Three cheers for alcohol?
Speaking in a recently learned foreign language can be a difficult task. There are lots of new words to remember and verb tenses to keep track of, and you may not have developed total confidence in your abilities yet.
A recently published study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, however, revealed that drinking a low dose of alcohol may actually improve your pronunciation skills in that newly learned foreign language. Or at least other people will think you’re doing better than you think you are.
How the Study Was Conducted
50 native German speakers took part in the study conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool, King’s College London and Maastricht University. The German participants had recently learned Dutch. Half of the group received a low dose of alcohol and the other half received a nonalcoholic control beverage.
The German participants were then recorded holding conversations in Dutch. Those conversations were later rated by the participants themselves (for a self-rating) and by two native Dutch speakers (for an observer rating).
Alcohol Makes Others Think You Speak Better in a Foreign Language
The results revealed that the participants themselves did not believe that the alcohol had any effect on their foreign language skills. The observers, however, rated those who had consumed alcohol prior to the conversation significantly higher than those who did not consume alcohol. The observers found the alcohol drinkers to have better foreign language skills, and better pronunciation skills in particular.
Dr. Jessica Werthmann, one of the study’s researchers, said that this could be due to “the anxiety-reducing effect of alcohol,” but cautioned that more research is needed.
“Higher levels of alcohol consumption might not have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language,” noted Dr. Fritz Renner, another of the study’s researchers, probably dashing the hopes of more than a few new foreign language speakers.
The Best Foreign Language Skills
The multinational study revealed that a low dose of alcohol may improve your foreign language skills. For the best foreign language skills, however, you’ll want to call Responsive Translation.
We provide high-quality translation, interpreting, validation and review services in 200 languages and dialects. Each project uses our ISO 9001-certified processes, and all of our linguists are experienced language professionals who are native speakers of the target language.
For more information about what Responsive Translation can do for you and your organization, please get in touch at 212-818-1102 ext 208 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or click here for an instant translation quote.