Is it even a night out if one of your friends isn’t trying to converse with a stranger in another language?
Learning a new language is never easy but the problem might be more about what you’re drinking rather than what you’re saying.
Drinking a glass of wine or beer can lower your inhibitions when it comes to learning a language, according to a study. The study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, involved 50 German speakers in Maastricht University. Each of the participants were occasional drinkers who had undertaken classes in speaking Dutch and had recently passed an exam demonstrating proficiency in the language.
A study was the conducted whereby all 50 engaged in a casual two-minute conversation with an interviewer in Dutch. Before the chat, half the candidates were given water and the other half alcohol. The amount of alcohol given to each candidate was based on their weight.
Each person’s conversation was recorded and then scored by two native Dutch speakers – who weren’t aware which people had drunk the alcohol. Surprisingly, as the candidates were asked to mark their performance, the alcohol did not impact the persons own self-score and people who drank water and alcohol scored themselves the same.
The results of the test also found that the participants who drank alcohol were said to have better fluency and specifically, better pronunciation. It’s worth noting that the participants in this challenge consumed a low amount of alcohol and an excessive amount can lead to slurred speech.
With oral exams being a struggle for the majority of us, it might be a case of having one to calm the nerves.