Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

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

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This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

12 Responses to Language quiz

  1. spl0uf says:

    An east-Asian language closely related to Chinese, probably… Taiwanese?

  2. peter j. franke says:

    Cantonese????

  3. Isaac says:

    It’s Shanghainese, or called Wu, spoken mainly in Shanghai, Chinese

  4. doviende says:

    Interesting! It felt like my brain was broken there for a minute, because it’s similar to mandarin, but i couldn’t understand any of it. I can pick out a couple words here and there, i think. Last time i had that feeling was when i heard two guys speaking swiss-german on the bus…sounded like german, but i couldn’t understand.

  5. Christopher Miller says:

    My guess is also Shanghainese/Wu, because it sounds so similar to Mandarin, but the tonal contours *seem* to be more limited (just my impression), and I can *definitely* hear voiced initial stops, which as far as I know only remain in Wu dialects.

  6. Christopher Miller says:

    …I should add that there are also the voiced z initials near the beginning of the recording, too…

  7. Petréa Mitchell says:

    I’m going to commit myself to the highly precise guess that it is somewhere in the Sino-Tibetan language family. The sound inventory made me think of Mandarin, but I’m fairly sure that isn’t it. Partly because I agree with #5 that it doesn’t sound tonal enough, and the rest is just a sense of “I don’t think it sounds quite like that”.

    Bear in mind, though, that it’s been about 25 years since my last Mandarin lesson…

  8. d.m.falk says:

    Considering casual Mandarin drops most of the tones (usually first tone in a word or sentence is used- others dropped), I’ll go with Mandarin. Not Shanghainese, which sounds almost Japanese, but is not- It’s very distinct and unusuas to listen to!

    Now watch, it’ll probably be something like Naxi or Yi, my luck. ;)

    d.m.f.

  9. Simon says:

    The language is Shanghainese (上海闲话 / Zanhe-ëwo) which is spoken mainly in Shanghai.

    The recording comes from 上海话学习网 (Shanghainese Study Site).

  10. Alonso Day says:

    While we’re playing “Name that Sino-Tibetan Language”, this article comes to mind…
    http://wiki.frath.net/Fusangese

  11. Halabund says:

    This sounds very different from the previous Shanghainese recording featured on Omniglot. Are these two languages the same?

  12. Simon says:

    Halabund – as far as I know the two recordings are of the same language.