Off topic: Grandmother goes to bed with migraine and wakes up speaking with a French accent
Thread poster: Stéphanie Soudais

Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:07
Member (2006)
English to French
Sep 15, 2010

A grandmother who went to bed suffering from a migraine was amazed to wake up speaking with a French accent.

Doctors say she has Foreign Accent Syndrome, a condition which damages the part of the brain that controls speech and word formation.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1311835/Gran-Kay-Russell-goes-bed-migraine-wakes-French-accent.html#ixzz0zb4iNBo7


 

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
Interesting! Sep 15, 2010

Hi Stéphanie,

Interesting! I shared the news in the Translation News section http://www.proz.com/translation-news/?p=13157

This story also reminded me of a similar one about a Croatian teenager wakes from coma speaking fluent German See http://www.proz.com/translation-news/?p=4748

Romina


 

Jennifer Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:07
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Perhaps ... Sep 15, 2010

Perhaps she was French?
Jenny


 

Trinh Do  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
I don't mind having an English accent Sep 15, 2010

I'm Vietnamese and would love to have this 'English Foreign Accent Syndrome' to further my voice-over career as Vietnamese is not much in demand. I won't even seek therapy - waste of money.
Besides, those Vietnamese communists deny my being a native speaker because I'm too 'counterrevolutionary'.
I always love English so much and very much at home with English poetry. 'Revolutionary' Vietnamese poetry must be a product of 'non-poetic' syndrome.

[Edited at 2010-09-15 14:31 GMT]


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 06:07
German to Serbian
+ ...
The French accent? Sep 15, 2010

The short portion of speech I've heard from her doesn't sound like French accent at all. They should have brought a linguist-phonologist to confirm this, not a neurologist.

The speech has changed yes, but IMO it's just too much to say it is a French accent when it's not. It sounds like a very specific idiolect.

It's also so sad when people who used language/speech in their profession get speech-related disorders. It reminds me of Beethoven's deafness.

Although many studies confirm language jobs and language exercises are a great prevention against dementia and similar disorders, there have been some professional authors/ writers who suffered Alzheimer's in their old age.



[Edited at 2010-09-15 14:45 GMT]


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 06:07
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Where to get your information from Sep 15, 2010

Well, the sources are newspapers in both cases, one of them being a tabloid, so it's a pretty safe bet the content is rubbish.
Here's a more reasonable opinion from a neuroscientist:
http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=1903

Basically, foreign language syndrome doesn't exist. Brain damage in the language regions can cause you to develop an accent (no surprises there) and that accent can happen to remind people of foreign accents (no surprises there).

Polyglot aphasia (the case of the Croatian girl who forgot Croatian) sounds fascinating, like so many quirky things the brain can do. "Plain" Broca's and Wernicke's aphasia are very interesting too, let alone even rarer situations like this one.

Obviously, the "woke up speaking fluent German miraculously and unexplainably" claim is rubbish, but the "forgot Croatian but not German" bit is true, and, while not unprecedented, it's quite remarkable.

[Edited at 2010-09-15 16:14 GMT]


 

AlessiaBeneg
Local time: 06:07
German to Italian
+ ...
I read about similar cases! Sep 15, 2010

Hello everybody!

Indeed peculiar, isn't it? And though I have already read an article about this syndrome (in German)

Here is the link, if you're interested! You can read it after paying €1.50!

http://archiv.sueddeutsche.de/sueddz/index.php?id=A47132115_EGTPOGWPOPPRWWGRCOEERTC

Contact me if you want to have it translated! (both in English or in Italian)

Ciao!

Alessia


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 06:07
German to Serbian
+ ...
Yes. Sep 16, 2010

FarkasAndras wrote:

Well, the sources are newspapers in both cases, one of them being a tabloid, so it's a pretty safe bet the content is rubbish.


It is very likely this woman had a mini stroke in her sleep, but "mysterious migraine" sounds like a much better sell, i.e. like something happening for the first time in the history.


 


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Grandmother goes to bed with migraine and wakes up speaking with a French accent

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