Imagine you were born in Germany and thus speak just like anyone else around you with no accent.  Now imagine, you woke up and just have realized that you sound differently, .. very differently.  You may feel as though something changed in you, and you might even adopt a new identity.  However, don’t you think it would be difficult; especially considering that you live in your home country but people do not perceive you as one of natives?

A woman named Karen Butler used to have a speech just like anyone else in her home country Newport, Oregon.  However, after undergoing the oral surgery a year and a half ago, she started pronouncing her words in a different accent.  According to Butler, the first thing that people ask is “Where are you from? Where did you get that accent?” She would answer, “I got it from here. … Oregon. They think I’m saying, Ireland, but I’m saying, Oregon.”

The neurologist and medical director at Providence Stroke Center, Dr. Ted Lowenkoff, says that Butler has extremely rare neurological condition “that calls foreign accent syndrome”.  This syndrome can be caused by a stroke or a head injury, and he thinks that she got this condition after undergoing the dental surgery.  Most cases of foreign accent syndrome are associated with lesions to the left hemisphere of the brain, and this hemisphere is correlated with language.

Do you know anyone with FAS syndrome? or have you yourself experienced it?

Woman speaks with accent


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