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.

25 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Daniel says:

    Obviously a language very closely related to Italian, but it also seems to have some phonological properties of Spanish. Could it be Catalan?

  2. Leonardo Cecchini says:

    For sure it’s spoken in the Iberian Peninsula. I go for catalan.

  3. “Bona nit” stands for good night in Catalan, and the next phrase sounds close to “Com està”. So one more vote for Catalan.

  4. Chris Miller says:

    Catalan. (And “xarxa”, who concurs and whose moniker is Catalan for net or network, probably is Catalan him/herself!) interestingly, the interviewer pronounces her unaccented /e/s as [e] and her final /a/s as [a] rather than reducing them to schwa, which seems to point to her coming from somewhere in the western part of Catalonia, but she definitely doesn’t have a Valencian (let alone Balearic) accent: in ‘dirigeix’ (‘she directs’) she pronounces the -eix ending as (sorry, no IPA available on my cell phone!) “esh” rather than the Valencian “eysh”. Her interviewee, an actress, has a more typical Eastern Catalan accent, with her final schwas.

  5. bronz says:

    Una de les meves llengües favorites – català. Absolutely no doubt about it. It sounds like it’s from Catalunya Ràdio, also one of my favorite radio stations :)

  6. It is a language from the catalan family. Not sure whether it is catalan or valencian, though. I’d go for Catalan.

  7. anònim says:

    bronz: No, it isn’t Catalunya Ràdio. The interviewer is Agnès Batlle, from “Cel obert a la cultura” (Ràdio 4).

  8. anònim says:

    Olexandr Melnyk: That was close, she says “Com estem?”.

  9. Sandra says:

    One more vote for Catalan: it sounds half Spanish half French to my French ears and that’s how I recognise this language.

  10. Christopher Miller says:

    For José Figueroa-

    There is less reason to claim there exists a “Catalan family of languages” than there is to claim there is a “Spanish family of languages” or an “English family of languages”. The lexical, phonological and grammatical differences between varieties of Catalan barely reach the level of diversity between dialects of Spanish *outside* the Spanish State, or of English *outside* Great Britain, let alone including those inside the European “mother countries”. In terms of variability, there is more linguistic justification for calling the varieties of Catalan a single language than there is for calling the varieties of English a single language or the varieties of Spanish a single language.

    It’s true there is purely politically-based agitation among some quarters in the Valencian Country for claiming their set of varieties of Catalan as a separate language, but in terms of their linguistic structure, these all in fact fall squarely within the same group of dialects that extends to the north and takes in the western half of Catalonia, the eastern fringe of Aragon, and Andorra.

  11. xarxa says:

    hahaha, no, im anglo-egyptian and dont speak catalan, i just saw the word on a sign in barcelona and i liked it

  12. Christopher Miller says:

    Well,’xarxa’, there you go: xarxa (sharsha), shabaka, net! It’s interesting because “la xarxa” is one of the words I see used in Catalan to mean ‘Internet’. I thought your moniker must have something to do with that. Appearances can deceive, eh?

  13. formiko says:

    i Understood almost every word of that! But yet it really wasn’t Spanish. I think it’s Galician.

  14. michael farris says:

    The chances of this not being Catalan are about zero, but I’m not sure which variety of Catalan it is. The vowels of the announcer seem a little too clear to be from Barcelona (which sounds kind of heavy and slurred to me, the interviewee sounds more like from Barcelona) so maybe (wild guess) Valenciano?

  15. peter j. franke says:

    Catalan, spoken in Catalonia,Valencia and at the Beleares.

  16. anònim says:

    michael farris: Well, the variety spoken by the announcer may not be “pure” central Catalan (as spoken in Barcelona), but it isn’t too far from it either. Maybe she was born in the western side, but after studying/living in Barcelona the influence is noticeable. I’m sure it is not Valencian, though.

    peter j. franke: You forgot Alguer (Italy) and southern France. :)

  17. Jim Morrison says:

    >> peter j. franke: You forgot Alguer (Italy) and southern France. :)

    And Aragon, I think ;-)

  18. Simon says:

    The language is Catalan (català) which is spoken in Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and in parts of Aragon and Murcia in Spain, Alghero (l’Alguer) in Sardinia, Rousillon in southern France, and Andorra.

    The recording comes from RNE Ràdio 4 and the programme is called “La dona trencada” al Versus Teatre

  19. Sam says:

    I’m interested to find this is Catalan. I speak both Spanish and Italian to a fairly good level, and found this sounding a lot more like Italian than I had expected – I’d have assumed it’d be more like French. Like formiko, I understood it fully, which was a refreshing change. Back to the hard stuff next week, I guess!

  20. bronz says:

    In fact I never understood why people feel or say that Catalan sounds like French? I’ve heard quite a few people already claim that Catalan sounds “more like French than Spanish” – but I find it precisely the opposite. In fact I don’t hear anything much French in Catalan, except that Catalan has more cognates with French/Italian than Spanish does with them, but that’s just vocabulary, not phonology. But maybe it’s just me.

  21. Lilian says:

    Catalan :D

  22. Julia says:

    my guess (after not reading comments…) Catalan, basque or some other form of Spanish. 2nd choice: portuguese, but don’t really think so (not nasal enough and no “g” sounds).

  23. dave says:

    julia, im pretty sure that basque is a language isolate, thus unrelated to the spanish language (or any other existing one for that matter) and therefore very difficult to learn or so i hear.

    Just thought id let you know :)