Testing the water of life ...

A thorough scientific investigation

carried out by the

Royal Recklinghausen Academic Mountaineering Society

The following remarkable message called <The Daily Yomiuri> has been posted at flefo, the famous foreign language forum at compuserve:

There is an interesting article about the personal factor in learning a non-native language at:


including this statement:

"Alexander Guiora, professor emeritus at the University of Michigan, did his best to understand how language learning is affected by altering the mind. In careful experiments, he found that students' pronunciation of a previously unknown language is improved by hypnosis and alcohol (the alcohol effect peaked at 1-1/2 drinks). Although Guiora could not responsibly recommend hypnosis or alcohol for general use on students, he did feel he had discovered that the mind can be altered to improve language learning."

I am seeking funding for a series of experiments designed to determine which drinks favor the learning of which language. My starting points would be:

Am. English: Jack Daniels
Br. English: Newcastle brown ale
Dutch: Hollands gin
Gaelic: Glen Fiddich
Arabic: arak

etc. and then carry on from there.


Of course, these statements have immediately caught our attention and stirred our members' curiosity to such an extent that many a cat lost its life. Moreover, we did think we should vigorously support Derek seeking funding for his series of experiments by plunging into this matter. Apart from that, we were a bit suspicious whether Glen Fiddich might actually be the best choice to improve language learning when a celtic language is concerned ...

Thus, on the occasion of our autumn meeting on 2nd October 2004, we started a proper scientific investigation and carefully looked at what a variety of single malts can do to you when learning Welsh. Now see for yourself what learners can expect, and what we can recommend:

lap experiments

People were all treated with a different single malt. Hypnosis was carried out using a Karstadt pocket watch. (Company seems to be in need of some name dropping.) All vocabulary  was taught using the repeataftermeandontyoudaregigglinglanguagelearning method. 10 minutes later everyone had to undergo the written exam (see below).

And here´s the ultimate celtic languages test in full detail (answers not included):
moron    _______
pump    _______
dwr    _______
llong    _______
afal    _______
bryn    _______
bore da    _______
gwin    _______
da iawn    _______
croeso    _______

These are the language learning scores
depending on the digestion of the specified single malts:
Craggenmore 80 %
Edradour 70 %
Talisker 50 %
Tomatin 45 %
Glenlivet 35 %
Bunnahabhain 30 %
Glenfiddich 30 %

Some comments on the scores:
Glenlivet was actually tested by two people who have been cheating. That´s why their score was halved. Tomatin was checked by our vice-president who has a profound and protuberant, if not proverbial and prowling knowledge of the language. So this score was halved, too.

To your health!