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.

22 Responses to Language quiz

  1. xarxa says:

    i think the university of sofia was mentioned, so ill say bulgarian

  2. stormboy says:


  3. LAttilaD says:

    It’s hard to recognize any word, but judging by the melody, it’s Greek.

  4. bronz says:

    It sounds kind of Slavic to me, although all the common Latinate words are distracting. I seem to hear “University of Sofia” too, plus I’ve heard that Bulgarian is one of the Slavic languages least grammatically complicated (don’t ask me how I think it sounds like that, though), so I’ll go with Bulgarian, too.

  5. FM says:

    I want to say Lithuanian.

  6. AlexM says:


  7. Halabund says:

    Attila, it is not Greek.

    Of course all that talk about the University of Sofia and Balkan studies will prompt everyone to listen to a Bulgarian radio station and compare, but I’m not really good at telling apart Slavic languages 🙂 The Bulgarian station I listened to sounded pretty similar to this one.

  8. Chris Miller says:

    My first reaction was that we’d just hopped the Danube to Bulgaria, but after a couple more listens, I think this is actually Albanian. Reasons: a lot of words with -ës, which I believe is one form of the genitive ending; the [w]-like sound in what I would first think is ‘balkanistikës’, which may actually be spelled with a double ‘ll’, which is pronounced [w]. So… I googled up ‘ballkanistikës’ and the first result was from Radio Bulgaria in Shqip (Albanian). In fact, most of the results seem to talk about the “Balkanistics” (Balkan studies) programme at the University of Sofia.

  9. Chris Miller says:

    I would add that the [gj] and [vj] clusters I hear in a couple of words are also pretty diagnostic of Albanian.

  10. formiko says:

    I noticed A LOT of familiar words because I know Russian, but it was not Russian.I can catch 75% of a conversation my Bulgarian friend has wth his Macedonian wife, so I’m going to guess Bulgarian.

  11. peter j. franke says:

    I go for albanian for the same reasons Chris Miller stated..

  12. Pavel says:

    I think it’s Romanian.

  13. michael farris says:

    sounds more like albanian than anything else to me

  14. michael farris says:

    I’ll just mention what makes it sound most like albanian to me is the almost american r sound, found in few languages, but albanian is one of them (I’ve never heard it in bulgarian)

  15. Christopher Miller says:


    I agree there – forgot about that one, duh. It is interesting how relatively rare the liquid /r/ is in the Europe-Western Asia area, perhaps even more so than uvular varieties, I wonder?

  16. prase says:

    Although Bulgarian is the least intelligible Slavic language for me (native is Czech), I would expect to understand at least something if it was Bulgarian. To me, it sounds like a Baltic language, and my favourite guess which I use always when I have no idea is Latvian. So I say Latvian. (Still wonder why they speak about University of Sophia, though.)

  17. prase says:

    Well, I take it back, Albanian is far more probable, even if it was already twice in the Omniglot quiz. The final -s, which lead my suspection of Balticity, aren’t as frequent as they seemed on the first listening.

    Some words can be identified. Lots of “për” and “të”, “dhjëtori” (December) at the begining, “ushtere” in the middle (no idea what it means, but Google found it in Albanian texts, perhaps something related to “ushtria” = army?), and shapes of international words like “universiteti” also point in that direction. Almost certainly Albanian.

    Now experts may decide whether Gheg or Tosk dialect.

  18. bronz says:

    The ë and r do sound very Albanian…I switch my guess! I actually did have some Albanian classmates back in college; their English accent never seemed to be too pronounced compared to most other international students I knew.

  19. Simon says:

    The answer is Albanian (Shqip) which is spoken mainly in Albania and Kosovo.

    The recording comes from Българско национално радио (Bulgaria National Radio)

  20. prase says:

    Simon, the link under Albanian redirects to the Romanian page.

  21. Simon says:

    Oops! – I’ve fixed that now.

  22. Ricardo says:

    It’s albanian, gheg dialect.

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