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#19791 - 02/21/01 02:10 PM Slow down, will ya?!
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
Last week I had a very enjoyable telephone conversation with a friend in the States. I was very happy that my non-rhotic accent provided much merriment to my conversational partner, but what surprissed me was the extent to which my vocal cords were left discomforted by the effort of slowing down my natural speaking velocity. The phone call lasted around half an hour, and my vocal vords were left feeling slightly strained and uncomfortable for about as long afterward. After recovering from the suprisingly ruthless lack of sympathy for my affliction evinced by my friend, it got me thinking. Does anybody have any data on comparative speaking speeds among countries where English is the first language?As I told my friend, ANZACs on both sides of the Tasman talk very quickly, and with mouths almost shut, but it would be interesting to see hard data, or even just one hard hard datum, on this. From my own experience, conversing with Nth Americans, has always been difficult, both because I have to slow down so much, and because they seem to take a week to say "how are you?" If anybody knows of a word-per--minute comparison site, I would love to know about it. Cheers


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#19792 - 02/21/01 02:16 PM Re: Slow down, will ya?!
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
Careful about making generalizations about all North Americans! I recall my mother complaining about talking to someone in the Southern US who talked way, way too slow for her. I've also found that people from New Brunswick (an east coast province of Canada) seem to talk really, really slow.

Also I think we are much less used to an ANZAC accent (is this a correct use of the word ANZAC?) than you are used to the American accent (because of TV and movies). So at a normal speed you can understand a Canadian or American but we might not be able to understand you!


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#19793 - 02/21/01 02:30 PM Re: Slow down, will ya?!
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
Careful about making generalizations about all North Americans!

I thought about that. The only Canadians I have spoken with came from BC, Ontario and Alberta, so if there are fast talking Canucks elsewhere, I apologise. I have spoken with USians from a dozen or so states, ranging from from NYC to SoCal, but only two Southern States, Texas and Alabama. I would have expected NYers to speak more quickly, but those Ive I've chatted with, from Brooklyn and Manhattan, still seem to speak slowly to me. Of course, even some Kiwis tell me to slow down, so I may be judging too harshly.


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#19794 - 02/21/01 02:33 PM Re: Walkin', talk'n, chew'n gum
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
It's the accent, I think ... takes the ear awhile to get used to it. A dear friend from India visits and for the first day or so I have difficulty but by day three my ear is attuned and no further problem.
Don't know about speak-speed but a recent study was done (saw report on news) about which city's population walks the fastest. The Winner : Dublin, Ireland!
Who'd a thunk it!
wow


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#19795 - 02/21/01 02:54 PM Re: Walkin', talk'n, chew'n gum
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Gee, Max, all Americans talk to me with tongues attached in the middle and wagging at both ends. And run all their words together. And I have never detected any increase in thought quality with rapid speech. Dodging innumerable telekinetically administered physical rebukes.For no sensible reason I am reminded me of the girl who stuttered. Before she could say she was not that kind of a girl, she was.


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#19796 - 02/21/01 03:15 PM Re: Slow down, will ya?!
Sparteye Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/05/01
Posts: 1773
If you find any info on comparative speeds, I'd love to see it. I've pondered the variations across both space and time.

Space I once was retained in a case in Michigan which also involved clients and counsel from New York City and Mississippi. I don't think the NYC guy and the good ol' boy could understand each other, and I often served as the go-between. I could understand both accents, but found the variation in speech speed most challenging. The NYC guy could hardly breathe for spewing the words, and I found myself taking mental meanders waiting for the Mississippian to get the next word out.

Time Have you ever noticed the apparently accelerated speech of people in movies made in the 1930s and 1940s? I've often wondered whether the speech pattern was the result of a conscious effort at presentation, a reflection of speech patterns of the time, or the result of acceleration due to the film shrinking over time.


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#19797 - 02/21/01 03:30 PM Re: Slow down, will ya?!
Max Quordlepleen Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/12/00
Posts: 3409
Time Have you ever noticed the apparently accelerated speech of people in movies made in the 1930s and 1940s? I've often wondered whether the speech pattern was the result of a conscious effort at presentation, a reflection of speech patterns of the time, or the result of acceleration due to the film shrinking over time.

I'm not sure if this is related or not, but I have seen footage of rugby matches from the 1920s where the film was shot at something like 26 frames per second rather than the now standard 24, and the extra couple of frames mean that players seem to be moving very fast.




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#19798 - 02/21/01 04:15 PM Re: Slow down, will ya?!
wow Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
Speaking of slowing down ... posts are flying in! Seems everyone is on line ... I'm running fast as I can just to keep up ... and loving every minute of it.
Affection to you all
wow


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#19799 - 02/21/01 11:21 PM Re: Slow down, will ya?!
Bingley Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
We've had a US'n (from Chicago if that's relevant) and two Australians (Perth and Sydney I think it was) in the office over the years and the Indonesians used to complain bitterly about the American, who they said talked far too fast so that they couldn't keep up (to the point where I would be called in sometimes to interpret). I must admit I sometimes felt a bit out of breath after a conversation with him, myself. I don't think the Australians spoke particularly quickly.

Bingley
_________________________
Bingley

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#19800 - 02/22/01 02:18 AM Re: Slow down, will ya?!
Capital Kiwi Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/13/00
Posts: 3146
Loc: Northamptonshire, England
I must admit I'm a fairly fast speaker. When I was in Dallas last year I almost got into the habit of repeating everything I said before I was asked to ...

But I don't think I speak much more quickly than other New Zealanders. Since I haven't noted any oddities of speed in Strine speakers, I guess we must speak within the same speed range.

Someone asked if the use ANZAC in this context was correct or not. It's not used that often outside the context of WWI, but when it is no one raises an eyebrow and understands it.

_________________________
The idiot also known as Capfka ...

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