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Living large in Costa Rica –

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Published on: 2013/01/21


Enjoy the view over the Papagayo Peninsula from your private pool at the Four Seasons.

(CNN) — Not so long ago, Costa Rica was a backpacker’s game.

Other than a few business-class hotels in the capital of San José and a handful of isolated luxury properties scattered about the scenic hinterlands, travelers could expect little in the way of genuine comfort while exploring one of the most beautiful and eco-conscious countries on the planet.

Over the past decade, however, Costa Rica’s fastest-growing crop has been a collection of opulent hotels and resort communities, complemented by marinas, golf courses, gourmet restaurants, hot springs and other world-class facilities.

The tag attached to most deluxe properties is usually something like “ecolodge” or “ecoresort,” which may conjure visions of dreadlocks, granola and recycled hemp-fiber sheets.

Don’t be fooled.

Yes, most of the country’s destinations are green; Costa Rica’s Sustainable Tourism Program rewards environmentally friendly properties with one to five “leaves” and copious free publicity.

But Costa Rica’s new upscale properties are as elegant and comfortable as any in Latin America.

Here are the best regions and stays for putting a little service and Chardonnay into your sand and scenery.

Click the link to see all the wonderful places:

 Living large in Costa Rica –

NBC Sportfishing in Costa Rica January 13 9:30 AM

NBS Sports

Sport Fishing Television

Watch New Episodes of Sport Fishing Television on NBC Sports Starting This Sunday

Airing Sunday, January 13 at 9:30am EST on NBC Sports Network

John Brownlee and the SFTV crew travel south to the famed Osa Peninsula, to fish the Pacific Ocean out of the famous Crocodile Bay Resort in Puerto Jimenez



Central America Population Will Continue To Grow

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Published on: 2012/11/15


The Central American population will grow by eleven million over the next 15 years, at different rates depending on the country.

The Central American population will increase by about eleven million over the next fifteen years while in the last ten years it has increased by almost seven million people.

The growth associated with this estimate (1.6% annually) is expressed in very different rhythms within the region. The slowness of El Salvador (0.7% annually) contrasts with the dynamism of Guatemala (2.2% annually).

For the period 2010-2015, Guatemala will concentrate little more than half, while Honduras will provide a fifth of the population growth in the area. While Costa Rica, Panama and El Salvador will see growth of around 700,000 inhabitants each, Guatemala will increase its population by 1.8 million people and Honduras nearly 800,000.

Another important implication of the growth has to do with the occupation of the territory in each country. Population density in Central America has great contrasts. At one extreme is Belize, with 14 inhabitants per square kilometer, and the other is El Salvador, with 294.

In some capital cities where population density is greater than a thousand people per square kilometer growth and agglomeration will continue, as in the case of San Salvador, which has about 2,500 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Source: Estado de la Nación




Fast Food Still Booming in Costa Rica


While Chili’s and Buffalo Wild Wings open their first branches inCosta Rica, the established Applebee’s, SubwayQuizno‘s,McDonald‘s, KFC and Teriyaki have increased their investments.

Before the end of the year, Hooters will open its fourth restaurant on Paseo Metropolis, in Cartago, east of San José, with an investment of $1 million.

By 2014 the franchise hopes to double the number of stores nationwide.

Besides the opening of restaurants, the chain plans to build a training center to provide training to their employees.

Meanwhile Chili’s chain will open its second restaurant at the end of the year in the Plaza Lincoln Mall in Moravia and plans five more in the next three years.

With an investment of $700,000, Buffalo Wild Wings last week opened its restaurant in Plaza Tempo, in Escazú, and plans to open four more stores in 2014.

