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World's sexiest accent revealed: It’s European (and the French won’t be happy)

World's sexiest accent revealed: It’s European (and the French won’t be happy)
World's sexiest accent revealed: It’s European (and the French won’t be happy) Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By David Mouriquand
Published on Updated
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Merde alors! French has been dethroned as the world’s sexiest accent.

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What is the accent you’re most attracted to?

A gorgeous Irish lilt?

A rakish Spanish inflexion?

The King’s English, perhaps?

Well, according to language learning platform Babbel, it’s official: French is no longer the world's sexiest accent.

That bold statement will come as a disappointment to many, especially since Babbel previously polled more than 15,000 people in 2017, a group who named French the “sexiest accent”.

So, who has dethroned la belle langue française?

Well, 6,000 people from the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germany, as well as the US, were asked to rate which languages are perceived as “most sexy,” “most romantic” and “most passionate.”

The findings stated that Italian was perceived by most to be “most sexy” and the “most romantic” by the highest number of people involved in the study.

“There are certain characteristics of Italian that may contribute to its appeal,” Babbel language teacher Noël Wolf explained to UK newspaper Daily Mail.

“The rise and fall of pitch in spoken Italian can create a musical quality, which some people find alluring and attractive," said Wolf. "Certain phonetic features, such as the rolling of ‘r’ sounds, can be distinctive in Italian, which to many is regarded as charming or attractive.”

British English was found to be the “most polite”, while German won the top spot for “most direct” language.

Clearly no expectations were subverted there.

The survey also looked at attitudes towards partners speaking different languages.

According to the survey, more than 70% of Brits polled reported that if their romantic partner had a different native language to themselves, learning the language would help foster a stronger emotional connection between them.

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In 2017, linguist Patti Adank, a professor of speech perception and production at University College London noted that “English speakers are drawn to the melody of a language such as French or Italian.”

Other linguists and psychologists have frequently referred to social and cultural associations with accents being a pull factor in these kind of surveys. But, however you want to rationalise it, the results are in and France are going to have to deal with it.

Amor vecchio non fa ruggine, bella Italia. No grudges here.

You win this round.

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Additional sources • Babbel, Daily Mail

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