To be honest, does this one really come as any surprise? Anyone’s who had to sit through their very southern uncle’s strangled attempt to order linguine alle vongole knows they really should serve the wine first.

Here’s the research, coming from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University and King’s College London:

Participants who recently learned a second language (in this case, Dutch) were assigned to one of two groups. The first group was given a low dose of alcohol – roughly a pint. The second drank a non-alcoholic beverage. Each participant then had a short conversation in the newly learned language with a researcher.

Result? Those given alcohol were rated significantly higher in their conversations, particularly on pronunciation!


Well, it probably has to do with the fact that alcohol lowers inhibitions. Language learners often struggle with anxiety about how native speakers are perceiving their efforts to communicate, and it seems that drinking can help relax them. The researchers stressed that the key, however, was that they only gave participants a low dose. Increasing alcohol consumption has obvious negative effects on communication abilities – in every language, newly learned or native. So, consume lightly, and you’ll be ordering penne arrabbiata in no time!

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SOURCE: The Drinks Business.