Swimming With Sharks In The Cocos Islands of Costa Rica

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Published on: 2012/10/04


Some people’s greatest fear is to find themselves in the water with a shark. Others travel for days to put themselves in that situation. Such was the case for the 19 eager divers, including myself, who flew to Costa Rica from all over the globe in order to ride for 36 hours on a boat to the Cocos Islands, where hundreds of sharks school

Diving in Cocos was unlike anything I had done before, and many of my divemates (some with over 3,000 dives under their belts) agreed. When the action kicks in, it’s hard to keep up. One second you are trying to count the number of scalloped hammerhead sharks swimming over your head (and the myriad colorful fish turning the water into a dynamic pointillist seascape) and the next you’re paralyzed by a 12-foot Galapagos shark passing a few feet away. But don’t freeze for too long or you may miss an apex predator, the tiger shark, roaming the waters below you.

swimming with sharks costa rica

The beauty, abundance and diversity of marine life in this World Natural Heritage Site is unparalleled, offering its neoprene-vested visitors the opportunity to dive with some of the largest numbers of predators and other large animals in the world. The captain of our ship told me that last year he had to bring the boat to a sudden stop because a humpback whale jumped out of the water only a few feet away. On that same day he also spotted Orcas (a rare sight around the island) and pilot whales.



Cartago Costa Rica booming with growth and investments

Categories: Business, Costa Rica, CR Living
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Published on: 2012/10/04


Urban growth in the east of the Costa Rican capital is underpinned by investment proposals in the Special Economic Zone of Cartago.


The achievements of investment attraction in the province include the opening in November of Paseo Metropolis and the opening of the first phase of Oficentro Terra Campus Corporativo, said Silvia Hidalgo, Director of the Center for University-Industry Links at the Tecnológico de Costa Rica College.

The arrival of the commuter train to Cartago from San Jose by the end of the year, the purchase of land for new facilities for the Max Peralta Hospital, and the construction of a bridge between Taras and Cartago to facilitate flow of access to the city, are infrastructure projects that have been supported and promoted by the economic zone of Cartago.

An article in quotes Silvia Hidalgo saying, “In the future the creation of a science and technology park is envisioned to allow further growth in research and production.”


Paseo Metropolis Cartago Costa Rica

Another U.S. Restaurant Chain Comes to Costa Rica


Committed to bringing the world bold and distinct flavors, Chili’s® Grill & Bar recently introduced Costa Rica residents to their first taste of the restaurant company’s Southwestern-inspired, classic American favorites and upbeat environment. Costa Rica, which was recently named the happiest country in the world by the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index (HPI), warmly embraced the American brand when the doors of the first restaurant opened earlier this month in the vibrant center of the country’s capital at Centro Comercial Multiplaza in San José.


chilis restaurant multiplaza escazu costa rica

Premier Fishing In Nicaragua

From: Fishing :: Gigante Nicaragua.


Nicaragua is fast becoming one of the premier “frontier fishing” spots in the world. Long advertised as a surfer’s paradise, international fishermen are now exploring the abundant fisheries of Nicaragua. Your best bet to catch fish while you are in Gigante is to book a charter trip with one of the three charter operators who operate from Gigante Bay. See the listing of Charter Operators below.

Fishing in Nicaragua can vary greatly depending on the season. There are only two seasons: the Dry season from November thru May and the Rainy season from June thru October. Offshore winds blow constantly during the Dry season and the near shore water is generally clear but can be choppy if the winds are strong. The wind is generally offshore and less strong during the Rainy season but the river runoff from the rain can make near shore waters cloudy with silt. September and October are especially rainy due to the counter clockwise motion of tropical systems in the Pacific and Caribbean pulling moisture over the Southwest Nicaraguan coast. Land travel can be very difficult during these two months because the roads are very muddy and stream crossings are impassable.

Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua are ready for retirees!

From: Why are so many baby boomers retiring in Central America? / Nicaragua / Region / Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times.


Central America, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama have positioned themselves as the top three picks for retirement 

With 73 million U.S. baby boomers set to retire over the next 10 years, this region’s broad offering has something for almost everyone.

Ryan Piercy, head of the Association of Residents of Costa Rica (ARCR), says Central America is sitting pretty when it comes to attracting the baby boomers, whose retirement wave officially started in 2011.

