The Woman Who Woke Up Chinese

In 2012, Plymouth born Sarah Colwill was rushed to hospital with what seemed to be a severe migraine. Little did she suspect that when she woke up a few hours later her usual Devon accent would be replaced with one that left her sounding Chinese This sudden change of accent was later diagnosed as foreign accent syndrome a puzzlingly rare condition with no definitive cause.

Sarah is currently delving into the world of science and medicine to come up with answers as to what happened in her head that day. Although she has the full support of her family behind her Sarah wants to know will she ever again be the person she once was.

Follow Sarah as she deals with the curious reactions of her community that this baffling condition has left her to deal with and discover the impact this condition has on both her and her friends and family.

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  1. This happened to a friend of mine. She had a stroke-like episode and woke up with a Danish accent. The hardest part I think is people thinking that you are faking the accent or that you must have some kind of mental problem pretending to be someone else. Even friends and relatives, just because they can’t understand.

    The good news is that after many about 20 years, my friend woke up with her normal voice again. So don’t give up hope that your brain can recover.

  2. Its pretty obvious she has had a stroke and her speech is slurred that mixed with her normal accent just kind of comes out sounding similar to someone who’s natural language is Chinese… That’s what I think anyhow people have just blown this out of proportion leading her to feel confused and feeling like she has lost her identity…its pretty obvious (her left side was completely paralyzed after one of these attacks) screams stroke along with the fact that it was her first diagnosis… I’m no doctor though so what do I know…

  3. This must be so difficult & frustrating for the person, people in the comments are a good example of why, it is appears to be a long standing issue also why on earth would anyone do this on purpose ALL THE TIME!!

  4. You like Thai?
    Tie good, you like shirt?

  5. Thinking that accent is “Chinese” is ignorance. Believing that accent makes her less a person than she was is racism.
    It appears to me she’s able to function properly, but I guess some people are just too good to have a “foreign” accent.

  6. Did any of you actually watch the video in its totality? I mean, it stops being “funny” pretty quickly if you have even a basic levels of empathy.

    • I agree with you. It isn’t “funny” if you have even a little bit of empathy. She struggles with things, has had pain from the migraines and such, struggles with some things in society (like when she was talking about ordering chinese food they hang up on her thinking it’s an act of racism and people thinking she doesn’t know where she grew up and stuff) and you can see it’s frustrating. I don’t understand how people think it’s “funny”.

  7. This is absurd. I feel like this is the result of her suppressing years of racial remarks/puns/slurs to stir up a reaction. Obviously, no one would wish them upon themselves, but I think her inner-racist proved to be the more powerful

  8. Yeah I agree, it is hilarious!

  9. ha ha ha
    i know thats mean but this is hilarious!!!