Australian woman suffered "big identity crisis" after waking up with Irish accent after tonsil surgery 1 month ago

Australian woman suffered "big identity crisis" after waking up with Irish accent after tonsil surgery

She has confirmed the surgery did not give her a taste for Guinness.

Australian woman Angie Yen has said she had a "big identity crisis" after waking up with an Irish accent after tonsil surgery.


The 28-year-old Brisbane woman underwent the surgery on 19 April this year but just over a week later awoke one morning with her voice changed to what sounds like an Irish accent.

She told The Colm and Lucy Breakfast Show on Classic Hits: "I was in the shower, and I was getting ready for a job interview in an hour. I usually sing when I'm in the shower and all of a sudden there were all these words coming out of my mouth that weren’t of my own. I was like ‘hang on a second, this is not right’."

Yen is Asian-Australian and has no connections to Ireland, telling the show: "Maybe 500 generations ago [I did], because I'm as Asian as they come".

According to Yen, she has had a lot of attention from Irish people who believe her accent varies from county to county.

"I've got a Kerry, Belfast, Dublin and a Wexford accent but I don't know where that is," she said.

Yen went viral chronicling her experience through TikTok, before learning the likely cause was the rare condition Foreign Accent Syndrome.

While it’s most common after a head injury, stroke, or some other type of damage to the brain, it can occur after surgery to the face or mouth.


Those suffering from Foreign Accent Syndrome are not actually speaking in a foreign accent. Instead, it is a damaged form of their native accent that happens to resemble a foreign accent.

Yen revealed it has been 56 days since she awoke with the Irish accent and that she misses her original Aussie accent.

She said: "I had a big identity crisis in the first couple of weeks when this happened," before adding: "I'm actually a lot better now".

Despite her new accent, Yen said she is not a fan of Ireland's favourite alcoholic beverage.

She said: "I tried my first Guinness and it was very bitter, definitely not my cup of tea. I don't know how you guys can drink it."


Image via Classic Hits