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03:45 pm, andunie
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Why Some Languages Sound Faster Than Others

allthingslinguistic:

expectlabs:

When you hear a language that you don’t speak, it usually sounds like it’s speeding by at an incomprehensible rate. Researchers from the Université de Lyon decided to find out once and for all why certain languages sound so much faster than others. For the study, 59 native speakers of English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, and Vietnamese, were instructed to read the following passage out loud in each of their native languages:

  • “Last night I opened the front door to let the cat out. It was such a beautiful night that I wandered down to the garden to get a breath of fresh air. Then I heard a click as the door closed behind me.”

Two values were calculated for each language: the information density of the average syllable, and the average number of syllables spoken per second.  The density was determined by analyzing how much meaning the average syllable contained. For example, a single-syllable word like “love,” has more meaning packed into it than another single-syllable word, like “to.” 

             image

The results found that the more data-dense a language’s average syllable was, the fewer those syllables had to be spoken per second, leading to slower speech.  Mandarin, which topped the density list at 0.94, was the slowest language in the group, spoken at 5.18 syllables per second. In Mandarin, the way you say a syllable can change the meaning – therefore, it makes sense that a language that is more concerned with pitch over speed to have a lower syllable-per-second ratio. The fastest language in the group was Japanese, which edged past Spanish at 7.84, because of its lower 0.49 density. A language’s speed hinges on the correlation between its information density and the rate of speech. Interestingly enough, while languages do indeed have different “speed limits,” most are able to convey the same amount of information in exactly the same amount of time. 

The original TIME article, here, is interesting but frustratingly does not give any of the names of the researchers, which makes it rather hard to track down. So here’s a link to the actual paper, A Cross-Language Perspective on Speech Information Rate by Pellegrino, Coupé & Marisco, published in 2011 in Language.  


03:05 pm, andunie
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maptitude1:

This graphic by Seth Kadish shows the orientation profile of international borders by continent.

maptitude1:

This graphic by Seth Kadish shows the orientation profile of international borders by continent.


03:40 pm, andunie
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8 Hidden Causes Behind Modern History's Biggest Changes

Admittedly this is a bit long, clocking in at just over an hour, but I’d save it to listen to when you have the time.


02:49 pm, andunie
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04:40 pm, andunie
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121,043 notes
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lbardugochainsandshipsexciteme:

memrise:

James Chapman’s animal sounds illustrations are so cool!

When I was doing a language immersion program in Japan, I was in a class with people from Germany, Sweden, Taiwan, a few other countries that I’m forgetting at the moment, and another girl from the US. We were having a lazy day so the teacher asked around the room what eating noises in our native countries were; all of our classmates’s sounds were so adorable, then the teacher turned to me and the other American and we just looked at each other before shouting “NOM NOM NOM”


07:27 pm, andunie
link
Why Do the Japanese Draw Themselves as White? » Sociological Images

(Spoiler: They don’t. That’s ethnocentrism at work!)

A good read.


08:05 pm, andunie
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183 notes
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kateoplis:

"Not too long ago, I created this OkCupid profile for a nude self portrait-themed art exhibition in New York City. The idea was to combine the negativity and honesty that’s generally reserved for anonymous forums and offline conversations with the transparent accountability of a personal profile. I wanted to see how men would respond to this absurd level of intimacy and openness straightaway, and see if my answers would attract any like-minded people. … While I didn’t join OkCupid to find a boyfriend, I am single, so I did begin to seriously consider how men were responding to my profile. …

I’ve yet to determine whether or not operating on this level of transparency is actually productive when it comes to dating and functioning in society, but I do know that it feels really good.”

The responses:

“…wow. Just wow. I terribly relate with this existential dread but I am able to mask it somewhat. it probably means nothing but thank you for your open honesty. I would enjoy conversing with you some more when the time avails. I can see nothing but the absurdity in that last statement of mine.”

“you seem very well put together but your profile is actually very sad. I read it and wish there was something i could do for you to make you happy. I hope you find someone that can help you see that you shouldn’t be so worried about things and let things get under your skin. I am not white or anything but if you want to chat with someone sometime, just let me know. we can always IM as friends.”

The OkCupid Honesty Project: An Exercise in Truth-Telling


09:05 pm, andunie
reblogged
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neongenesisevangaylion:

I thought this would just be a simple article about meditation or relaxation which uses disappearance as a metaphor but it turns out this is the heaviest, realest wikihow of them all

I hesitate to tag this ‘useful’ but quite frankly it’s impressive/a bit terrifying how meticulously researched this is.

neongenesisevangaylion:

I thought this would just be a simple article about meditation or relaxation which uses disappearance as a metaphor but it turns out this is the heaviest, realest wikihow of them all

I hesitate to tag this ‘useful’ but quite frankly it’s impressive/a bit terrifying how meticulously researched this is.


07:42 pm, andunie
reblogged
265,101 notes
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crime-andpunishment:

starkky:

are oranges named oranges because oranges are orange or is orange called orange because oranges are orange

The colour was named after the fruit. Before that, people would just use the colour red to describe something that we consider orange now. It’s why we call gingers red-heads and why robins are red breasted, when really they’re an orange colour.


01:50 pm, andunie
link
The 5 Most Spectacular Landscapes on Earth (That Murder You)

Not all of them look particularly interesting on satellite, but I’ve done my best to pinpoint them all on a map.