Fair dinkum – to be sure: Woman’s Australian accent goes Irish after tonsil operation
A woman’s Australian accent has turned Irish after her tonsils were taken out, she has said.
In a series of videos posted to TikTok, An Gie Mcyen said nine days after her tonsillectomy, she woke up with an Irish accent.
But the Australian said she has “never been to Ireland before”.
Her symptoms are similar to someone suffering a rare medical condition called Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS).
While she references FAS several times, she does not say if she has been formally diagnosed with the condition.
Estimates vary, but a 2018 study published in the Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience found just 80 people with FAS worldwide.
Sufferers develop speech patterns that are perceived as a foreign accent that is different from their native accent.
People usually contract it after some sort of brain injury, including strokes.
Initially, Ms Mcyen contacted the hospital, but doctors there “didn’t have any answers”, while her specialist told her to “sit tight”‘ and “let the body heal”, she said.
In some of the clips posted over two weeks, bits of her original Australian accent can be heard, but it is clear how the Irish accent got more obvious.
On day two – 30 April – she said “I still can’t believe I woke up with an Irish accent”, in a clip watched at least two million times.
In a different video posted that day, she said: “I woke up this morning and I was speaking with my Aussie accent, and I called one of my friends and confirmed that my Aussie accent was back”.
But during the phone call, she said, “within five to 10 minutes,” she could see the deterioration of her accent “back to Irish”.
“I don’t know what to do, this is something that’s very different. I’m not even trying, I’m completely freaked out.
“I thought it was going to go away when I woke up this morning.”
The following day, Ms Mcyen appeared to be coming to terms with her predicament, telling her followers she had “moved her birthday dinner in about a fortnight to an Irish pub”.
In another, she tested her new accent on a set of Australian phrases, with her native assistant repeating them for comparison.
She has since begun posting videos answering questions and comments sent to her.
One uploaded earlier this week, was titled “Trying a new thing where ppl who deny my reality gets to pay for my medical bills”.
In it, she listed a series of treatment costs she was facing despite “having private medical insurance”.
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