New Research Shows Certain Languages, English Included, May Spread COVID-19 Faster

A new study suggests that English speakers create more droplets in the air when they talk, which may make them more likely to spread COVID-19. The amount of droplets varies based on different languages due to the amount of aspirated consonants (like the letter p) within the language.

While we know that COVID-19 is transmitted through infected people coughing and sneezing– which creates high velocity of droplets– researchers also found that large quantities of droplets may be created by talking and breathing. Further research demonstrated that English, as opposed to Japanese, produced a lot of droplets, most likely due to the amount of aspirated consonants.

An researcher in regards to SARS also came to similar conclusions when the one to three million Japanese travelers in 2000 were not infected with sars while American visitors in China were infected. The researcher concluded that Chinese shop assistants may have spoken to Japanese tourists in Japanese, while they most likely spoke to American tourists in English.

The researcher concluded that countries in which the dominant language has aspirated consonants, there were more cases of individuals infected by COVID-19 in comparison to countries in which the dominant language does not have aspirated consonants.

1 COMMENT

  1. I would encourage everyone to please read the study carefully: “no significant differences in cases of inflected individuals between the languages with aspiration (M = 254.9, SD = 159.5) and the languages without aspiration (M = 206, SD = 121.9), [t(18) = 0.73, p > .05].”

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