Daily Archives: September 21, 2010

Most common letters in English and Spanish are…

While reading a book last summer, one curiosity came into my mind: what was the frequency in which different letters appeared in a text.

So I decided to count them… not only that, but I also wanted to compare the results between Spanish and English language.

The texts I used are both from this blog, the latest one in English from yesterday’s post and one about housing in Spanish from four months ago.

Here is the graphic with the results:

Frequency of letters in English and Spanish.

Even though these are just two posts of my blog and thus not a statistically relevant sample to allow for any definite conclusion, these are the results that I got:

  • In English the most common letter is “e” (13.5%), while in Spanish is “a” (12.5%) closely followed by “e” (12.2%).
  • In Spanish vowels account for 46.3% of the speech while in English they are 39.9%; more consonants in English.
  • In English the most common consonant is “t” (9.8%… from “the”?) followed by “s”, while in Spanish is “s” (7.4%… “ser”?) followed by “n”.
  • The most striking differences I found were:
    • In Spanish we use “a” over 50% more often than in English.
    • Some of the consonants we use way more in Spanish than in English are “d” (“de”?), “l” (“la”, “el”?) and “q” (“que”?).
    • Some of the consonants that are used more in English than in Spanish: “h” (5 times more!… “the”?), “t” and “w” (practically not used in Spanish).


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