Can Alcohol really help you speak foreign languages?

After an alcoholic drink, people speak a foreign language with less effort. This is what researchers from the Maastricht University have found in a study. They performed the study with 50 German native speakers who are just learning Dutch. They were either drinking vodka or water.

Then, the subjects had to talk in the foreign language they were learning while two Dutch native speakers judged their language abilities.

The results that came out showed that the German speakers with a little alcohol in their blood were actually better at the test – especially in the pronunciation step.

According to the “Journal of Psychopharmacology”, alcohol removes language inhibitions and thus can make you better at pronunciation.

Psycholinguists are skeptical

The psycholinguist Hans Rutger Bosker from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, takes the results of the study with skepticism.

According to Bosker, the researchers’ findings was based on very subjective assessments from only two types of native speakers and not on objective criteria like involving more nationalities in the study.

It is also probable that among the 25 participants that drank the alcohol, there were generally better speakers than those drinking the water.

But, one thing is sure. People seem to have greater confidence when they’ve had one or two drinks. Maybe this is the key explanation to the study?

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