Exciting news – researchers have found that moderate (read: moderate) alcohol consumption has a positive influence on the ability to speak foreign languages.
We’re not going to pretend that alcohol leads to the best decisions made in life – we’ve all gotten legless at one point or another and made a mistake or several. Fortunately for us, science has now given us an excuse to maybe go for that second pint.
Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands have recently published a study which reveals what we’ve all assumed to be true: drinking does in fact improve foreign language fluency. This revelation comes after their study in which two native Dutch speakers were asked to blindly evaluate a group of students that had consumed either 25cl of water or vodka.
Against all logic
“Contrary to what would be expected based on theory, it is a widely held belief among bilingual speakers that alcohol consumption improves foreign language fluency, as is evident in anecdotal evidence from numerous discussions in social and popular media,” said author Fritz Renner. It was expected that while a student’s own perception of their ability may improve, the actual performance judged by one of the native speakers would show much worse results.
However, those who imbibed actually received the same scores across the board as their sober counterparts with the exception of their Dutch language skills where they scored higher overall. The initial conclusion is that this can be explained by nervousness or anxiety when speaking a foreign language and the consumption of alcohol alleviates these feelings. You can keep this excuse in your back pocket next time you get a bit too inebriated on your next trip abroad.
Check out the video above to find out more!