SYDNEY, Australia - Leanne Rowe, an Australian woman, has lived for eight years with a French accent after a severe car crash. The woman, an Australian Army Reserve member and former bus driver, recovered from her physical injuries but she has yet to reacquire her original Aussie accent.
As CNN reports, Rowe is so embarassed of her French accent that she asks her daughter to speak for her. “I am not French,” said the Aussie mother. “It makes me so angry because I am Australian.”
Ms. Rowe suffers from a rare condition called foreign accent syndrome. This condition alters speech patterns in people who have suffered brain injuries. The first person to have suffered from this condition was a Norwegian woman in 1941. She was left with a German accent after a Nazi air-raid.
Dr. Karen Coot said the condition is “not a communication impairment” but it can be hard to accept by the victims.” There can be a lack of understanding of how difficult it can be for the person with the acquired accent,” said Dr. Coot.