“Central America and Latin America are going to receive at least 250,000 American retirees over the next 15 years. And of all the options in the region, the majority, in my opinion, will go to Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua,” Piercy told The Nica Times in an interview in his office in downtown San José, Costa Rica.

In a recent U.S. News and World Report article on the “World’s Top Retirement Havens for 2011,” Nicaragua is now ranked the No. 1 foreign destination in the world in the “super affordable category,” while Panama is ranked No. 1 in the “moderately priced” category.


Employment Increase Is Expected In Costa Rica

From: Employment figures could increase to 18 percent in last quarter / News Briefs / Current Edition / Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times.


A study released this week by consulting firm Manpower Group indicates that 23 percent of employers in Costa Rica expect to increase their staffs for the last quarter of this year, while 72 percent expect no changes, and only 5 percent are considering cutting staff.

According to the projections, employment rates for this period would reach 18 percent growth.

Results were based on interviews with 620 employers and show an improvement over previous quarters.

For the first quarter of 2012, 26 percent of employers were considering hiring more workers. The percentage dropped to 20 percent in the second quarter and for the third, only 18 percent said they expected to hire more people.

According to the survey, the provinces of Cartago and Alajuela registered the biggest potential growth in hiring. The most promising sector for job openings is construction, with 22 percent, followed by transport and communications, where employers estimated to increase hiring by up to 27 percent, the study said.

Canadian Westjet Airlines Increases Flights To Liberia Guanacaste

From: Westjet Airlines Increases Flights To Liberia Guanacaste | Costa Rica News.


Westjet, the low cost airline from Canada will begin to fly to Liberia from late October on a regular basis.

The airline presented last Friday before the Civil Aviation Technical Council (Cetac) a request to fly from Toronto Daniel Oduber Airport from 29 October.

WestJet Airlines - high times

The firm would serve the route twice a week, with the country at noon arrival and departure to the north at 8:30 p. m., confirmed a few minutes ago Luis Carlos Araya, Deputy Air Transport. Araya hopes that the approval for the airline does not exceed the month.

He added that the arrival of this new airline to the country is part of the open skies agreement, which took effect in August last year.

Costa Rica Attracts Americans for High Quality Dental Care

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Published on: 2012/09/09

From:  Americans Reject U.S. Dental Care in Favor of Lower-Cost Options Overseas – Inside Costa Rica | Inside Costa Rica.

Increasingly, U.S. patients in need of dental care are opting to go overseas where equivalent treatments are a fraction of what they cost back home – a recent report from the overseas experts at reveals. For less than the cost of treatment alone in the United States, a patient can receive high-quality care—and a vacation—abroad.

Dental care costs have been increasing rapidly in the U.S. in recent years. However, only 55% of U.S. residents have dental insurance so almost half are forced to pay out-of-pocket for dental work.

I lost my dental insurance along with my job in the recession and I needed over $2,000 in dental work,” said American Starr Daubenmire in’s report.

“I could either go to my home-town dentist, just 10 minutes from my house, and spend $2,100 in a few hours—or I could get the same work done in Costa Rica and have a 10-day vacation, too, for about $2,600.”


Costa Rica tourism grew 7.4 percent in first half of 2012 / News Briefs / Current Edition / Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times

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Published on: 2012/08/12

Costa Rica tourism grew 7.4 percent in first half of 2012 / News Briefs / Current Edition / Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times.


Posted: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 – By AFP
Figures are better than those registered in the same period last year.

Ronald Reyes

Adventure and sustainable tourism are some of Costa Rica’s major attractions.

SAN JOSÉ – Between January and June, Costa Rica was visited by 1,285.599 tourists, a number exceeding the same period last year by 90,000 people, the Costa Rica Tourism Institute (ICT) announced Wednesday.

For that period, the number of visitors is up 7.4 percent from last year.

According to the report, visitors who arrived on airplanes accounted for nearly 850,000 people, most of them from the United States and Canada.

