Research conducted on human speech shows it has a global transmission rate: 39 bits per second.

Research conducted on human speech shows it has a global transmission rate

Italians are known to be among the fastest speakers on Earth, they speak non-stop at about nine syllables per second. On the other side, Germans speak slowly in an articulate manner, enunciating five to six syllables per second. Although, as per a new study both Italians and Germans transfer the same amount of information in a minute. Thus concluded, irrespective of the speed of speaking whether it be fast or slow, the information is conveyed at almost the same rate which is calculated to be 39 bits per second. This is about 2 times greater the speed of Morse code.

Bart de Boer is specialized in linguistics. He studies speech production at the Free University of Brussels. He appreciated the work stating, this work is pretty well-done, although he had no participation in it. The linguists have been doubtful since a long time that information-heavy languages- those who have more condensed information about gender, tense and speaker, for instance, move at the slow pace to compensate for their bulk of information, he added, when in fact  information-light languages like Italian can be spoken hurriedly at a much faster speed. Although, statics to prove the above-mentioned information has not been collected yet.

Scientists began with composed text from 17 languages, which includes English, Italian, Japanese, and Vietnamese. They computed the information density of every language in bits. Bit is the same unit that shows how fast our cellphone, laptop, or computer modem transfer information. The results of information were as follows:

  • Japanese containing 643 syllables, had an information density of nearly 5 bits per syllable
  • English containing 6949 syllables, had an information density of nearly 7 bits per syllable
  • Vietnamese containing 6 tones, had an information density of 8 bits per syllable

Vietnamese topped the chart.