https://www.duolingo.com/DennisPaulin

How fast is Spanish spoken?

It seems when I hear Spanish spoken, it seems to be so much faster than English, generally. I understand this is partly because I am still learning it and partly the cadence makes it seem faster as well. but does anyone know if it is truly spoken faster in general?

3 years ago

25 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/_Moony

Why be slow when speaking? I listen to a lot of Spanish-speaking people at my church and they all speak fast. But so do I, in English. Sometimes my words run together :P I think once you are fluent and confident in a language you will start speaking it faster because you think less about what you are going to say Once understanding deepens, as does your speed. Correct me if I'm wrong, just a little hypothesis of mine :P

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DennisPaulin

I agree with what you are saying. My point though, is in general, it seems to be spoken faster by native Spanish speakers than English is spoken by native English speakers.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RitaCunas
RitaCunas
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You've never heard how fast I speak English. :P

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarianaGai2

Uy

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dtremenak
dtremenak
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Spanish is less information-dense than English, and is spoken faster. Here's an article on the phenomenon: http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2091477,00.html

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RitaCunas
RitaCunas
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That's a really interesting article, thanks.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DennisPaulin

I agree, good article.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mtc6474
mtc6474
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Thanks! Great article.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ivanka_ps
Ivanka_ps
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That makes sense! Thanks a lot for the article ;)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/therealpalumbo

It seems a lot faster because you do not know most of it. Also, Spanish is a Romance language, like Italian and French. I bring this up because they have gender which makes the language flow better which can make them seem faster.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_Moony

This makes a lot of sense!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgstcd
jgstcd
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It's genuinely spoken faster than English. You're not imagining it.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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Right you are. The article linked by dtremenak explains this.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/paulaha88

Do a test. Get a movie which is dubbed in Spanish. Listen to a scene in English. Does their speaking seem fast or a normal rate?

Then switch to the Spanish dub and watch the same scene. Does their speaking seem fast or a normal rate?

Now, if Spanish was faster than English, then the Spanish speakers would've finished the scene faster than the English speakers, and they would be standing around waiting for the English speakers to catch up. Does that happen?

I rest my case.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgstcd
jgstcd
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That would work if the sentences were of the same length. If you've ever seen bilingual English/Spanish text you'll know that they usually aren't.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JeffA2
JeffA2
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I think that Spanish is spoken faster than English in general, but it also varies by location. For example I've heard that people in Spain speak much faster than South Americans. Also I've heard US born Spanish speakers say that when they talk to people from Mexico that they sometimes have trouble keeping up.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DennisPaulin

I agree with that. I was watching a TV show from Spain. They seemed crazy fast. That was what got me wondering.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaniceLove1

I have a few friends who were born and raised in the US but their families are from Mexico, and these friends speak Spanish a lot slower compared to native Mexicans that I've spoken with/heard speaking etc. I have some friends from Venezuela, and they are the fastest speakers! It's impossible to really understand. I know other native Spanish speakers who have trouble understanding the Venezuelan accent.

I usually don't have much trouble understanding Mexicans speaking Spanish, but the further down south you get, the harder time I have understanding the Spanish.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

It depends. Cubans seem to speak very fast to me.However, I agree that Spanish just seems so much faster than English because you don't know the language that well.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mtc6474
mtc6474
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Once I took a Spanish recording and an English recording of the same introduction to a book. I ran both in "Audacity". The wave graph helped explain the speed difference.

The major difference was that in English, there was a pause between words In the Spanish version there was no pause. Keep in mind that these were professional recording. therefore one would expect the reader to strive for clarity.

I have not repeated the experiment. For one to reach a final conclusion, would require a much greater sampling.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Lrtward
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What a cool idea!

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ogni_Loud
3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ferpro32

Yes, we speak really fast Spanish

3 years ago
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