You’re in a foreign country, you’ve got your whole trip ahead of you, and you’ve already had dozens of conversations in your head, all featuring you and your seamless command of the local language (wink, wink). Arguably, one of the first conversations you’re likely to have is with the bartender, though. And if you don’t know how to order a beer, you’ve already failed right out of the gate.
Beer can bring people together, and it can help calm your frazzled nerves when you’re in an unfamiliar country and you’re still building up the confidence to use your new language skills in the wild. It can give you something to talk about with that random person sitting next to you, and some people (and science) would even say alcohol can help you learn another language, as it actually has been shown to improve your pronunciation. Of course, a lot of this perceived “drunken fluency” is mostly that — perceived. People tend to rate their own skills higher when they’ve had a bit to drink, but executive functioning is impaired in the brain, which affects correct word selection. We know because we’ve investigated this claim thoroughly on our own.
In either case, here’s a quick reference guide for how to order a beer in 10 different languages — just in case your memory fails you until you have an opportunity to gather some liquid courage.
(Hint: make sure you know how to say “cheers” too!)
1. Danish: Jeg vil gerne have en øl.
2. German: Ich nehme ein Bier.
3. Polish: Poproszę jedno piwo.
4. Swedish: Kan jag få en öl, tack?
5. Portuguese: Eu quero uma cerveja, por favor.
6. Turkish: Bir bira lütfen.
7. Italian: Io vorrei una birra.
8. Russian: Одно пиво, пожалуйста (Odno pivo, pozhalusta).
9. French: Je prends une bière.
10. Spanish: Yo tomo una cerveza.