When listening to people speak in a different language, do you ever think how much faster it sounds than English? We do! But is it really faster or does it just seem that way because we can’t make sense of what is being said.
“It’s an almost universal truth that any language you don’t understand sounds
like it’s being spoken at 200 m.p.h. — a storm of alien syllables almost
impossible to tease apart. That, we tell ourselves, is simply because the words
make no sense to us. Surely our spoken English sounds just as fast to a native
speaker of Urdu. And yet it’s equally true that some languages seem to zip by
faster than others. Spanish blows the doors off French; Japanese leaves German
in the dust — or at least that’s how they sound.”
So claims the article, “Slow Down! Why Some Languages Sound So Fast,” published in Times Science. In this article, the question of verbal dexterity is examined in a recent study conducted by the Université de Lyon. Read more here and see how English, Mandarin, Japanese, and other popular languages stacked up in the speed department.
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