Foreign accent syndrome
Most language learners work hard to get a ‘local’ accent in the language they’re learning. They take French lessons in New York and practice speaking a lot.
For some though, a foreign accent is an unwelcome intrusion. Foreign Accent Syndrome affects only around 80 people in the world, and is mainly associated with brain damage. Those affected have woken up to find their accent radically changed.
This video shows three women in Australia who have been affected by the syndrome – one who has gained a French accent and another who now sounds Chinese.