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?

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

9 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Formiko says:

    Definitely an African language, but definitely not one I’m familiar with. (The Bantu and West African languages). I’m gonna take a stab at it and say “Bambara”

  2. Although the accent seems African, I thought I recognised some Japanese sentences. At some point she said something that sounded like “この言葉は”, for example. I’m very curious to know the answer to this quiz.

  3. Towards the middle I think I heard hoje em dia, Portuguese for “nowadays”. So I’m leaning towards one of the Portuguese Creoles, maybe Guinea Bissau Creole.

  4. Christopher Miller says:

    Definitely a West African language, nothing further east or south, which would exclude Bantu: it’s tonal, with coarticulated gb and I can hear tonal downdrift… It *almost* sounds like Yoruba but it has a ts sound, which Yoruba doesn’t. At the beginning and part way through I hear what sounds like a word awuli, which is emphasized as if it’s an important piece of information… It sounds suspiciously like it’s related to (i)mbuzi, a common word for ‘goat’ in Bantu languages, and I know there is a West African language — perhaps it’s Yoruba, I forget which –, where the word is awure. My GUESSssss… is that this *quite likely* might be Ewe or some language in the general area of Benin, Togo and southwestern Nigeria.

  5. Daydreamer says:

    I’ve got the impression that the speaker is also fluent in French. That would rule out Nigeria in Christopher Millers list of contries and make way for Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire.
    But for the language itself? Wellllll..I..umph….

  6. Christopher Miller says:

    I’m not sure why the speaker would sound like they have any knowledge of French. Is it perhaps because of the nasal vowels that pop up all along the recording? They are a central part of the sound system of Yoruba and of several neighbouring languages to the west; I don’t know enough about Cameroon but I don’t think they are as important in languages east of Nigeria (or east of Yoruba within Nigeria for that matter…). Further west, I don’t think you find them as heavily until you reach Mande languages like Bambara, and it doesn’t sound to me like any of the Ashanti-Baule group languages of southern Ghana and Ivory Coast… However, this doesn’t sound like Bambara, which I heard when I visited Mali over a decade ago, especially with the repeating /ts/ sound… I’m sticking to my guess. (Until, of course, I might turn out to be wrong!)

  7. peter j. franke says:

    I go for Ibo/Igbo. Why: just guess… but this language is from the southern part of West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, etc.) so to hear.

  8. Simon says:

    The language is Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) which is spoken mainly in Nigeria, Benin and Togo.

    The recording comes from Yoruba Oduduwa Radio

  9. Christopher Miller says:

    Interesting… turns out my guess on the basis of the ts sound was off, although even in the YouTube video you clearly hear her pronounce it in the name Tunde (short for Babatunde/Yetunde – Father/Mother has returned). Seems to be a phonetic equivalent of the [ts] for /t/ in some southern British and African American English speakers.
    And NOTHING about goats! (laughing)

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