所以飲酒能使外語說得更好，到底是怎麼一回事？實情是，當我們喝醉時， 情感過濾（affective filter）的功用會降低。換句話說就是我們會把大部分原有的矜持跟擔憂拋之腦後。因為原有的阻礙不復存在，我們就會在不講究文法規則、不擔心犯錯的情況下，以較為放鬆的態度，趴哩啪啦地說著外語。
資料來源：Speaking Alcohol: Do We Speak Foreign Languages Better When Drunk? [13 APRIL 2011]
It is common to hear foreign language learners say that they are able to speak more fluently when in a state of inebriation. They seem to identify a direct relationship between alcohol consumption and their ability to speak a certain language.
It makes you wonder: is there any scientific evidence is there to back this up?
One thing we do know is that drunken states are often actually detrimental to one’s learning and memory abilities by inhibiting the proper functioning of the hippocampus, an integral part of the brain’s memory system. On the other hand, some types of seemingly debilitating states have been shown to increase learning and memory despite their seemingly illusory effects. For example, people under deep hypnosis have been shown to perform better on learning tasks than people who have undergone lesser types of hypnosis.
Why do we Speak Foreign Languages Better When Drunk?
So what exactly might be happening when you’re drinking that helps you speak foreign languages better? Well, in our state of drunken debauchery, we lower our affective filter. In other words, we tend to lose many of our inhibitions and worries. As a result of this decrease in inhibitions, we also tend to worry less about the grammatical rules and possible mistakes we can incur in and we adopt a more relaxed attitude towards verbal communication, thereby resulting in a more fluid stream of words out of our mouths.
But don’t go running for a bottle of Jack Daniels as your language-improvement solution just yet! There are two major downsides to this strategy. The first is that despite your increased confidence and fluidity, you are also likely to make many more grammatical and pronunciation errors, and perhaps even ingraining bad habits that will persist back into sobriety.
The second downside is that any improvements in confidence/fluidity that may be experienced while drunk are unfortunately short-lived. If you rely on alcohol as your primary facilitator of communication, than you might end up resorting to alcoholism to master your language of preference! Not a good plan.
The important lesson to learn here is that the seemingly positive effects of alcohol on foreign language fluency are not due to alcohol at all. They are due to confidence in your skills. If you build confidence by practicing speaking and use a confidence-based learning system such as Brainscape, you’ll experience much better improvements in your language skills than you would from a bottle of vodka or whiskey.