Tourism is the main draw of foreign currency in Costa Rica, raising an average of $2,000 million each year.

Wakeboarding Tips: Boating Safety for Beginner Wakeboarding

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Published on: 2012/08/01



Beginner Wakeboarding Tips

Wear a Lifejacket

Our wakeboarding tips section is no exception to this important boating safety rule. Be sure to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times when you are in the water.

Use a spotter

A basic boating safety tip for all water sports is to make sure there is a designated spotter to help alert the driver to your position at all times and keep an eye out for other approaching boats or objects in the water.

Put your best foot forward

Before you go out on the water for the first time, one of the most basic wakeboarding tips to remember is to decide which foot you want to face forward. The foot you choose should be the foot you always intuitively place forward, whether it’s because you’re about to kick a ball or you’re regaining your balance.

Use a beginner wakeboarding stance

Using a beginner wakeboarding stance will make the board easier to control and navigate. The easiest stance for beginner wakeboarding is to place the back binding far back towards the end of the board and align it at zero degrees, so that the rider’s weight is able to press directly on top of the rear fin. The front binding should be at about a 15-27 degree angle, slightly pointed towards the front of the wakeboard.

Use a shorter rope

Another helpful beginner wakeboarding tip is to use a shorter rope that makes it easier for beginners to get up and out of the water. Our recommended length is somewhere between 30 and 50 feet.

Stay close to the board at first

Keep your arms and knees tucked in and stay crouched down until you are fully out of the water. Then, try standing slowly and deliberately so that balance and weight distribution are evenly maintained.

Distribute your weight correctly

When trying to get up and out of the water, most of your weight needs to on your front foot (about 60%). However, once you are in a standing position, remember to shift the weight back.

Keep the tow handle low

Beginners will find it easier to stay up if the rope handle is held in a lowered position that is parallel to the water (instead of perpendicular, as is common with waterskiing).

Use the correct boat speed

Be sure to remind your driver that wakeboarding requires less boat speed than waterskiing or other water sports. The maximum recommended speed should be around 14-19mph.

Take your time

Our most important wakeboarding tip is to take your time, stay relaxed, and remember that practice makes perfect! Don’t become frustrated if it takes several tries or more to get up your first time. Mistakes and spills are a normal part of the learning process.

via Wakeboarding Tips: Boating Safety for Beginner Wakeboarding.

Water Tubing: 5 Reasons to Love Boat Tubing Sports

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Published on: 2012/08/01


Water Tubing: 5 Reasons to Love Boat Tubing Sports.


Water Tubing: 5 Reasons to Love Boat Tubing

Water tubing means big splashes and big fun. Here are our favorite reasons why we love boat tubing:
Water Tubing
  1. It’s Easy
    Water tubing is one of the easiest water sports you can try. Boat tubing doesn’t require nearly as much agility, balance, or strength as waterskiing or wakeboarding—in fact, we’d say the number one requirement of water tubing is that you’re just able to hang on and have fun.
  2. Water Tubing is Appropriate for all Ages
    Boat tubing is something that both young and old can enjoy. Unlike other water sports which may require the boat to travel at high speeds, boat tubing allows passengers to travel at the speed that’s right for them. It’s also easy for many large water tubes to hold more than one person, which is essential if you need to have an adult in the water with young children.
  3. It’s a Great Exercise
    Spending time both in the water and on the boat is invigorating exercise! Boat tubing is a terrific way to enjoy the outdoors and get your fill of fresh air. Water tubing helps you brush up on your swimming skills and improves strength and coordination.
  4. Good for Spending Time with Family and Friends
    Whether you’re having fun driving the boat or you’re the one in the water, water tubing is the perfect family boating outing. Boat tubing is also ideal for large groups, not only because more than one person can fit on a tube at a time, but also because getting in and out of the water is generally quicker and easier.
  5. Water Tubing is a Family Activty!
    Water tubing is a uniquely thrilling and unforgettable water sports experience. Speeding across the water on a tube can be just as much fun as wakeboarding or water skiing— without the added stress of needing to stay perfectly balanced on top of the water. Instead, water tubing lets you focus on the fun as the boat pulls you along behind it.

