Which is the best language
Linguistics: Other languages are much more efficient than German
Japanese speak faster than Germans. Around three more syllables come out of their lips every second. Nevertheless, the Asian express speakers do not manage to get rid of more information in the same time as the slower Germans. This is what three French linguists from the University of Lyon found out, whose study appeared in the journal "Language".
The most important function of all languages is to convey information. Against this background, François Pellegrino's team investigated how efficiently the individual languages can actually pass on information.
For this purpose, the linguists translated 20 short texts, each consisting of five logically connected sentences, into English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and German.
The researchers then had 59 native speakers (including 30 women) read the texts aloud on tape at normal speed, cut out the pauses in speech using a computer and counted every syllable and information per unit of time and language. The aim of this arithmetic game was to be able to make exact statements about the speed of speech and information density for each of the seven examined languages.
In fact, clear differences quickly became apparent. When counting the syllables, it was noticeable that the Japanese manage an average of almost eight syllables per second and are therefore the fastest speakers of all the languages tested, ahead of the Spanish (7.82 syllables per second).
In comparison, Germans only manage just under six syllables per second. According to the results of the study, the slowest are the Chinese who speak at just five syllables per second.
Study confirms calculations from Austria
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