Picture this: you wake up the day after getting your tonsils out. You're in a bit of pain but you're glad you got the surgery done. You go to call your family and let them know you're well when, suddenly, you realise you're speaking in a foreign accent. And you've no idea what's causing it.
It may seem completely outlandish, but for an Australian woman named An Gie, that's exactly what has happened to her.
An Gie burst into the public eye when she posted daily updates on TikTok of her seemingly immovable Irish accent. It's a bit touch-and-go whether you could call it Irish in the first of these clips, but by God can you hear it in the second.
@angie.mcyenDay 2: I woke up with an Irish accent the day before and thought I was gonna wake up from this weird dream. But no, my Aussie accent’s gone♬ original sound - angie.mcyen
@angie.mcyenDay 13: Struggling to find a neurologist who has experience with #foreignaccentsyndrome or knows someone who can help me #foryou♬ original sound - angie.mcyen
The change in An Gie's accent came as she woke up after surgery to get her tonsils removed, and she appears to be suffering from what is known as "foreign accent syndrome" - yes, that is a real thing. According to Heathline, only around 100 people have ever been diagnosed with the condition since it was discovered in 1907.
It is generally caused by conditions that affect the Broca's region of the brain, and so An Gie has been trying desperately to get in touch with a neurologist to get to the bottom of the problem. She appeared on a chat show on Australian TV station Studio 10 to discuss her ordeal.
The chat show host, Tristan MacManus, is from Bray in County Wicklow, giving us a good metric by which to judge the "Irishness" of her accent - though she does admit herself that the Irish element of it comes and goes in waves.
An Gie Yen is reported by news.com.au to be seeking an MRI and blood tests, on top of her continued pursuit of a neurologist to get to the bottom of the issue.