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Drinking Alcohol Can Actually Help You Learn a New Language, Recent Study Says

Learning a new language? A pint of beer might be the key to your success.

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Struggling to learn another language? Apparently adding a little alcohol to the process could make it easier, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.


Researchers discovered that a low dose of alcohol actually helped improve test subjects' ability to pick up a foreign language. By studying a group of 50 German students who had recently learned to speak, read and write in Dutch, the researchers gave half of the students a pint’s worth of alcohol and placebo pints, which contained no alcohol, to the other half. After consuming their drinks, each student spoke in Dutch to two native Dutch speakers, who had no idea which students had the alcoholic drinks.

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Turns out, that extra boost of liquid confidence did the trick. The students who had consumed alcohol scored significantly higher from the native speakers than those who didn’t, particularly in pronunciation.

“Our study shows that acute alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language in people who have recently learnt that language. This provides some support for the bilinguals as a low dose of alcohol can improve their ability to speak a second language,” explained study co-author and University of Liverpool professor Dr. Inge Kersbergen.

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Of course, don’t overdo it. Getting smashed isn’t going to help you learn another language. "Higher levels of alcohol consumption might not have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language," said researcher and study co-author Fritz Renner.

Also, given the small sample size of the study, the results shouldn't be taken as definitive until they're replicated by other researchers.

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