Do You Speak the Language of Happiness?

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If you speak Spanish, than you know the language of happiness. At least, this is what scientists claim. A new research has ranked different languages based on the amount of positive and negative words they contain.

There is an interesting theory, according to which, people are naturally inclined to use words and phrases with a positive connotation more frequently compared to those that have a negative meaning. This simple rule is valid for everyone no matter the language or languages they use.

Still, it turns out that languages are not equally positive. Some are “happier” than others. This was the conclusion of a group of researchers from the Computational Story Lab at the University of Vermont. What they have found is that certain languages are more biased to use positive words.

The scientists conducted an experiment in which they studied the meaning and emotional connotation of an extensive corpus of words from 24 different languages. Among them were English, Arabic, Portuguese, Indonesian, Chinese, Russian, Korean, German, French and others.

After they have analyzed the basic emotional spectrum of each of the languages, they discovered that Spanish was the language that was most bias towards positive words. In other words, Spanish was announced as the world’s happiest language. Also, in the top 3 are Portuguese and English. Since the native speakers of these three languages are estimated at over 1 billion, it seems that one-seventh of the global population speaks one of the world’s happiest languages. And if you add the people who use Spanish, Portuguese and English as their second language, this number will become much more impressive.

Quite the opposite is the case with Chinese. According to the study, it is the least bias language when it comes to words with positive meaning. In other words, Chinese is the least happy language. Korean is another Asian language which can be seen at the bottom of the list.

Scientists also took the time to rank the happiest words in each of the 24 analyzed languages. Generally speaking, the words which have “happy, “smile” and “laugh” as their roots tend to be rated as the happiest. Similar is the situation with words connected with success.

The happiest words in English are: Laughter, Happiness, Love, Happy and Laughed.

Also in the top 20 are words like excellent, joy, successful, win, rainbow and smile. Interestingly, however, not all words which expressed something positive found place in the top 20… or even in the top 100! For instance, “gently” is ranked 320th, and “dearest” is 491st.

But if Spanish is the language of happiness, does this means that Spanish speakers are the happiest in the world? Unfortunately, researchers still have not studied this theory, but are determined to find out in the near future. Nevertheless, judging by the 2014’s list of the World’s Happiest Countries, we could say that English speakers are even happier. Four out of the ten happiest countries this year have English as their official language.

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