Australian woman Leanne Rowe, who woke up from an accident eight years ago with a French accent. (Source: ABC screen shot)
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"I am not French, [though] I do not have anything against the French people."
It's a condition so rare only about 60 people in the world are believed to suffer from it. And one of them has now been found in Australia.
Leanne Rowe was in a major car crash eight years ago and suffered a head injury. She broke her back and jaw. And when she woke up in the hospital after the accident, something wasn't right: Instead of speaking in her native Australian accent, she had a heavy French one. And there was nothing she could do about it.
"Slowly, as my jaw started to heal, they said that I was slurring my words because I was on very powerful tablets," she told Australia's TV network ABC. But it wasn't slurring.
"It makes me so angry because I am Australian," she added. "I am not French, [though] I do not have anything against the French people."
You can listen to her tell her story in this video:
Still, her and her family try to see the bright side.
"I guess we made a bit of fun of it as well, but in hindsight, it's been really hard for her," her daughter, Kate Mundy, told the network.
"It has affected her life greatly. People see the funny side of it, and think its really interesting, I mean, it is interesting but I've seen the impacts on mum's life."
Rowe's doctor, who knew her before the accident, said Rowe had taken French in school but had never been to France. And he's baffled.
"She had a normal ... Australian accent for the whole time I knew her before that," he told ABC.
Technically, the accent isn't a French accent at all. Psychologist Karen Croot from the University of Sydney says it just sounds like it.
"It's just an accident of chance that happens to that person that what happens to their speech happens to overlap with the features of a known accent," she explained.
Rowe isn't the only person in recent memory to be afflicted with the disorder. In 2011, TheBlaze reported on Karen Butler. Butler is from Oregon and in 2009 she woke up from oral surgery with a Transylvanian accent.
While hers has softened a little, many people still think she sounds British.
And she, too, has taken it in stride.
"I'm very lucky it was not something that was devastating," she told the Oregonian. "On a scale of one to 100 this doesn't even come up to a one."
(H/T: Daily Mail)
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