Colombia, Costa Rica look to strengthen ties

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Published on: 2012/07/21

From: Colombia, Costa Rica look to strengthen ties / Top Story / Current Edition / Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times.

After a visit from the Colombian president, a free trade agreement is being negotiated between Costa Rica and the South American country.

Colombian President


Colombians make up the second-largest foreign population in Costa Rica, after Nicaraguans. Of 386,000 immigrants living in the country, 4.3 percent – 16,600 – are Colombians, according to the 2011 census.

With growing relations between Costa Rica and Colombia, Chinchilla sees a “shared vision of development,” and similarities “provide the basis to form a lasting partnership.”

“Our relationship keeps growing stronger in the political arena, and now in the commercial arena, which will lead us to join efforts in forums where we share interests,” Chinchilla said.

Costa Rica’s exports to Colombia grew by 12.1 percent in 2011 compared to the last two years, but the trade balance heavily favors Colombia, according to official figures.

In 2011, Costa Rican sales to Colombia were $48.2 million, against $455.7 million in imports.

Again The Happiest Place on Earth

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Published on: 2012/07/19

From: Costa Rica Is Again The Happiest Place on Earth | Costa Rica News.

Costa Rica is again classified as the happiest country in the world according to The Happy Planet Index(HPI).

This report measures three things: the wellness of a nation’s residents that say they have, life expectancy at birth and the ecological footprint of a nation.


Countries like Costa Rica are the first places because its people live long and happy lives using only a fraction of the resources of the planet. This is an economic model that can actually lead to healthy lives, happy and sustainable,”

Huge demand for commercial space in San Jose!

From: Costa Rica’s Mega Mall And Shopping Center Market Is Booming | The Costa Rica News.

New commercial developments are opening all over San Jose Costa Rica, and the Central valley. The newest and largest recently announced, City Mall, with 185,000 sq meters for retail, dining, and family entertainment, is open in 2014.

San Jose Costa Rica Shopping Center


The demand for commercial space, retail and business administration in San Jose Costa Rica has grown dramatically during the past few years. Developers and builders are racing to keep up with the demand from both international and local markets for malls, call centers, call centers, business centers, and retailers.

One of the reasons San Jose is seeing such commercial real estate boom is numerous awards and high placement on several indices. For example, The MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index 2012, San Jose Costa Rica was ranked as the sixth most important destination city in Latin America.

U.S. franchises see an open market in Costa Rica

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Published on: 2012/07/19

From: Are U.S. chains taking over Costa Rica? / Business / Costa Rica Newspaper, The Tico Times.

U.S.-based franchises are finding an increasingly open market in Costa Rica. Today, 171 foreign franchises operate here. Restaurants constitute about a quarter of the foreign franchises in Costa Rica. Clothing stores and hotels each represent another 20 percent. 

... Wor… ...Moe’s Southwestern Grill will introduce Tex-Mex to Central America in June, also in Escazú. Salads and sandwich franchise Cosi’s is christening multiple stores here in 2012 and 2013. That brand has plenty of catching up to do, as sandwich shop Quizno’s opened its 20th location in the country last month. 

On Wednesday, Quizno’s won an eight -year contract to operate the food court at Juan Santamaría International Airport, the busiest airport in the country. With a $4 million investment, QSR International will open another Quizno’s, and a KFC, Smashburger and Teriyaki Experience in the airport food court. Still, Quizno’s has less than half the number of franchises in the country as sandwich king Subway.

Costa Rica Majestic Palazzo Park Hotel & Residences

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Published on: 2012/06/29

Read full story here:  Costa Rica fractionals hit the road with US sales tour.

