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Foreign Accent Syndrome

Written by on February 28, 2022

Foreign Accent Syndrome or FAS is a speech disorder that causes a sudden change to speech so that a native speaker is perceived to speak with a “foreign” accent. In layman’s terms, having FAS  is a medical mystery cause one day you sound like you and the next day you sound like you were born in another country.

FAS is most often caused by damage to the brain caused by a stroke or traumatic brain injury. Although it’s extremely rare, it’s a real condition. Only about 100 people have been diagnosed with this condition since the first known case came to light in 1907.

In the video below 60Minutes Australia correspondent, Sarah Abo meets two Australian women who unexpectedly started speaking in accents that suggested they’d spent all their lives in Ireland.


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