Take a quick tipple1 and you could find yourself speaking a second tongue more naturally, according to new research.


The foreign language skills of participants in the study were found to be improved after a drink of alcohol, which suggests the way booze can put us at ease outweighs2 the negative effects on our brain – at least for the first drink, anyway.

The international team of researchers is warning against reading too much into their experiment, but it could reveal some interesting insights into the anxiety associated with speaking another language, and how alcohol can help us overcome it.

“Our study shows that acute alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language in people who recently learned that language,” says one of the team, Inge Kersbergen from the University of Liverpool in the UK.

The study involved 50 native German speakers studying Dutch at a Dutch university, who had recently learned to speak, read, and write in the new language.

Based on random3 selections, participants were either given alcohol or water as a control beverage4. The amount of alcohol varied5 based on body size, but was the equivalent of just under a pint6 (460 millilitres) of 5 percent beer for a 70kg male.

They then chatted to a researcher for five minutes, before an audio recording7 was assessed by two native Dutch speakers who weren’t told whether alcohol had been consumed or not. The participants were also asked to rate their own Dutch language skills over the course of the chat.

While the alcohol didn’t affect how the students rated themselves, those people who had been given the alcoholic8 drink were given better ratings by the observers, especially for their pronunciation.

With only 50 people involved in the research, we should be wary9 of making too many generalizations10 on this study alone, but it’s an interesting pointer towards how a little bit of drink could grease the wheels as far as talking in a foreign language is concerned.

“It is important to point out that participants in this study consumed a low dose of alcohol,” adds one of the team. “Higher levels of alcohol consumption might not have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language.”

In other words, this effect probably doesn’t get better if you just keep on drinking – eventually no one will be able to understand you at all.

The research has been published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.


1 tipple Xq0yO
My favourite tipple is a glass of port.我最喜欢喝的酒是波尔图葡萄酒。
Scotch drinkers around the world tend to associate their favourite tipple with success and achievement.世界各地喝苏格兰威士忌的人,往往把他们最喜欢的这种烈酒,与成功和成就联系在一起。
2 outweighs 62d9db1e030eaef3a86321f2e4a5724d
v.在重量上超过( outweigh的第三人称单数 );在重要性或价值方面超过
Her need to save money outweighs her desire to spend it on fun. 她省钱的需要比她花钱娱乐的愿望更重要。 来自《简明英汉词典》
Its clarity in algebraic and analytical operations far outweighs any drawbacks. 文化代数和解析运算中的清晰性远远胜过任何缺点。 来自辞典例句
3 random HT9xd
The list is arranged in a random order.名单排列不分先后。
On random inspection the meat was found to be bad.经抽查,发现肉变质了。
4 beverage 0QgyN
The beverage is often colored with caramel.这种饮料常用焦糖染色。
Beer is a beverage of the remotest time.啤酒是一种最古老的饮料。
5 varied giIw9
The forms of art are many and varied.艺术的形式是多种多样的。
The hotel has a varied programme of nightly entertainment.宾馆有各种晚间娱乐活动。
6 pint 1NNxL
I’ll have a pint of beer and a packet of crisps, please.我要一品脱啤酒和一袋炸马铃薯片。
In the old days you could get a pint of beer for a shilling.从前,花一先令就可以买到一品脱啤酒。
7 recording UktzJj
How long will the recording of the song take?录下这首歌得花多少时间?
I want to play you a recording of the rehearsal.我想给你放一下彩排的录像。
8 alcoholic rx7zC
The alcoholic strength of brandy far exceeds that of wine.白兰地的酒精浓度远远超过葡萄酒。
Alcoholic drinks act as a poison to a child.酒精饮料对小孩犹如毒药。
9 wary JMEzk
He is wary of telling secrets to others.他谨防向他人泄露秘密。
Paula frowned,suddenly wary.宝拉皱了皱眉头,突然警惕起来。
10 generalizations 6a32b82d344d5f1487aee703a39bb639
一般化( generalization的名词复数 ); 普通化; 归纳; 概论
But Pearlson cautions that the findings are simply generalizations. 但是波尔森提醒人们,这些发现是简单的综合资料。 来自英汉非文学 – 生命科学 – 大脑与疾病
They were of great service in correcting my jejune generalizations. 他们纠正了我不成熟的泛泛之论,帮了我大忙。

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该日志由 1zanxin 于2017年11月07日发表在 杂谈 分类下,
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