Ostensibly ‘happy’ music, these colourful tunes capture that summer feeling with their incessantly upbeat, catchy and repetitive rhythms.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, Spaniards trying to do gloomy, angsty rock, for example, usually doesn’t work. Despite recent economic difficulties, Spain just isn’t depressing enough to inspire its youths to pick up a guitar and rail against their surroundings. We have Birmingham for that.
Nope, when it comes to pop music, Spaniards should make like their own climate and stick to bright, uplifting numbers, best avoided during the hours of 12-2pm.
But a recent study has also deduced that Spanish is actually the world’s happiest-sounding language, too.
While the French have long held on to the gloomy monopoly of the language of love, and English is the clear leader as the world’s middle-ground, language of business, Spanish has been declared the most positive-sounding lengua en el mundo.
Scientists at the University of Vermont in the USA, working with research group the MITRE Corporation, reviewed the world’s ten most prominent languages, taking the 10,000 most frequently used words from each and asking 50 native speakers to rate each word on a happiness scale from 1 to 10 – 1 being down in the dumps, and 10 being ecstatic.
While every language assessed scored above the neutral midway mark of 5 – which confirmed previous studies that showed human language is inherently used to convey positive feelings – Spanish was the winner, beating out its close cousin Portuguese into second-place.
English was third, while Russian, Korean and Chinese finished in the bottom three places, all ahead – perhaps surprisingly – of German, which many non-Germans often find overtly negative sounding.
For people who can understand and speak Spanish, the results are unlikely to come as much of a surprise. The language has a wonderfully uplifting lilt, particularly the accents and dialogue found in Andalucía in the south of Spain, where Spanish is rather rough, ready and extremely quick, but beautifully pitched and a joy to behold.
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