I have been thinking about the speed of speech at the various levels here at CPod and how naturally it is increased with each level and started to wonder about a few things.
In the native speaking environment there is obviously going to be quite a degree of variation in speed depending on a variety of factors [eg context, drunk or sober, emotional state, ?reading to or acting for an audience...really too numerous to mention]. I'm wondering about averages and extremes though. Would I be right in guessing that rural Chinese speech would on average tend to be slower by habit? If so, at what level here at CPod does the podcast speech roughly equate? At what level is the speed roughly equivalent to a native Shanghainese? Is this reached at Media level? Is it reached before Media level? Finally, of course some folk speak much faster than average. I doubt there are examples of that here at CPod as we're learners. But what I'm most interested in is: are there examples out there that anyone has a link to of superfast Mandarin? I'd love to see how hard it is to follow? Actually, it would be great to have a competition to see just how much could be understood/transcribed.
bababardwanAugust 14, 2010, 01:06 PM
Some intersting figures I've just dug out for reference which relates to English:
Audiobooks are recommended to be 150-160 words per minute which is a comfortable speed.
Full comprehension still at 300 words per minute.
Guiness Book of Records for the fastest speaker is 595 words per minute?
Now the question is, what would be the equivalent figures in Mandarin?
TheheartacheandthethousandnaturalshocksThatfleshisheirto ‘tisaconsummationDevoutlytobewishedTodietosleepTosleepperchancetodreamAythere'stherubForinthatsleepofdeathwhatdreamsmaycomeWhenwehaveshuffledoffthismortalcoilMustgiveuspauseThere'stherespectThatmakescalamityofsolonglifeForwhowouldbearthewhipsandscornsoftimeTh’oppressor'swrongtheproudman'scontumelyThepangsofdisprizedlovethe law's delayTheinsolenceofofficeandthespurnsThatpatientmeritofth’unworthy takesWhenhehimselfmighthisquietusmakeWithabarebodkinWhowouldfardelsbearTogruntandsweatunderawearylifeButthatthedreadofsomething afterdeathTheundiscoveredcountryfromwhosebournNotravellerreturns puzzlesthewillAndmakesusratherbearthoseillswehaveThanflytoothersthatweknownotofThusconsciencedoesmakecowardsofusallAndthusthenativehueofresolutionIssickliedo'erwiththepalecastofthoughtAndenterprisesofgreatpitchandmomentWiththisregardtheircurrentsturnawryAndlose the nameofactionSoftyounow!ThefairOphelia!NymphinthyorisonsBeallmysins remembered
25 seconds flat.
Next the complete works of Proust in under 5 minutes. Going for gold here !
哇，难怪你叫Captain Thunderbolt！ After giving it a shot and being clearly beaten I was going to say "are you kidding?". But I've just calculated that 277 words in 25 secs equates to 615.5 wpm which would beat the Guiness Book of Records by 20s, so maybe you should contact them mate. [do I get a discovery commission,hehe ?]
Too bloody long. Next time I'll just delete all the spaces.
Now for the chinese version
還是應提起武器與那汪洋無涯之苦難奮然為敵 並把它克服 此二抉擇孰較高崇死即眠, 它不過如此 一眠若能了結心靈之苦楚與肉體之百患 那麼此結局是可盼的死去 睡去... 但在睡眠中可能有夢,啊, 這就是個阻礙 當我們擺脫了此垂死之皮囊 在死之長眠中會有何夢來臨? 它令我們躊躇令我們心甘情願地承受長年之災否則誰肯忍受人間之百般折磨如暴君之政、驕者之傲失戀之痛、法章之慢貪官之侮或庸民之辱假如他能簡單地一刃了之還有誰會肯去做牛做馬, 終生疲於操勞默默地忍受其苦其難, 而不早遠走高飛飄於渺茫之境倘若他不是因恐懼 身後之事而使他猶豫不前此境乃無人知曉之邦, 自古無返者 所「理智能使我們成為懦夫顧慮能使我們本來輝煌之心志變得黯然無光像個病夫 再之這些更能壞大事, 亂大謀使它們失去魄力。
Were the tones okay ?
BTW in this version Hamlet is translated as Kazakhstan