What The?

Asian Australian Woman Had Her Tonsils Removed And Woke Up After Surgery With An Irish Accent

This is one of those “what the..” type situations. Brisbanite Angie Yen, had her tonsils removed on April 19. 9 days after the surgery she woke up and her accent totally changed to an Irish sounding accent. Yen spoke to The Hard Shoulder about her changing accent:


On The Hard Shoulder today @kieran.cuddihy was chatting to @angie.mcyen about her experience #foreignaccentsyndrome #howbizarre

♬ original sound – Newstalk

“I had my tonsils taken out on April 19th and about a week and a half or ten days later I woke up with an Irish-sounding accent which I didn’t recognise,”

“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.”

“I was panicking. I was in so much shock. I thought I was having a Freaky Friday moment; that I had woken up in the wrong body.

“I had to call one of my friends just to confirm and check whether I was talking in this funny way or my brain had gone crazy. They have travelled all over the world and they said why do you sound Irish? Why do you sound like the guys from my cross-fit?”


Day 54: My 60 mins episode just aired nationwide across Australia. I have answers, but also have more questions about #foreignaccentsyndrome #foryou

♬ original sound – angie.mcyen

Her condition has been determined as “foreign accent syndrome”, and for now Yen is stuck with this Irish accent. What is most baffling is that she has never ever been to Ireland, nor has any Irish influences in her family line. She did do a brain scan with no abnormalities coming out to explain this accent change – so it is a mystery for sure. She has been warned by doctors that in her lifetime she may be stuck with this Irish accent and may never know the cause of it.

For anyone who plans to get their tonsils out – take note of this case… scary indeed. Yen states that she won’t be doing speech therapy to get her Aussie accent back because as she says it won’t be ‘her true accent”, so she will just stick to what she has for now. Sadly, social media has been in a way making jokes about her changing accent and that has upset Yen. She tells 60 Minutes:

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

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