Research shows alcohol really does help you speak a foreign language better

We've all heard the rumour about alcohol making it easier to speak another language, and now science agrees.

Sure, alcohol gets rid of our inhibitions so you're gong to be more confident when attempting to speak the language you've been trying to master, but doesn't alcohol also have a negative effect on memory and attention?

Well, some British and Dutch researchers wanted to sort this arguent out for good. Their findings, publishing in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, discovered that people really did speak more fluently after a low dose of alcohol. 

The study looked at 50 native German speakers who took classes that were taught in Dutch. Half of the group were given water and the other half were given an alcoholic beverage before having a casual two-minute chat with a Dutch interviewer. 

Each person's alcohol volume varied depending on weight, but to give you an idea, a man weighing approximately 68 kilograms was given just under a pint of beer. 

All of the chats were recorded and then scored by two native Dutch speakers who were unaware of who had consumed alcohol. The participants were also asked to self-rate their performance based on how fluent they thought they spoke. What was surprising was that the alcohol made no change to how the participants felt they went in comparison to those who'd had water.

Despite this, those who consumed alcohol scored much better with the native Dutch speakers. They were rated as having better fluency and pronunciation than those had water. 

Of course, the researchers remind us that the dose of alcohol was quite low. If you have too much alcohol slurring etc. that would of course have a negative effect on fluency and pronunciation. So, if you're trying to master another language, perhaps a low dose of alcohol will help get things rolling!

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