Will Alcohol Help you Speak a Foreign Language?
Have you ever fancied learning a second language? Perhaps French - for your visit to Calais? This little bit of news may make the proposition seem a little sweeter - as it's possible that a glass of wine while you practice could help to hone your new found skills.
It seems that our favourite tipple has yet another string to its bow. The results of a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology suggest that low doses of alcohol may improve foreign language skills.
The University of Liverpool, Maastricht University, and King’s College London performed an experiment which examined 50 German speakers who were in the process of learning Dutch. They were separated into two groups, one of which was given a pint of 5% ABV beer, the other, something non-alcoholic.
The participants then spoke with two Dutch speakers while the conversations were recorded. The native Dutch speakers didn't know which subjects had consumed alcohol so were able to score the participants’ language skills objectively.
The researchers found that participants that had consumed alcohol did indeed have better foreign language skills, particularly when it came to pronunciation.
The researchers were careful to point out that while low doses of alcohol may have helped improve the performance, due to a more relaxed demeanor, high doses of alcohol would have likely been detrimental to speech function.
What do you think? Is it because after a glass of wine or beer you feel a little less inhibited and enter into the conversation with a little more enthusiasm? Who knows, but if it helps, why not.