Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

10 Responses to Language quiz

  1. old_nomad says:

    Russian-influenced, possibly Turkic or Mongolic. Tyvan?

  2. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    I also thought it showed some Russian influence, but it’s clearly not Russian (or another language that sounds like Russian, like Serbian or Portuguese Portuguese). However, I doubt whether it’s Turkic, as it doesn’t sound like Turkish and if there is vowel harmony I didn’t detect it. I’ve no idea what Mongolian sounds like. The speaker is very fluent, so it’s unlikely to be something learned in adulthood, i.e. it’s not like the obvious French accent one hears in Provençal.

  3. old_nomad says:

    I’m absolutely sure about Russian loanwords /m;i’n;istr/ and /d;el;e’gatsija/. Also, these loanwords are pronounced naturally (for Russian), so I’d even guess that the speaker might be bilingual with Russian as the second (or first) language.

    Athel is right about lack of Turkic vowel harmony; however, not all Altaic languages have it. As far as I know, Uzbek doesn’t.

    Still, sounds Turkic to me…

  4. Roger Bowden says:

    The speed of the speaker and the sound compression don’t helpbut I wonder is this a Tatar dialect perhaps from Crimea.

  5. Trond Engen says:

    Very much a Russian-influenced Turkic language to me too. I wonder if the apparent lack of vowel harmony could be due to the density of loanwords not affected by it. Since others have said Crimean Tatar, I’ll say Dagauzian. (But I may change my mind if I manage to extract some geographical information from the news.)

  6. David Eger says:

    The Russian phonetic influence is unmistakable. It doesn’t sound typically Turkic, but I’m not sure I agree about the lack of vowel harmony. I’m inclined to go with old_nomad’s suggestion of a Mongolic language.

  7. Trond Engen says:



  8. old_nomad says:

    Not Mongolian, Turkic. There are several instances of something like /korganuz ministr/, cognate to Qazaq қорғаныс министр / korganys ministr, Defence Minister. So, Turkic, and probably even Kipchak Turkic.

  9. Sameer says:

    Something Central Asian with clear vowel harmony, lots of long words, and Russian loans. Tuvan? Kazakh? Mongolian?

  10. Simon says:

    The answer is Kazakh (Қазақ) , a Turkic language spoken in Kazakhstan, Russia, China

    The recording comes from Қазақ радиосы.

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