On May 12th of 2012, I am celebrating the anniversary of a milestone in my life, namely just completing my third year with Foreign Accent Syndrome. It was such a dramatic change in my life that I am thankful I have some audio/video captured to show a bit of the journey for the sake of medical documentation as well as public information.
For those who have not heard my “old” voice (a.k.a. “normal voice”, “real” or “original” voice) here are a couple of pieces wherein I am being interviewed, and another where I am the interviewer as well as much more normal speech patterns.
February 3, 2007 –Before foreign accent: This is a video of me being interviewed after giving a seminar on using new media tool of Flickr and tagging photographs for better communication across the world wide web.
May 24,2008 — Here I am both interviewing AND filming a piece about a local ministry that accurately reflects my normal speech BEFORE I got Foreign Accent Syndrome:
THEN IT HAPPENED — MAY 12, 2009 — FOREIGN ACCENT SYNDROME changes my speech and a big part of me is gone!
May 26, 2009 — 2 weeks – my first radio interview in which I actually tell about how I got it and with my brand new voice! http://ellen5e.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/wibcinterview090526.mov
June 15, 2009 — 1 month after onset of Foreign Accent Syndrome: here I had an impromptu meet-up with Fishers Fran who occasionally has “bouts of Foreign Accented Speech” when she goes through multiple sclerosis type symptoms. She coined the phrase “flipping” for those times when she goes through it. Most of the time she is normal speaking. She found me via the Indianapolis radio station where I was routinely interviewed.
The June 19,2009 (1 month) video greeting is glued to the top of my Ellen5e.com web site.
November 12, 2009 –6 months after onset:
May 13, 2010 — at the One Year Mark with Foreign Accent Syndrome:
November 13, 2010 — One and a half years with FAS:
November 20, 2011 — Two and a half years with FAS (I am behind the camera asking the questions):
This is a pretty good library of audio/video documentation for now. I shall have to record some newer material for my actual “FAS birthday”. So you’ll just have to check back later.
I know that part of it is getting more comfortable with unusual sound and speech patterns as well as my avoiding using those words that I know are my “bad” words. Those being the particularly heavy accented or hard to pronounce words that stop a listener from hearing what I am trying to say because they are so hung up on its sound that they are busy figuring out from what country I originate.
In the meantime, I would greatly appreciate your observations about what you think of this bizarre Foreign Accent Syndrome. How would you describe my speech? What language do you think dominates the accent? Do you notice a change over time?
Please allow me to thank you in advance for ANY observations you have. Because your unfiltered input helps me better gauge how the general population views those of us with such a rare condition that takes away a part of our identity by making us sound like someone else.