Woman suffers migraine, acquires Chinese accent

A 35-year old British woman claims she acquired a Chinese accent after a bad migraine. She thinks she has something called Foreign Accent Syndrome, and claims she is annoyed by her new voice.


  1. This is such a weird syndrome. Although the one where people seem to start speaking a foreign language is even odder.

    I want this to happen to Nick Griffen. It would be even funnier than the fact that the BNP now can’t have a whites-only membership policy. I nice comedy Indian accent would work quite well.

  2. She could have tried done that without a stroke, but now the damaged brain is doing it without her. Just like a speeding Toyota…

  3. *tried doing*

    there is also the case of a mirror-vision after stroke, woman sees everything as if in a mirror, can only read mirror-reversed script etc. but moving stimuli are normal. Wonderful world of the brain. ( Paper: http://tinyurl.com/y2bhff2 )

    1. Actually, the image projected on the back of your eyeball is mirror-image and upside-down. This is only noticeable when the PhotoShop plug-ins that your brain constantly runs to edit the raw footage gets disabled or de-installed. If one is in the Autistic Spectrum some or all of these are disabled: most famously the one that filters out the scintillation of dust particles in the air (See the Sigourny Weaver movie Snowcakes or ask your cat – who can also see this). Annoyingly there are no words for some of these since, never having seen them, Neuro-Typicals haven’t bothered to coin nouns for them. Been meaning to have a chat with the OED people about that….

      An equal distance along this vector, but in the other direction, from the statistically average PhotoShop setup is the Schizophrenic: whose software adds things to what is physically there instead of the usual subtractions.

      1. Could you elaborate on this ‘scintillation vision’? I have not seen the movie, our cat is not talking to me (again. what is it with those creatures?) and Google brought no joy.

  4. A similar thing happened to a man from Windermere who picked up an Ambleside accent after an extra pint at the pub. The case was never properly documented because they couldn’t find a researcher who could tell the accents apart, but the man’s entire extended family is ready to disown him over it.

  5. …never properly documented because they couldn’t find a researcher who could tell the accents apart…

    Ah, Old Blighty, where there’s a new accent every half block or so, and people are proud of it.

    My limey in-laws have four different accents in the same nuclear family. I can only hear three of them, though.

  6. Honestly, I’d be annoyed if my voice suddenly changed, regardless of WHO or WHAT it sounded like to me afterwards – because it wouldn’t sound like the voice I was used to and expecting to hear.

    I’m curious how much of Foreign Accent Syndrome is a motor-control based speech impediment that results in a consonant or vowel shift, and how much of it is an irregularity in pitch or stress control that changes the speakers speech pattern in a way that sounds “non native”.

    I also sort of wonder what a Han speaker would think of her accent now.

    But either way, that doesn’t sound like “a migraine” if she’s got freeking brain damage.

    1. @Jerril: “But either way, that doesn’t sound like “a migraine” if she’s got freeking brain damage.”

      Agreed. A migraine causes severe and painful constrictions/contractions of blood vessels in the brain. It’s akin to an alcoholic hangover times infinity. Nausea and sometimes vomiting is accompanied due to the severe pain and extreme sensitivity to any sensory stimuli (sound, light, smell, etc).

      Sadly, that woman probably had a stroke, not a frickin’ migraine. Maybe some symptoms of a stroke are similar to a migraine headache? Perhaps a minor stroke is what attributed to her speech impairment? If she happens to maybe be a smoker and is on birth control pills: then there you go: it was a minor stroke as tobacco smoking gravely exacerbates the Pill’s tendency to produce blood clots in women over 30 years of age… which could help explain how/why a woman who’s only 35 years old could maybe suffer from a minor stroke.

  7. what a coincidence, just a few days after a croatian girl wakes up speaking fluent german…

  8. She is possessed by a Chinese soul? or she just had her memories back from her Chinese past life. Reincarnation proved?

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