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Woman gets French accent after wreck

hong kong car acccident australian foreign accent syndrome brain injuries different identity

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#1 Hum

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 22:54

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Eight years ago, Leanne Rowe was in a serious car crash that resulted in a broken back and jaw. But when the former bus driver and Australian Army Reserve member recovered, she was left with something completely unexpected: a French accent.

Rowe, who is now unable to speak with her original Aussie accent, said she has become a "recluse," and often has her daughter speak for her in public.

"I am not French," Rowe told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Sunday. "It makes me so angry because I am Australian."

How can this occur?

Foreign accent syndrome is an extremely rare condition in which brain injuries change a person's speech patterns, giving them a different accent. The first known case was reported in 1941, when a Norwegian woman suffered shrapnel injuries to the brain during a German bombing run -- and started speaking with a German accent. Since then there have been only a few dozen reported cases.

"It's an impairment of motor control," said Dr. Karen Croot, one of the few experts in foreign accent syndrome. "Speech is one of the most complicated things we do, and there are a lot of brain centers involved in coordinating a lot of moving parts. If one or more of them are damaged, that can affect the timing, melody and tension of their speech.

"In a sense it's not a communication impairment -- a person can make themselves understood perfectly well."

But foreign accent syndrome can be psychologically difficult for suffers.

"There can be a lack of understanding of how difficult it can be for the person with the acquired accent," said Croot. "There's sort of a response of, 'get rid of the accent, stop putting it on, go back.' If you think about your own accent, it's a part of your identity. Changing your accent projects a different identity."

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#2 Solid Knight

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 23:01

For reals?



#3 +warwagon

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 23:05

What's the big deal deaf people have french ancients.



#4 Growled

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 23:11


Rowe, who is now unable to speak with her original Aussie accent, said she has become a "recluse," and often has her daughter speak for her in public.

 

That's silly. I think a French accent is really sexy.



#5 OP Hum

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 23:14

Shame you don't actually speak french. :laugh:



#6 Growled

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 23:14

^ I can barely speak English. :D



#7 OP Hum

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 23:16

^ mucho gusto, senor



#8 LaP

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 23:23

That's silly. I think a French accent is really sexy.

 

Strange it's not the effect created when i try to speak english. Usually people laugh at me :(



#9 AsherGZ

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 23:31

That's hilarious. Especially the part about the Norwegian woman who started speaking in German accent after getting hit by German bomb. :D 

 

And I don't think she really speaks in a French accent. Probably just messing up her Ds with Zs. I bet if she went to France people there would think she's making fun of them.



#10 Torolol

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 02:32

brain damages -> specific country accent?

 

would that mean the reverse might be true?

those who have specific country accent are born with brain damages ?