Name the language

Here’s a recording of a song 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.

10 Responses to Name the language

  1. AlexM says:

    As I can hear ‘Aotearoa’ repeatedly, I’d say it’s got to be Maori.

  2. peter j. franke says:

    For me it is sounds like the songs I heard in the Moluccan communities here in the Netherlands. Their culture is of polynesian origin and the language is Malayu(Bahasa Malayu)….

  3. Daniel says:

    I heard ‘aroha’ which is ‘love’ in Maori.

  4. Chris Miller says:

    You should have used Ka Mate (smile)! I heard “tea roa” several times but even though I was listening for it, somehow I didn’t catch an “ao” before it.

    The overall syllable structure and vowel system sound either African or Polynesian. With the “faka-” I heard (a common prefix) I was convinced this was a Polynesian Language and couldn’t be Hawai’ian because of the [f] sound (and the [t], neither of which occurs in Hawai’ian), and with the [r] sounds and no [l] sounds, I feel sure this is likely Māori and not Samoan, Tahitian or one of the other better known Polynesian languages. On which case, the “faka-” should be spelt “whaka-” instead. As for the “tea” and “roa”, people familiar with Hawai’i will recognise common Polynesian vocabulary in the mountain names Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea (White Mountain and Long Mountain), with three of the sound shifts that happened in Hawai’ian. (Mauna is the Hawai’ian version of what is pronounced maunga in Māori and other languages, e.g. Maunga Teatea on one of the easternmost islands (Easter Island?).

  5. Ricardo says:

    I’am agree; probably it’s maori.

  6. Petréa Mitchell says:

    Another vote for Maori here.

  7. Aron says:

    I also guessed Maori.

  8. d.m.falk says:

    Definitely Maori, primarily in New Zealand, and is, in fact, a song about New Zealand– Perhaps the Maori anthem.


  9. Tim says:

    New Zealand Maori. Although, can I suggest, they are non-Maori speakers singing. The pronunciation seems somewhat “anglified”.

  10. Simon says:

    The answer is Māori (Te Reo Māori), which is spoken mainly in New Zealand.

    I made the recording at the Bangor Community Choir rehearsal last week.

    Here are the words and a translation:

    E hara i te mea
    No naianei te aroha
    No nga tupuna
    Tuku iho tuku iho

    Whakapono tumanako
    Te aroha ki te iwi

    Te whenua te whenua
    Te oranga mo te iwi


    It is not a new thing
    now that is love
    comes from the ancestors
    handed down through the passages of time

    Faith and hope
    Love to the people

    The land, the land
    is the life for the people

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