Why do speakers of other languages talk so quickly?

Speakers of languages you don’t speak seem to clip along at a ridiculously fast pace, don’t they? I noticed this when I started learning French, and the language speed phenomenon is apparent with languages I don’t know. Honestly, I still notice it with French, and I speak the language decently.

There’s a reason for that, it turns out. The English language is really information dense, which makes sense when you think about it. We cram out syllables with specific meaning, and even more meaning is laced in the context. A group of researchers from the Universit√© de Lyon researched information density and spoken language among several languages (including English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese) and discovered that the languages with lower information density were spoken at a faster rate. So we English speakers really do stroll through our speech after all…figuratively, of course. Thanks, science!

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