Celebrating Cultures, Promoting Integration
Do you know this situation when you hear somebody speaking in a foreign language and it is quicker than Ferrari driven by Usain Bolt? Is it the result of unfamiliarity or maybe different languages have different paces? Linguist François Pellegrino along with his team at the University of Lyon in France have answered this questions.
It is not the English, and that was easy to predict. People who drink ‘five o’clock tea’ even during a war, can’t do anything fastest. Sometimes they hurry up but only to escape from rain or to see the another royal baby who will never be a king.
So which nation needs least time to transfer information ? It is the Spanish which is a little bit faster than Japanese. The “slowest” language in the set was Mandarin, followed closely by German. How is it measured ?
Firstly, it is impossible to examine every language. Actually, as a humanity we have described and recognized about 4.5 from 7 thousand languages worldwide. Although a lot of them are extinct and not used by everyone, there is still more of them than have been sunny days in Dublin in last 5 millions of years.
There are the two indicators of the language speaking speed. One is how many syllables per second speakers articulate and the second is measured by how much information people encode in the same number of syllables. The scientist asked the sixty speakers to read the twenty different articles.
One conclusion from experiment is more important than the others. With languages that are spoken faster the information is not usually as dense. It means that most nations need the same time to communicate the same information. Some of them just have to use more words and that’s why they are trying to speak faster. Once you learn their language, you would do the same and never have to explain to a shop assistant what you want to buy.