Getting Drunk Makes You Speak A Foreign Language Better

Just in case you needed another excuse to get on the beers tonight.
Beer at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
Beer at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

It turns out that the surge in confidence you get after a couple of beers might just have a use.

A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has found that alcohol consumption can actually improve foreign language skills.

The study rounded up fifty native German speakers who had recently learned Dutch, before giving half of them an alcoholic drink, and the other half some water.

The speakers then had a two-minute conversation in Dutch, which was evaluated by two native Dutch speakers.

The results found that those who drank alcohol were better speakers than the water-drinkers, especially when comparing the pronunciation between the two groups.

However, according to the study the 'drunk' group only received a "low dose of alcohol" -- an amount equivalent to one pint of beer.

The study also found that there was no difference in the speakers' self-rating: those that drank alcohol did not feel more confident in their performances compared to their water-drinking counterparts.

Because only a small dose of alcohol was given, the researchers struggled to determine whether the improvement in foreign language skills was caused by a placebo confidence, or a real biological impact.

"Future research on this topic should include an alcohol placebo condition," wrote the authors in the study, "to disentangle the relative impact of pharmacological vs. expectancy effects".

At the very least, the study is a good excuse to go out and have a few tonight -- just, you know, in case you need to dust off that second language of yours.