Australian Woman Comes Away With Irish Accent Following Surgery

It’s not quite the same as going in for a colonoscopy and leaving with a vasectomy, but it’s equally as confusing…In April, an Australian woman underwent tonsil surgery and nine days later she woke up with an Irish accent.

Angie Yen told The Hard Shoulder that nine days after having her tonsils removed, a shower-based musical performance led her to discover she now had an Irish accent: “I was getting ready for a job interview, and I was just singing in the shower which I normally do, and all these words were coming out. All the sounds I had never heard of before.”  Yen quickly phoned a friend to make sure her ears weren’t deceiving her, and the friend confirmed her suspicions.

Yen told 60 Minutes Australia that she’s attempted speech therapy to have the accent corrected, but hasn’t succeeded, describing it as: “just trying to fake my Ozzie accent.”

“I have tried very, very hard but it is like a rubber band. The best way I can explain it is, the harder you pull the rubber band away the harder you pull back to Irish.” The Brisbane, Queensland native commented to The Hard Shoulder.

The 28-year-old has been diagnosed with Foreign Accent Syndrome (FSA)- a rare medical condition that may be triggered by neurological or psychological damage, according to speech pathologist Kirrie Ballard, who appeared on 60 Minutes Australia. It is possible for the condition to go away on its own, or with therapy. However, if the condition subsides, FSA can still reoccur later in life.

Oddly enough, many inebriated bargoers across the globe also develop Irish accents. Though, these accents generally have nothing to do with tonsil removal and more to do with Guinness consumption.





Written by Anthony Farris


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  1. I have sympathy. I have a German Irish ancestry. My German side says, “work hard, keep your nose to the grindstone”. My Irish side says, “Fuggit, let’s go have a drink”. So far, so good. If I work hard I reward myself with a tonic or two, or three. By the time I am finished drinking I sound like a drunk Australian. Fortunately, by the morning I have sobered up.

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