Fast speakers from Minnesota? You can bet on it

Nov. 20 – We Minnesotans are used to people making fun of our accent and phrases, but you probably didn’t realize we’re exceptionally fast talkers.

It turns out we are. In fact, the fastest talkers in the whole country.

The stereotypically fast-talking New Yorkers? They didn’t even make the top 10.

The conclusion comes from a company called Preply, a language learning app and e-learning platform. While many of the different types of rankings that come out have questionable methodology, determining how fast people speak in each state can be determined fairly accurately.

The data comes from analysis by software that measures hold times, speaking rate and speaking frequency in more than 4 million phone calls made to American businesses over the last few years. The software could then break down how many syllables per second people from each state spoke.

Minnesotans speak an average of 5.34 syllables per second, just outperforming Oregon’s 5.33 syllables.

Most chats in the upper Midwest are being hit at a rapid pace, with Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska in the top 10.

Less surprising are the slowest speaking states – draw a line around the Deep South states and you have the 10 slowest speakers, with Louisians being the slowest speaking.

While we might be talking a blue streak, it turns out we don’t have that much to say. Iowa, Minnesota, and then Wisconsin rank as the three least talkative states. New Yorkers talk the most, which probably leads to the perception that they are also fast talkers.

It’s not entirely clear why Minnesotans speak faster.

The older German relatives in my family always seemed to be rather reserved in their language. Those on my Scandinavian side of the family probably speak faster.

According to linguist Dave Holsinger, a Minnesotan who wrote on the subject for Racket, a Minnesota website founded by former City Pages editors, our strong German and Scandinavian heritage has led to the unique way Minnesotans speak and the words and phrases we use dontcha know .

He said that both of these groups had a large influx into Minnesota early on, and the lexicon of Minnesota developed around German and Scandinavian words and sometimes the misunderstanding of their languages.

Minnesotans, for example, often say “borrowed” to someone when they should say “borrowed.” It turns out that the German word “borgen” can mean “to borrow” or “to borrow” and has led to our misuse of “to borrow” today.

We Minnesooootans have also picked up on our tendency to drop vowels from German and Scandinavian languages, where vowels often sounded longer.

“Uff-da” comes from the Norwegian word “uff”.

It’s unlikely that we can teach ourselves to speak a little slower, speak more, or change our lexicon or Midwest accent.

So why not just embrace it, and if an outsider looks at you oddly when you say you serve “Hotdish” and “Pop,” just take the satisfaction that we’re a unique people in the North Star State.

Tim Krohn can be contacted at [email protected] or 507-720-1300.