Adonis Diaries

Why Spanish is the happiest language in the world? Does this translate to Spaniards are the most in love?

Posted on: February 21, 2016

Spanish is the happiest language in the world –

and its people are the most in love

  • Spanish users send the most love-related stickers on Viber
  • This was ahead of users in France, Italy, Japan, Brazil and Germany
  • A separate study found that Spanish is the most positive language
  • Spain used words like ‘love’ and ‘laughter’ more than any region studied
  • Chinese is the least positive, according to analysis of 100,000 words

Paris may be considered the romance capital of the world, but it turns out that Spain is the most amorous nation.

Spanish people sent more love-related messages on Viber than any other region last year, ahead of France, Italy and Japan.

And this may be linked to the fact the language was recently found to be the happiest and most positive by mathematicians. (How that? Using what kinds of statistics? Or the mathematicians speaking Spanish?…)

In a separate study, a team of researchers, led by Dr Peter Dodds from the University of Vermont, built a database of billions of individual words from 10 of the most popular languages using online sources.

This included Google Books, Twitter, subtitles on films and TV shows, song lyrics and the New York Times in Spanish, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Indonesian, Korean, Russian and German.

In a separate study, a team of researchers studied 100,000 words across 10 languages (a yellow box indicates the row language is more positive than the column language, and a blue background shows the reverse) Spanish was the happiest (pictured) and Chinese was the most negatively skewed

In a separate study, a team of researchers studied 100,000 words across 10 languages (a yellow box indicates the row language is more positive than the column language, and a blue background shows the reverse) Spanish was the happiest (pictured) and Chinese was the most negatively skewed

Once all of these words were plotted, the researchers found that every language studied was inherently positive, and more words fell on the right of centre than left. Three examples are shown in Spanish, English and Chinese (top to bottom). The centre line is the average, yellow is positive and blue is negative

Once all of these words were plotted, the researchers found that every language studied was inherently positive, and more words fell on the right of centre than left.

Three examples are shown in Spanish, English and Chinese (top to bottom). The centre line is the average, yellow is positive and blue is negative

TOP 10 HAPPIEST LANGUAGES

1. Spanish

2. Portuguese

3. English

4. Indonesian

5. French

6. German

7. Arabic

8. Russian

9. Korean

10. Chinese

From this, the scientists compiled a list of 10,000 most commonly used words in each language and labelled each as either positive and negative.

For example, the words ‘lying’ and ‘cried’ were plotted on the negative side, while ‘love’ and ‘laughter’ were positive words. (Why cried is plotted as a negative connotation?)

Once all of these words were plotted, the researchers found that every language studied was inherently positive, and more words fell on the right of centre than the left.

‘Using human evaluation of 100,000 words spread across 10 languages diverse in origin and culture, we present evidence of a deep imprint of human sociality in language,’ said the study.

‘The words of natural human language possess a universal positivity bias, the estimated emotional content of words is consistent between languages under translation, and this positivity bias is strongly independent of frequency of word use.’

And at the top of this list was Spanish, which had the highest skew towards positive sentiment. Chinese was at the opposite end of the scale.

GHANIANS ARE THE BEST LONG-DISTANCE LOVERS

Research from money transfer site WorldRemit found that on Valentine’s Day, people send £35 ($54) to £60 ($92) extra on average to loved ones.

When it comes to the amount sent, Ghanaians are the most generous, sending an average of £63 ($97) more on Valentine’s Day than on any other day of the month.

People from Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were in second and third place, spending an average of £54 ($83) and £52 ($80) extra respectively.

English was in third place.

To test these findings, the team later applied their analysis to books including Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, and Alexander Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.

They mapped the emotional content and plotted peaks and troughs throughout each.

Language used in Crime and Punishment was predominantly positive but ended on a very low point.

The Count of Monte Cristo had the lowest dip at around the third-way mark but ended very positively.

Moby Dick had the highest peak a quarter of the way, sentiment fell at the half-way mark and the book ended on a low.

These peaks and troughs in positive and negative language related to high and low points in the narrative, going someway to prove Mr Dodds’ research.

The findings were published in the journals Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Separate research from Twitter found that Sweden is the country most likely to tweet ‘I love you.’

The site has created an interactive ‘World of Love’ map that reflects the volume of tweets mentioning this phrase in 100 different languages.

This volume was then related to the total population of each country to establish the ranking.

The UK came in at 51 out of the 173 countries that Twitter operates in, and the top five countries were Sweden, Slovenia, Israel, United Arab of Emirates and Norway.

Viber said its Spanish users sent the most love-related stickers on its messaging app during 2014, ahead of France, Itally, Japan and Brazil (picutred). The ‘kissing couple’ sticker topped the list globally

Viber said its Spanish users sent the most love-related stickers on its messaging app during 2014, ahead of France, Itally, Japan and Brazil (picutred). The ‘kissing couple’ sticker topped the list globally

Separate research from Twitter instead found that Sweden is the country most likely to tweet 'I love you.' The site has created an interactive ‘World of Love’ map (pictured) that reflects the volume of tweets mentioning this phrase in 100 different languages. The UK came in at 51 out of the 173 countries that Twitter operates in

Separate research from Twitter instead found that Sweden is the country most likely to tweet ‘I love you.’

The site has created an interactive ‘World of Love’ map (pictured) that reflects the volume of tweets mentioning this phrase in 100 different languages.

The UK came in at 51 out of the 173 countries that Twitter operates in

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adonis49

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