said there were “no traces of Aussie twangs anymore” and she had gone “full Irish”.

“I still can't believe I woke up with an Irish accent. I've never been to Ireland. I grew up in Australia. My Aussie accent is gone.”

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