Always afraid of language barrier while traveling? Alcohol can help you, says science

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Maria Sergeeva
October 26, 2017
 Have you ever felt like you are simply mastering the the language of Moliere language after a few glasses of wine? Don't think it was just an illusion. New study published last week in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows that a small amount of alcohol can can indeed improve your ability to speak a foreign language.
 
The study involved 50 native German speakers who had recently learned Dutch. Every participant said they drank alcohol sometimes, and all had recently passed a Dutch language proficiency exam, Time reports. Half of the individuals in the study were randomly given a low dose of alcohol, while the other half received a non-alcoholic beverage. The amount of alcohol given to each subject was determined by their weight. The participants were then asked to have a two minute conversation with an interviewer in Dutch, which was recorded and rated both by two native Dutch speakers and by the participants themselves.
 
The researchers found that the native Dutch speakers rated participants who drank alcohol as being more fluent compared to those who didn't drink. Specifically, the two Dutch raters said those who consumed alcohol had better pronunciation than the non-drinkers.


 
The study emphasizes that the notes participants gave themselves did not differ between those who drank and those who did not. This leads to a conclusion that you may not notice that your language skills improve when you have a drink, but an independent observer can actually feel the difference.
 
Such an improvement might be due to the loss of "language anxiety". When you're less anxious about doing you best, your foreign language can improve.
 
Although researchers found that that higher levels of consumption had the exact opposite effect on fluency and can even lead to slurred speech.
 

The authors would like to continue the study should be conducted on other foreign languages to see if their findings stay true.

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