https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

Woke up suddenly speaking in a foreign accent

I've been American and have lived in America all my life, with an American accent. One day i decided I wanted to learn Russian fully instead of just a few phrases and so I began teaching myself the alphabet with YouTube and then shortly after I got Duolingo. Well... I don't know if this has happened to anyone else but I woke up the next morning with a slight Russian accent. I even asked a couple of my friends what accent it was because I didn't know anyone who spoke with it. I had no real idea what was going on and thought it would disappear within a day or so. I went to school and a few people commented on it. The next morning it had seemed to have gotten stronger, to the point where I could no longer properly pronounce the word "vodka" and it sounded more like "votkah". Anyway, fast forward to today (5 days after the accent started) I just randomly lost it throughout the day and am now back to sounding mostly American again. During those 5 days I tried to Google around and look for similar experiences and from what I saw, no I did not have a stroke impacting the part of my brain dealing with linguistics. I just wanted to know if anyone else has had a similar experience to mine because I want to know if it's normal or not.

Day 6 Update: Yesterday after I thought it was over with, I went to the store with my father to get a new window screen. I was talking to him when I noticed it was actually back... This morning it's back but not as much as during the first 5 days of it. I have a doctors appointment in about [sometime soon] so hopefully I'll see if I did actually have something going on. Thanks for all of the support, everyone!

Day 6 Update 2: The accent has fluctuated in its thickness throughout the day and I'm forgetting how to structure sentences in English while speaking, despite having spoken it all my life. For some odd reason, my writing hasn't been affected by it as far as I know. Also now I can properly pronounce "vodka" if I go in with the intent of saying it correctly but when speaking normally or casually it still comes out "votkah" against my will. I'm also having trouble saying words like "needed" because of the d's being in rapid succession like that, as well as some d's being softened to ts and th's being softened to d's.

Day 7: More people have noticed it, and I told my father and he doesn't believe me. My sister still hates me. I was also told I sounded "Soviet" so that's nice.

Day 8: My birthday! No updates I guess.

Day 9: Accent continues to fluctuate in thickness but no real noticeable changes.

Day 10: Accent seems to have returned to normal. Shame, I kind of enjoyed not sounding like the Western Spy I am.

May 8, 2019

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Daniel589120

I would be very worried that this is a medical problem. Unless someone has a neurological and/or traumatic experience they don't just wake up spontaneously and involuntarily speaking in a foreign sounding accent!

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/HeyMarlana

Check out Foreign Accent Syndrome. The Wikipedia page that describes it is a start. A stroke, head trauma, or migraine can bring it on. As others have said, it might be wise to speak to your doctor about it. Just because you feel fine and things are back to normal now doesn't mean there wasn't or still is an underlying condition.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MermaidGoat06

SOF I TOLD YOU IT MIGHT BE A MIGRAINE

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

but it never happened before...

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NarimanTheKazakh

This is rather bizarre. Usually those who have suffered seizures/strokes or have woken up from a long, trauma-induced coma end up in these situations. You should probably call a doctor.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

The thing is I don't think I've had anything happen to me at all, I woke up as normal... That's kind of why it concerned me

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/NarimanTheKazakh

How strange, certainly a medical oddity!

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells

I don't want to alarm you, but like others have said, I think it would a good idea to talk to a doctor about it, because it could be a symptom of something more serious. Keep a journal of any other changes (mood, sleep, appetite) in the meantime. There is something called Foreign Accent Syndrome and usually it is linked to trauma or injury. If you google it though, it is quite interesting to read about. https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/the-mysteries-of-foreign-accent-syndrome/429276/

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

Similar articles and websites came up when I Googled it and I just thought "well I didn't have a stroke or anything... I think...?" Though, I probably should get it checked out...

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MissSpells

It might be nothing but it is always better to be on the safe side, just in case.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MermaidGoat06

People our age dont tend to have strokes, so STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAD A STROKE

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

Well I still need to worry about the fact I AM NO LONGER AMERICAN SOUNDING SO I'LL TAKE ANY EXPLANATION--

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/IanSmith903014

Just remember, it isn't normal for Americans to squat in place and smoke cigarettes while chewing sunflower seeds and you'll be fine.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/DaveYeet

You forgot Adidas

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

good thing I'm too inflexible to squat without looking like a Western spy... but vodka is looking more appealing than usual..

