Summary #798

Different Tongue, Same Information: 17-language Study Reveals How We Communicate Information at a Similar Rate
  • 39.15 bits per second -- that is the average rate at which information is transferred across 17 different languages.
  • This finding is based on a study of recordings from 170 native adults from Europe and Asia, reading a set of 15 texts around 240,000 syllables long.
  • By taking into account the rate of speech -- not just amount of words -- it was shown that our brains limit the amount of information over time that we can process.
  • Because of that, informationally-dense languages are spoken slower, and languages that convey less information with more words are spoken faster.
  • So while all these languages are significantly different, they all have a similar information rate.


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