Could alcohol help with the learning of a foreign language?

15 November 2017 - 12:54 By HUGH MORRIS
Scientists have found that after consuming alcohol, people speak a foreign language better.
Scientists have found that after consuming alcohol, people speak a foreign language better.
Image: 123RF/Maksym Yemelyanov

A little Dutch courage could be the key to helping travellers speak the local lingo, according to new research.

Researchers used 50 native German speakers who recently learned Dutch, providing some with a "low dose of alcohol" matched to their weight and others with an alcohol-free control drink. Each then took part in a casual two-minute discussion in Dutch with observers who rated their language skills.

The scientists found that those who had consumed alcohol were handed "significantly" better ratings from the observers compared with those who did not.

The researchers, who came from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University and King's College London, said more studies were needed to identify the exact effects alcohol has on speaking foreign languages.

"We need to be cautious about the implication of these results until we know more about what causes the observed results," they wrote.

"One possible mechanism could be the anxiety-reducing effect of alcohol." - The Daily Telegraph

This article was originally published in The Times

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