When she woke up with a different accent one morning, Angie Yen knew something was very wrong.
Angie (27) was speaking with a strong Irish accent – even though she grew up in Australia and has never been to Ireland. “But my Aussie accent is gone,” she says.
Angie, who’s from Brisbane, prayed she’d wake up with her old accent back and thought her prayers had been answered one morning when she sounded more like her fair dinkum self.
She called a friend to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. “But during the phone call, within five to 10 minutes, my friend could hear the deterioration of my accent back to Irish,” Angie says.
Two days before she developed the new accent, Angie had tonsil surgery but doctors don’t believe this has anything to do with the strange turn of events.
After conducting several tests, they said she has foreign accent syndrome – a condition usually caused by a brain injury that sees people lose their natural accents. The condition is so rare only 100 people have been diagnosed with it worldwide since the first known case in 1907.
Since receiving the news, Angie has uploaded videos of her bizarre condition to keep her followers updated – but not everyone has been supportive of her.
Angie says she’s received several messages from people online who say she’s faking it. “Unfortunately, it's not fake,” she says. “I bloody hope my Aussie accent is coming through, as it's what I've had for the last 20 years.”
Angie has now made an appointment with a neurologist to confirm the diagnosis. “If they find something, hopefully there’s a cure or treatment for it,” she says.