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.

12 Responses to Language quiz

  1. David Eger says:

    Tibeto-Burman? That narrows it down to about 400 languages and somewhere in SE Asia.

  2. David Eger says:

    After a couple more listenings, maybe it’s not Asian at all – S. American? Over to the experts…

  3. Roger Bowden says:

    Hard one this, could easily be Asian ,Austrolasian or from the Americas. I will plump for North American

  4. Ned says:

    tones and monosyllables – ??? East Asian

  5. Lynnie says:

    This sounds very very Tibeto-Burman with some Austro-Asiatic and/or Tai-Kadai influence.

    It’s definitely not a language from the Karen sub-branch, nor is it a Chin-Mizo-Kuki language. It also does not sound anything like a Tibetan-based language like Ladakhi, Sherpa, Dzongkha etc.

    I’d go for something like Lahu, Lisu or Akha spoken in Shan State in Burma and neighbouring Yunnan province in China.

  6. Nathan Moore says:

    Sounds a little bit like Thai or Cambodian but I would guess that it’s from some place West of those two countries. A minority language from Burma?

  7. Bryan says:

    This is in Burmese. I happened to need a translator for a client one time .

  8. prase says:

    My first impression was something Polynesian with few consonants and glottal stops. After ten seconds or so it started sounding more tonal and with Chinese-like phonology. So I think about a language from south China, and to guess one particular, let’ say Zhuang.

  9. Simon says:

    The answer is Wa (Va), a Palaungic language spoken in Yunan in southwestern China

    The recording comes from the GRN.

  10. Lynnie says:

    Oh my…..what a surprise! Wa sounds absolutely nothing like the other Austro-Asiatic languages I’ve come across (i.e. Vietnamese, Khmer and Mon).

    One could say this is a good example of an Austro-Asiatic language whose phonology is heavily influenced by the surrounding Tibeto-Burman languages.

  11. Nathan Moore says:

    Actually, I thought there were similarities between Wa and Khmer. There were some strange sounds and I couldn’t understand a word of it, but it still sounded a lot like Cambodian.

  12. Ryan Valverde says:

    Navajo. In Farmington area.

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