Researchers find that subjects who were under the influence of small dosages of alcohol apparently had better pronunciation in foreign language than a completely sober group.

Alcohol can help foreign language pronounciation

(— July 29, 2018) — Apparently, moderate intake of alcohol helps you speak foreign languages better, a new study finds. But wait before you start boosting foreign language studies with bottoms up, because there is a small window between improving language skills and not being able to communicate at all.

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, has allegedly found correlation between drinking alcoholic beverages and better results when learning foreign languages. The study consisted of 50 native German speakers who were all studying at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Researchers found that subjects who were under the influence of small dosages of alcohol apparently had better pronunciation in a foreign language than a completely sober group.

German students were taught Dutch which is one of the World’s most complicated languages to learn.  The whole group had recently passed an exam demonstrating proficiency in Dutch but their pronunciation was still rough around the edges. After small dosages of alcohol, they allegedly spoke perfectly.

To gain scientifically significant results, researchers set up a control group that drank only water, while the experimental group consumed alcoholic beverages. The amount of alcohol was different for each person, according the person’s weight so the influence can be quantified.

Each person’s conversation was recorded and then scored by two native Dutch speakers. They weren’t aware which people had drank alcohol and which drank water.

Surprisingly, those participants whose verbal skills were recognized as perfect or near perfect were ones who drank alcohol.

When looking at grammar, vocabulary and argumentation participants in both groups demonstrated approximately the same results. However, those participants who were under mild influence of alcohol demonstrated better pronunciation and fluency in Dutch.

The study has shown results for the Dutch language but it is unknown if the same would occur if any other language would be involved.

A commonly known fact is, however, that drinking too much can have the exact opposite effect.

“Future research on this topic should include an alcohol placebo condition to disentangle the relative impact of pharmacological vs. expectancy effects,” authors of the study wrote concluding it is possible that “low-to-moderate doses of alcohol ‘reduces language anxiety’ and therefore increases proficiency,”