Palazzo Park fractional real estate Costa Rica The team behind Costa Rica‘s Palazzo Park Hotel & Residences – ­ described as a sustainable luxury beachfront hotel and condominium – have announced plans for a North American home show tour.

The tour will visit Toronto, Chicago and Salt Lake City. During the first weeks of October, the team will also hold seminar receptions in these cities where customers will be eligible for exclusive complimentary accommodations and travel packages to Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast, as well as fractional ownership in a private sportsfishing yacht.

Palazzo Park Hotel & Residences will be a member of The Registry Collection exchange programme. Fractional purchases at Palazzo Park Hotel & Residences start at $30,000 for six-weeks per year for life. Full ownership opportunities start at $199,000. Units can be reserved with a $5,000 fully-refundable deposit held by Stewart Title Escrow.

Beautiful Homes in Costa Rica

Categories: Business, Costa Rica, CR Living
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Published on: 2012/05/11

Bluezone Realty’s listings.

BlueZone Realty Group of Costa Rica is creating some beautiful homes and commercial centers in Costa Rica’s central Pacific region.

Bahía Ballena (Whale Bay)

BlueZone Realty Group is made up of both Canadians and Costa Ricans that have devoted their lives into making Costa Rica the place where you would want to live. Once you have been here, tour the country sides, walk the beaches, see and feel the nature, ride for miles on horses in the natural rain forests and white sandy beaches, fish and swim the crystal clear waters, and enjoy with the Costa Ricans their way of life, “Pura Vida” which translates into “Pure Life” in English, you will completely understand why we are here and why you should join us. To add a great fact about the country is that the weather is an average of 28 °C (82°F) all year round.

Ballena Jorobada (Humpback Whale)


Golfito, Costa Rica – Shop Til You Drop

Categories: Costa Rica, CR Living, Tourism
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Published on: 2012/05/01

Golfito, Costa Rica – Duty Free Zone | The Costa Rica News.


Golfito Coast

To get the most bang for your buck, join the scores of locals and expats for bargain shopping extravaganzas on name brands in southern Golfito’s highlight destination: the Duty Free Zone. Purchasing proliferates in cheap abundance in this old banana port town that hosts this famous mall.

The government had attempted to stimulate Golfito as a Duty Free Zone after 1985, when its years thriving as the United Fruit Company’s banana port had ended due to disputes and labor taxes, prompting the company to relocate their business to Ecuador. This effort has made the picturesque Golfo Dulce (Sweet Gulf) a namesake popular destination. What may seem reminiscent of an old Tom Waits’ port town, soon develops into 7 km of charming jellybean housing, converted plantations into ritzy expat mansions, postcard panoramic views of the gulf’s waters, and the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge’s forest climbing high on the right.

Costa Rica Real Estate Market Shines

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Published on: 2012/04/20

Costa Rica Real Estate Market Shines as Third Best in the World 

International Living ranked Costa Rica in the Top 3 for best unrealized real estate markets in the world. More specifically they singled out the Southern Zone as a place to consider investing.

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica Photos

Gasoline Price Hike Confirmed

Categories: Business, Costa Rica, CR Living
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 2012/04/20

Gasoline Price Hike Confirmed.



Get ready for another round of gasoline price hikes. The Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos (Aresep) confirmed the price of super gasoline and diesel will go up ¢22 colones and regular ¢29, next week.


Do Spanish Speakers Really Talk so Quickly?

Categories: Costa Rica, CR Living
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Published on: 2012/04/17

Are some languages really faster than English? 


Are some languages really faster than English? Does that mean slower languages are less effective?


Think of when you’ve listened to someone speak Spanish or Japanese. Does it seem the words flow out very quickly, faster than other languages? Academics would agree with you. For the last decade, linguists have speculated that different languages are spoken at significantly different rates. The challenge has been how to measure the respective speeds.

Recently, linguist François Pel­legrino along with his team at the Univer­sity of Lyon in France tried to break down the rate differences between seven languages: British English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, and Spanish.

 Scientific American


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