When I first arrived in England and I was struggling to understand and speak English, I noticed that my fluency increased noticeably after drinking some of the warm beer that my new friends seemed to like so much. I always assumed that it was because alcohol reduces inhibitions: you’re more relaxed, you don’t care so much about making mistakes and as a result, communication becomes easier.
Now I’m not so sure about my theory, however. Before my game on Wednesday with my new football team, I could scarcely understand my goalkeeper, born and bred in Leeds, who speaks with a very strong Northern accent, whereas afterwards, while celebrating our victory with a rehydrating beer, I spent a happy hour bantering with her without the need for an interpreter. I did a quick search on the Internet but couldn’t find any study on the relationship between alcohol and linguistic abilities. Anyone has any ideas?