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Alcohol Can Help You Speak A Foreign Language Fluently, Says A Study

by Shreya Singh / Oct 26, 2017 09:28 AM EDT
Alcohol Can Help You Speak A Foreign Language Fluently, Says A Study

If you feel nervous while speaking a foreign language, then this recent study can help you in many ways. According to the research, a small quantity of alcohol can lower the level of anxiety while speaking any foreign language.

The research was conducted by British and Dutch researchers on 50 native German speakers. These participants were studying at Maastricht University, located in the Netherlands near the border with Germany. The participants had their classes in Dutch language and therefore they drank alcohol sometimes. It was because of this intake that they passed an exam demonstrating proficiency in the language.

Researchers had a two-minute conversation with each person in the Dutch language. Before that chat, half of the participants were given water to drink, while the other half was served with an alcohol-containing beverage. The amount of drink varied on the person's weight, but for a 150-pound man, it was equivalent to just under a pint of beer.

The whole interview was recorded and then scored by two native Dutch speakers. These judges were not aware of the fact that which participant had consumed alcohol.

The participants were also asked to rate their own performances, based on how fluently they felt they'd spoken. Surprisingly, alcohol had no effect on the speakers' self-ratings. The one who had drink reacted the same way as those who had just plain water.

The judges marked the alcohol group better in terms of fluency when compared to those in the water group. However, ratings for grammar, vocabulary, and argumentation were same between the groups.

Although researchers found that that higher levels of consumption had the exact opposite effect on fluency and can even lead to slurred speech. Concluding the research, the authors write, " The study did not measure people's mental state or emotions. It's possible that reduction in language anxiety is because of  the doses of alcohol."

They further say, "It might be because of this that foreign language speakers speak more fluently in the foreign language after drinking a small amount of alcohol." The research was published last week in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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