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A French migraine

A woman in England has woken up to find she now speaks in a French accent.

Kay Russell lay down while suffering from a chronic migraine, and upon waking found she spoke with the new accent. The condition is known as foreign accent syndrome (FAS) and is extremely rare.

Ms Russell says the loss of her native English accent has affected her badly – losing confidence and her sense of identity.

“A lot of people come up and say: ‘What a lovely voice you have,'” said Russell, who has lived with the condition, of which there are only 60 recorded cases worldwide since 1941, since January. “You lose your identity and an awful lot about yourself. I feel like I come across as a different person.

“It’s not just my voice I miss. I would love to have my old voice back obviously. But it goes way, way beyond that. It’s the person I was – the person I want to be.

“I rang up a friend I had known since I was a teenager and the last time I had spoken to her I was speaking in my old voice. It took me a while to explain it was me.” (Source: The Guardian)

Language learners often aim for a ‘native’ accent when speaking their target language. I wonder if this aim is to make them feel more like the person they think they should be in that language?

Watch a video of Ms Russell here.