Study Shows Alcohol Can Improve Foreign Language Skills

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Study Shows Alcohol Can Improve Foreign Language Skills

A new study has found that alcohol can improve your foreign language skills.

I feel like whoever carried out this study needs to head to Malaga during peak season and reassess.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, was carried out by researchers from University of Liverpool, Maastricht University, and King's College London.

They took 50 native German speakers, who had recently been learning Dutch, they gave some a low dose of alcohol and others an alcohol-free beverage and asked them to have a short conversation in Dutch, which was recorded.


These conversations were then rated by native Dutch speakers who didn't know who had the alcohol and who had the control drink. The results showed that those who had the low dose of booze were given higher ratings than their sober peers - particularly when it came to pronunciation.

Dr. Fritz Renner of Maastricht University told Science Daily: "It is important to point out that participants in this study consumed a low dose of alcohol.


"Higher levels of alcohol consumption might not have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language."

So, a small amount of alcohol does seem to improve people's ability to speak a second language. Although, getting shit-faced probably has the opposite effect.


Dr Inge Kersbergen, from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, said: "Our study shows that acute alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language in people who recently learned that language. This provides some support for the lay belief (among bilingual speakers) that a low dose of alcohol can improve their ability to speak a second language"

The researchers don't fully understand why alcohol has this effect, particularly because alcohol impairs cognitive and motor functions. However, it's thought it may have something to do with the way alcohol makes people feel less socially anxious, but nothing has been proven just yet.


Dr. Jessica Werthmann of Maastricht University, said: "We need to be cautious about the implications of these results until we know more about what causes the observed results.

"One possible mechanism could be the anxiety-reducing effect of alcohol. But more research is needed to test this."

Even more reason to make sure you get yourself tickets to next year's Oktoberfest, eh? It's educational. Prost!

Featured Image Credit: The Simpsons/Fox

Topics: Science, Alcohol

Claire Reid
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