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.

16 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Matt says:


  2. peter j. franke says:

    This is Urdu, indeed.

  3. Daniel says:

    Does this frequency of English words and expressions occur in regular speech in Urdu, or is this a special context?

  4. TJ says:

    @Daniel: yes many words from English and Arabic, as it is with many indian languages I guess.

    Although it is obvious from the frequent mention of Pakistan that it is Urdu, but usually I hear Urdu speakers here with more speedy talk and not so slow like this one, and more frequent rolled “r” and palatal “t”

  5. Chris Miller says:

    I would think Urdu too. I love the “I think ke…”! And yes, you hear lots of this kind of code-switching and use of nonce loans in Hindi-Urdu. Even to the extent of writing in the Urdu alphabet sequence that are pure English. I have seen quite a few dépanneurs (corner stores) here in Montreal with signs displaying English phrases written in the Urdu alphabet, and of course, the tail insignia of PIA (Pakistan International Airways) is the oh so Urdlish sequence پي آي اى that transliterates as “pii aay ee”. (Unfortunately my cellphone keyboard only gives a plain ye for the final letter since it doesn’t have the “bari ye” letter variant for the [e] sound that curls down and to the right.)

  6. John says:


  7. Christopher Miller says:


    You can see the “پي آي اى” sequence I talk about here:

  8. TJ says:

    @Chris: if you are posting from a mobile, then surely you have a swiss army knife in your hands to type these letters :)

  9. goofy says:

    How do we know it’s Urdu and not Hindi? Is there a difference?

  10. d.m.falk says:

    Definitely Urdu (essentially Hindi with a lexicon borrowed from Farsi and Arabic), but with many English words. This is easily found in Pakistan (A LOT of radio stations mix English and Urdu!), but by context, I think this one is from an Urdu-speaking community in Australia, of which there is a reasonable sized community there in Melbourne & Sydney.


  11. peter j. franke says:

    For “Goofi”: For instance the lady speakers says: “Nam jhante” (in Hindi it is: “Nam bhole”. “Jhante” is used in Punjabi as well as Urdu and means “to speaking”, speaking. Urdu contains words from Arabic and Farsi.

  12. Simon says:

    The language is Urdu (اردو) which is spoken in Pakistan, India and a number of other countries.

    The recording comes from SBS Radio (Australia).

  13. Matt says:

    Hehe I though it came from good old Australia :)

  14. d.m.falk says:

    @Matt: So did I. :)


  15. goofy says:

    Peter: Thanks. Interesting that Panjabi and Urdu have a different word than Hindi. “jhante” looks like an Indic word (as opposed to Persian). Hindi has a lot of loanwords from Persian and Arabic too.

  16. Evans Knight says:

    I always check in too late after puzzles I actually know the answer to!!