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Science & Technology

English woman wakes up with Italian accent

By T.K. Randall
October 2, 2014 · Comment icon 15 comments

Doctors know very little about the condition due to its rarity. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Mason
Kath Lockett suffers from an extremely rare condition known as Foreign Accent Syndrome.
What would you do if you woke up one morning and discovered that you had started speaking with a different accent ?

Eight years ago the mother-of-two had been taken to hospital due to a rare brain condition that left her completely unable to speak. When her voice finally did return however she discovered to her horror that she no longer recognized it and that she was now only able to speak in a distinct European accent.

"I feel like I've been robbed - now I'm either Italian, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish," she said.
Only a few cases of the remarkably unusual condition have ever been recorded and doctors are still a long way from determining why it happens or how to cure it.

"We don't understand a lot about Foreign Accent Syndrome because it is very rare and cases are very sporadic," said Professor Rosemary Varley. "We take fluent speech for granted until it goes awry. It is one of the most complex speech movement behaviors in the body."

Kath has since been attempting to raise as much awareness as possible about the condition and recently appeared on ITV's "This Morning" programme to tell her story.

"I'm on here today to give other sufferers a voice," she said. "You don't realise what it is until it is gone. Just think for one moment if you lost the voice that you have today."

Source: Mirror | Comments (15)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by tipotep 10 years ago
This happens to me all the time, the other night I was drinking schnapps and trust me when I say, I wasn't speaking English after the bottle was gone.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Rolci 10 years ago
You thought a foreign accent was a big deal? Try people waking up speaking a new language! Here are just a few examples: [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Xanthurion2 10 years ago
I was expecting a more science-y name for the syndrome.
Comment icon #9 Posted by DigitalAcolyte 10 years ago
"What would you do if you woke up one morning and discovered that you had started speaking with a different accent ?" It would be sooooo awesome!
Comment icon #10 Posted by Hammerclaw 10 years ago
I woke up one morning sounding like Ringo Starr. One look at my bank account cured me. Could have been worse she could have woke up with a redneck american accent. Hey! I resemble that remark!
Comment icon #11 Posted by Hammerclaw 10 years ago
I was expecting a more science-y name for the syndrome. Farscape Syndrome?
Comment icon #12 Posted by Realm 10 years ago
Thatsa crazy
Comment icon #13 Posted by Alas_113 10 years ago
Comment icon #14 Posted by coolguy 10 years ago
When my dad was younger he cut his hand open pretty good and the doc gave him a shot like a pain killer or what ever, my dad was talking to the doc in 100 percent Italian lol. when he came to he spoke English again my dad was 100 percent Italian but his parents never spoke to him in it only English its crazy how the mind works
Comment icon #15 Posted by Mark56 10 years ago
If I could come back talking like Yul Brynner it'd be cool.

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