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Gift of the gab Australian woman wakes up sounding "very Irish” after having tonsils removed

"If you wake up with a foreign accent go straight to hospital because it’s not just something funny that you laugh about"


 Angie Yen

Angie Yen

Angie Yen

A Brisbane woman has made a TikTok video to highlight foreign accent syndrome (FAS) after she started singing and talking in a foreign accent” that “sounds very Irish”. 

When Angie Yen woke up on April 28 and went for a shower she was astonished to realise that instead of her normal Australian accent she started singing “in a different sound and also talking words in a funny accent”.

The 27-year-old dentist phoned one of her friends who alerted her to the fact that she might have the rare condition.

“He was the one who actually told me and sent me links later about foreign accent syndrome (FAS), he had watched some videos on YouTube years ago,” she revealed.

Ms Yen had her tonsils removed on April 19 a simple procedure that had taken just half an hour.

But when her accent changed a little over a week later, she went to the hospital in case she was suffering from a stroke which is a possible cause of FAS.

“They couldn’t do anything, I was normal,” Ms Yen recalled. “I just sounded different and (they said), ‘you’re still healing from your surgery so maybe your vocal cords are damaged’,” she said.

Her ear, nose and throat specialist also suggested that she wait to see if her voice reverted back to normal but when her new accent didn’t go away, Ms Yen said her friends and family couldn’t believe she wasn’t making it up.

“Most of them just laugh, my friends (at first) just are like, ‘oh my goodness it’s not real, you’re faking it’,” she said.

“But after a while they realise I’m not joking because there’s no way you pretend in an accent for two or three days, even in a normal conversation.”

She is now due to get a an MRI and blood test and is booked in to see a neurologist on the advice of her ear, nose and throat specialist.

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In the meantime she said she is still struggling to accept her new accent.

“I’m very lucky to have very supportive friends and family so whether there’s anything wrong in my head I don’t know, if they find something hopefully there is a cure or treatment for it,” she said.

She also decided to make a TikTok account share her experience after seeing how people with FAS get treated like a “joke”.

“I can 100 per cent connect with them and know what they are feeling because I feel so lost because it’s so rare,” she said.

"But I hope by using this platform to spread awareness that hopefully one day people know if you wake up with a foreign accent or a weird-sounding accent that you go straight to a hospital, there’s something wrong in your brain that needs to be looked at and it’s not just something funny that you laugh about."

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