Angie Yen ,An Australian woman suddenly speaks with an Irish accent after an operation. Even a year later, she still has problems with it. The phenomenon even has a name.
The essentials in brief
- Angie Yen,
- An Australian woman suddenly spoke with an Irish accent after an operation.
- Foreign language accent syndrome can have many different causes.
- Even a year after the tonsil surgery, she still has problems with her pronunciation.
Anyone who has ever woken up from an anesthetic – or watched someone doing it – should know it.
The confusion is great, you don’t know where you are and who all the people around you are.
Angie Yen, a 29-year-old dentist from Australia, may have been upset about something else entirely.
A few days after a tonsillectomy in April 2021, she suddenly spoke differently – she had an Irish accent.
To this day, she hasn’t really gotten rid of it.
The phenomenon even has a name: foreign language accent syndrome.
Yen was “very confused” after discovery
She noticed her Irish accent ten days after her tonsillectomy on April 28, 2021.
She doesn’t know where it all came from.
Angie Yen told 7News: “I was very worried and freaked out.” You can also see that in a TikTok video that she recorded that day.
She excitedly explains that she just got through an interview with an Irish accent.
“I’m on my way to the hospital. Help me.”
A friend then sent her a video of a British woman suddenly speaking with an Asian accent.
She has learned that this phenomenon is usually triggered by things like strokes, seizures and migraines, she says.
That’s why she went to an ambulance, but was sent away again.
“I was rejected, laughed at, mocked, but I didn’t get an answer to my question why I sounded like that”.
People were also skeptical online.
Many people would have claimed that she just wanted to attract attention.
Accent problem is a neurological disease
However, science knows of a disease that exactly matches Yen’s symptoms.
In a TikTok video, Karl Kruszelnicki, a science communicator, explains that the neurological condition is usually triggered by a brain disorder .
For example a head injury, a stroke or an operation . “But it can also be related to diabetes, immune disorders or other unknown causes.”
The good news: the accent can be fixed. “Just as you can have a sports injury treated with physiotherapy, this can be done with speech training,” says Kruszelnicki.
Language problems improve
And indeed, a year later, Angie Yen sounds less Irish. “It’s gotten better, as you can hear,” she says in her latest TikTok video a year after the surgery.
When she’s stressed, she still has trouble with the words.