Could you imagine waking up one day and speaking in an entirely different accent, despite never even visiting that country in your life? Well, for some people, this is wild idea is a reality. Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS) is a very real and very mysterious neurological response to some surgeries, and this TikToker is showing us what it’s like to live with.
Introducing TikTok user @angie.mcyen (spelt An Gie on Instagram), who claims that one day after her tonsillectomy, she woke up with a full-blown Irish accent. An Gie isn’t Irish, has never been to Ireland, and has no Irish relatives whatsoever. In fact, she’s just a regular Aussie, who is going through symptoms of FAS.
FAS is very real, albeit very rare, and affects very few people, usually after surgery. In fact, there are only around 100 known cases of the disease since it first appeared in 1907. From what we know, it can appear from strokes, head trauma or migraines.
The accent you land on however is completely random, and can often sound like a bad impersonation or a blend of multiple different locations.
An Gie booted up a TikTok account for the sole purpose of documenting her journey towards recovery, and boy is it an addicting series of videos to watch.
Check out the first one right here.
Day 1: I woke up with an Irish accent ???? #sendhelp
In some of the videos, you can hear An Gie’s Aussie accent shine through beneath her random new Irish accent. If this ever happens to me I’d like to speak Italian pls and thank you, so my Nonna can stop being ashamed of how I talk.
“I woke up this morning and I was speaking with my Aussie accent… but during the phone call… she could see the deterioration in my accent from Aussie to Irish,” she said.
Day 2: I woke up with an Irish accent the day before and thought I was gonna wake up from this weird dream. But no, my Aussie accent’s gone
On Day 2, An Gie decided to have a bit of fun with her new condition, and read out a whole bunch of Aussie slang. Unfortunately for her, she couldn’t say any of the words the way she used to.
Day 2: Saying Aussie slang words in my Irish accent ???????????????? #thisissurreal
Come Day 3 and An Gie has a bit more information from the specialist about her new condition, but is still confused af.
“There are no traces of Aussie twangs anymore,” she says.
“Today I tried as hard as I can to talk normally, and no, it’s full Irish.”
Day 3: Trying to live my normal life. Hit the gym for the first time since my surgery 12 days ago to burn off my fat back rolls #thisssurreal
I am hooked on these videos. What on Earth is going ON?
Day 3: My specialist got back to me! He said to give it another week and see if the accent washes away with the inflammation settling down. #nowwewait
Day 4 was hella fun, and saw An Gie get on four wheels and whip around a Macca’s drive-through to test out her new accent.
Just hearing her say “McChicken Meal” and “that’s all thank you” in Irish is so surreal.
You can catch a lot of the other days on An Gie’s TikTok account, as I’m only showing off the highlights here (there are heaps more).
On Day 9, An Gie opens up about the stages of grief she has felt in losing her Aussie accent, and how it has been incredibly tough adjusting to her strange new mystery Irish accent.
Honestly, I would be breaking down every day, so power to her.
“My accent is not as thick as it was last week. In terms of how I am coping, I am definitely still in the third stage of grief, and the last two days were not pretty,” she said on her Day 9 video.
Day 12 is the most interesting part for me, and shows just how weird and wonderful our brains are.
On the night of Day 11, An Gie went out drinking to see how alcohol would affect her way of talking. So, on the morning of Day 12, she recorded herself talking with a bit of a hangover, and you can definitely see a lot more of the Aussie accent pouring in than usual.
Drunk brain = Aussie brain, perhaps?
Chuck a listen to her reading the morning news about NSW lockdowns with a pretty normal accent.
Then moving on the Day 13 and the accent is back, albeit a lot less prominently. An Gie responded to some haters on TikTok who claimed she was only doing it to get famous on the app.
The Aussie-gone-Irish assured her viewers that this was not some random stunt to get ultra famous, but is instead a very real thing she is living with.
As for the TikTok account? Well, it exists to help her document just how strange it is to battle through Foreign Accent Syndrome, so that others may have more awareness on the issue.
“Unfortunately it’s not fake. I bloody damn hope that my Aussie accent is coming through, as it’s what I’ve had for the last 20 years,” she said.
“I hope you learn something from my journey and spread awareness about this.”
“I could be spending my money on a very nice holiday and not medical bills,” she said.
“The reason why I have decided to take my story public is to raise awareness for Foreign Accent Syndrome.”
Reply to @alienkayla59 Day 13: Why I decided to take my private life public on the 3rd day after I first woke up with a foreign accent #fyp
Now if you need me I’m going to be avidly watching An Gie’s TikTok updates until she makes a full recovery. I am hooked.