Learning a foreign language can be a beast: the difficult conjugations; the new pronunciations and, worst of all, the pressure. But several studies have shown that a bit of liquor, over drugs like Valium, can help loosen the tongue when it comes to language proficiency.
According to one study from the 1970s, subjects who had consumed 1.5 ounces of alcohol were at a significant advantage to overcoming the psychological barriers that plague new language learners, such as anxiety, ego and fear, over dry placebo subjects.
These subjects, however, were also at an advantage over slightly more intoxicated subjects, who, as other studies have pointed out, speak on average slower and with a greater number of pauses than their sober counterparts. Slate also points out that drinking can make you slur your words, referencing a study that determined “drinking seven shots of 86 proof bourbon was enough to make participants shift their ‘L’ to ‘R’ and their ‘S’ to ‘Sh,’ even when they were native English speakers speaking English.”
In other news, the sky is blue. [Slate] [Photo: Flickr/Shelley Mannion]