Name the language

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.

16 Responses to Name the language

  1. Alicia says:

    Sounds vaguely Romance or Germanic to me… Maybe some Dutch dialect?

  2. Given the refernces to Ukraine, could it be Ukainian? (Not that I speak any slavic languages.)

  3. lukas says:

    This sounds like somewhere between East and West Slavic… Rusyn maybe?

  4. Will says:

    It sounds like an Indo-European, central Asian language with some Russian and Arabic influences to me (and I am not very good at these…). I will guess a Muslim language of central Asia. I think probably a dialect of Persian, or a numerically smaller language of the area, such as Kurdish, Pashto, or Baluchi.

    I truly have no clue other than phonology, which I am not good at!

  5. Cefin Gwlad says:

    On the (very shaky) basis that the news reports included appear to be about Ukraine and Iran (so I’ll go for a transmission area somewhere roughly between the two) and my (even more shaky) familiarity with the sound of the language, I’ll plump for Kurdish.

  6. Chris Miller says:

    With the Russian loans like Ukraína, prezidént, teletranslátsiya, elemént etc., the two news topics (Timoshenko in Ukraine and Khamene’i in Iran), but most of all the ejective consonants, this has to be some language of the Caucasus. No pile-ups of consonants word-initially and what sounds like mostly word-final stress, so this isn’t Georgian or a related language…

    With the unusual lateral fricative that abounds in this recording, I’ll hazard a guess that this is Avar, the only widely spoken language of the Caucasus that seems to have this kind of sound, from what information I’ve been able to find online.

  7. Trond Engen says:

    I agree with those who says that it sounds like an Iranian language in the Russian sphere of influence. Since Avar is taken I’ll go with Ossetian.

  8. pennifer says:

    I agree with those who suggest it’s a language spoken in the Caucasus region. Definitely not a Slavic language, but you can indeed hear the loanwords. It has some vaguely Arabic/Persion sounds to my ear, but I have no idea what it specifically might be. Chris Miller is often right, so I’ll vote with him. :)

  9. Petréa Mitchell says:

    It sounds totally non-Slavic to my ear, so my guess was going to be Estonian. I hadn’t thought about the Caucasian languages, probably since I know zilch about them other than the Georgian alphabet.

  10. Talib says:

    No way this is Estonian. I second a language of the Caucasus, because of the Russian loans and Arabic sounds. But I have no idea which one it might be. Laz? Tsez? Adyghe?

  11. Siäch says:

    Some word endings sounds like some strange Georgian to me. I’m not sure, but i’ve heard some ejective sounds. I would guess some language from the caucasus, but i’m not sure which. Maybe Chechen?

  12. Wulfahariaz says:

    The a-sounds and the uvulars remind me of the Iranian languages, so my guess will be Tajik.

  13. michael farris says:

    My first guess was Tajik (because the intonation and rhythm and vowels sounded kind of Iranianish) but now I’m not so sure. Also, I wasn’t sure if those were ejective consonants or statis : )

  14. Rauli says:

    I don’t know that much about languages in that area, so I’ll go with Persian.

  15. Simon says:

    The answer is Avar (магIарул мацI), which is spoken mainly in the Russian republic of Dagestan and in the Zakatala region of Azerbaijan

    The recording comes from Radio Free Asia

  16. Greg says:

    It’s interesting, as many pointed out how much Arabic and Russian influence Avar appears to have as opposed to many other Caucasian languages, most notably Georgian.