Tasmanian born and bred Leanne Rowe used to drive a bus and was a reservist in the military. Now she describes herself as a recluse after a bus crash eight years ago left her with a French accent.

"I prefer nightime because it's very peaceful. Not many people about," she said.

She told Australian television that the rare Foreign Accent Syndrome has left her feeling anxious and depressed.

"It makes me so angry because I am Australian. I am not French," she said.

After the crash Rowe woke up in hospital in a Melbourne hospital with a broken back and jaw, slurring her speech.

The slurring developed into a French accent that will not go away and has had a big impact upon her life.

University of Sydney psychologist, Dr Karen Croot, says Foreign Accent Syndrome is caused by tissue damage to area of the brain responsible for speech.

Rowe said her anxiety and depression have developed since the accident and she is still waiting for a formal diagnosis, local media said.

"I would just like someone to stand up and say you do have or you don't have," she said.

Rowe says her daughter speaks for her in public, although she is slowly coming to terms with her condition.

"I don't try to hold it in anymore because for me it was not healthy," she said.

There have been 62 cases of Foreign Accent Syndrome recorded globally in the last 70 years, including two Australians, local media reported.

Presented by Adam Justice