Study Claims That Drinking Alcohol Makes You Better At Speaking Foreign Languages

If you speak more than one language (or attempt to), you may find that a little bit of booze helps you speak better (at least, in your mind). There's actually scientific confirmation now that drinking alcohol can help you speak foreign languages better, at least, according to one new study.

drinking alcohol


The research, which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, observed 50 native German speakers who had recently passed exams showing that they were pretty fluent in Dutch. Half of them were given a "low dose" of alcohol, while the others were not. They then spoke in Dutch in a two-minute conversation with an interviewer while monitored by two native Dutch speakers who were observing. The German speakers were asked to rate themselves on their Dutch language skills and also received ratings from the native Dutch speakers.

Overall, the German speakers all thought they did about the same, regardless of whether they drank or not. On the other hand, the Dutch-speaking evaluators found that those who had some booze in them were significantly better speakers. Specifically, their pronunciation of Dutch improved dramatically compared to their counterparts who hadn't consumed alcohol.


However, it's unknown if the effects of the alcohol were biological or psychological. The researchers didn't include a non-alcoholic placebo drink in their treatments, and participants knew if they were getting liquor or not. Thus, they could have inherently gained confidence based on the small amount they drank, an advantage they would have had over those who weren't drinking alcohol. Future experiments would need to account for that, the researchers acknowledged.

Overall, the study does find that a small bit of alcohol can boost your language pronunciation abilities. It's best not to go overboard with the consumption, though, because we all know that drinking too much leads to bad pronunciation of even our native tongues.