The Woman Who Woke Up Chinese

No joke.  This apparently really happened.  Some woman in Britain had a splitting migraine headache and was rushed to the hospital, where I assume she fell asleep because she woke up Chinese.

Not her appearance, her voice. Her dulcet British tones were replaced by a Chinese accent.  (No one mentions whether her language changed, too).

It seems waking up with a foreign accent has happened to 60 people around the world and it even has a name -- Foreign Accent Syndrome (FAS), according to

The Web site reports that, according to the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD), "FAS is a speech disorder that causes a drastic changes in speech so that the native speaker is perceived to speak with a 'foreign' accent."

The story goes on to say that the speech "is usually altered in terms of timing, intonation, and tongue placement, which makes it sound foreign, highly intelligible, and not disordered." In documented cases, accents have changed from Japanese to Korean, British English to French, American English to British English, and Spanish to Hungarian, says UTD.

Though, I must admit, when I traveled to England post-college, I found myself developing an English accent, all on my own.  I seem to recall Madonna having that same problem, too.


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