Georgians’ drawl earns No. 5 spot for slowest talking state

Atlanta ties for 4th slowest talking city in the nation

The Southern drawl sounds to some like a slow, drawn out way of talking, and not the melodic cadence we all know it to be. According to an analysis by the language learning website Preply, however, it is both.

By analyzing speech rates and patterns of 114 cities across the U.S., Preply determined the average rate of speech among U.S. states is 5.09 syllables per second.

ExploreThe most common language in every state, besides English and Spanish

Southern states have a slower rate of speaking, however. Georgia’s rate, for example, is 4.89 syllables per second, ranking it the fifth slowest talking state in the nation. For contrast, the fastest talking state, Minnesota, has a rate of 5.34 syllables per second.

To determine the cities with the fastest talkers, Preply analyzed two nationally conducted studies: Steven Coat’s study on articulation rate by analyzing caption files from YouTube videos, and Marchex Call DNA Technology’s study on speech rate on more than 4 million phone calls.

Credit: Courtesy of Preply

Credit: Courtesy of Preply

According to Preply’s findings, eight of the 10 slowest talking states are in the South, with Louisiana’s rate of 4.78 syllables per second being the slowest.

The Pelican State was followed by South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, New Mexico, Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas and Illinois, in that order.

One Georgia municipality also ranks in the top 5 slowest talking cities. Peoria, Illinois, averaging 4.71 syllables per second, was slowest. It was followed by Huntsville, Alabama, at 4.73 syllables per second; Albuquerque, New Mexico, with an average of 4.74; and a tie between Winston Salem, North Carolina, and Atlanta, where we average 4.75 syllables per second.

Most of the fastest talking states are in the Midwest, Preply found. Minnesota was followed, in order, by Oregon, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Nebraska and Vermont.