Name the language

Here’s a recording of part of song in a mystery language.

Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in and where it’s spoken?

I made this recording at the Llangollen Eisteddfod the other day.

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

22 Responses to Name the language

  1. xarxa says:

    im awful at guessing from song. ill go for hungarian, cos i havent got the foggiest

  2. peter j. franke says:


  3. aabram says:

    Definitely not estonian. The last third sounds a bit slavic to me but that’s as far as mu ears take me. Though singing can make any languages sound like any other language at times.

  4. Talib says:

    Um, Welsh?

  5. Adam says:

    :/ I would say its some kind of eastern european/slavic language but what struck me is certain sounds similar to afrikaans, But i’m fluent in afrikaans so it can’t be afrikaans,

    It’s certainly not Welsh my mothertongue, It’s not English, No Germanic Language o’r romace umm i don’t know.

  6. TJ says:

    well it’s hard to guess with this type of singing… to me at least.

  7. Roy says:


  8. prase says:


  9. prase says:

    …or Icelandic. The music is not east European style.

  10. anna says:

    it’s hard to tell with the singing – is it lithuanian? is lithuanian a language?

  11. Simon says:

    Anna is the closest so far.

  12. Greg says:

    Based on the clue; is it Latvian?

  13. Al says:


  14. TJ says:

    since Anna is the closest, when the mention of Lithuania comes so comes Latvia.

  15. Simon says:

    The language is Latvian (latviešu valoda), which is spoken mainly in Latvia. The song is sung by a choir from Riga called Blagovest.

  16. aabram says:

    Blagovest seems not to be Latvian word, I guess it to be Russian благовест. Not that I’m expert in Latvian choir music or anything but are you sure they were performing in Latvian? They seem to be russian orthodox choir (православный камерный хор), I’d be surprised if they perform in Latvian rather than Russian. I might be wrong though.

  17. Faldone says:

    I would have guessed Church Slavonic, as spoken in Church Slavonia.

  18. Simon says:

    aabram – they are from Latvia, and I assumed they were singing in Latvian, but it might have been another language.

  19. Faldone says:

    I was basing my guess on my limited experience with Russian liturgical music, which the sample sounds like to me. My experience is having sung Rachmaninov’s Vespers and Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and owning several CDs of Russian church music. I didn’t hear anything in the singing that I could explicitly identify as Church Slavonic but I often have trouble making out anything beyond vowels in choral music

  20. Faldone says:

    Here’s their one and only CD. Looks to me like all Russian composers so I’m going to stick with Church Slavonic.

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