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Yvonne677733

My experience isn't the same as yours but I think its kind of similar. One time my teacher put on a (2 hour long) movie during class and everyone in the movie had a southern accent. Then the class ended and on my way to the next class I started thinking in a southern accent (sounds strange, I know). On my way to the class I saw my friend and I said, "What time is it?" with a southern accent and she said, "What did you say?" and I said it again but without the accent. But for the next few minutes all of my thoughts were with that accent. I know it sounds really weird but that happened to me, maybe a similar thing happened to you. But you should definitely consult a medical professional if you suspect that it is something serious.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

My thoughts had the accent for 2/5 of the days actually... The thing is that I had never heard the accent, only the thick ones from movies and things, so I didn't even know the accent until a friend told me. I probably should get it checked out.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/baguette_time

remember comrade, heels flat on the ground, knees apart, and only adidas tracksuits are acceptable. vodka and cigarettes are a bonus, babushka's kompot gives you extra strength

May 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

v o t k a h ?

May 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Affectation.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PewDiePie653762

You need to check a doctor. Hope you figure out why you got a russian accent.

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

I have an appointment scheduled in [some time i the future lmao] Thank you.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/pollyperki

Inspite you are talkative,I see you follow 0 and your followers are 0.Why? . By the way,you may have Savant syndrome. Congratulations, you will be genius !

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AmplifyDotDude

i wouldn't trust someone with the name PewDiePie.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

Well I probably do need to see a doctor

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jon786634

Assuming this is a legit story it sounds like a medical problem and you’d be better off seeking professional advice or at least the advice of people whom you trust rather than random strangers on the internet.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

For some odd reason it took my mother about 4 days to notice it (and that was only when my sister pointed it out to her), my father hasn't said anything about it, my sister thinks it's super annoying and doesn't want to hear my voice like that, and some of my friends think it's forced while the rest just accept it and think nothing of it. I was just wondering if it was linked to the attempt of learning a new language. Apparently not...

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MermaidGoat06

It's legit. I swear. I know her in real life. It's legit.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ChevyBarnes05

I have a Chilean accent that I never, ever want to leave. It's been about two weeks. My friend goes back to Chile next week so I think that it'll be gone by then. Back to the same, old, boring New Zealand accent...

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

Oof, that's how I felt when it left me yesterday but for some reason it's back slightly today...

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TheSaltlyFry

That's interesting. You should definitely check that with a doctor, just to be safe. I somewhat experience something similar. I am very adaptable to different accents and dialects, meaning that if I listen to a different accent for long enough, I myself will start to speak in the same way. Sometimes it happens randomly, like I'll be in class, and I'll raise my hand to ask a question but it'll come out in a British accent, even though I have lived in America in my whole life and have never been exposed to many British people. I get weird looks from others but I've learned to just deal with it. And other times I'll be around somone with a different accent than mine and after a while of talking to that person, I will slowly start speaking that accent without realizing it.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

The thing is, I know it doesn't happen to me like that. My mother's native language was Spanish so she has an accent and I live in the same house with her and never took the accent. Even now being surrounded by all these American voices I still sound Russian.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/SOBA_DUDE_

as the others said trauma and or injury see when i was a little kid i hit my head really hard and had an scottish accent for about two weeks and i mean i kinda get it still when i have a concussion happens more then you guys might think

May 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

Oof, I had a massive headache that was possibly a concussion a number of years ago and nothing happened then...

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/elvper

Teach yourself the alphabet in American English? :P

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

I was using a YouTube video from someone where they had a piece of paper with the Russian letters and she explained what they were pronounced like. I made a paper of my own and wrote the Russian letters in a column and then either my way of pronouncing them, or the English equivalent.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AmplifyDotDude

yes you had the russian accent. vudka.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

v o t k a h

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KhaoiTy0w0

oof

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MermaidGoat06

WAIT, YOURE ACTUALLY GOING TO THE DOCTORS???

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

Yea, my parents said it was for a physical because they want to force me into sports. The reason they haven't yet is because I hadn't gotten a physical for previous years so yea... They're only taking me so they can torture me--

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ianthewizard28

that is cool but if I where you I would be a tad worried. sometimes I have a bit of a british accent even though I am American and have been my whole life. it might be from the shows my mom watch but idk.

May 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPi214262

My mother that I live with has a Spanish accent and I haven't picked up on it at all so I have no idea where I would have gotten a Russian accent in America...

May 9, 2019
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