Try a little Dutch courage

A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool, Maastricht University and King’s College London, shows bilingual speakers’ ability to speak a second language is improved after they have consumed alcohol.

It is well established that alcohol impairs cognitive and motor functions, but it also increases self-confidence and reduces social anxiety, meaning the effects of low doses were under scrutiny.

Dr Inge Kersbergen, from the University of Liverpool, said: “Our study shows acute alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language in people who recently learned that language. This provides some support for the lay belief (among bilingual speakers) that a low dose of alcohol can improve their ability to speak a second language.”