Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

Do you know or can you guess the language and where it’s spoken?

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This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

21 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Hans says:

    Italian? Or maybe something from that region?

  2. lukas says:

    It sounds a lot like Piedmontese, but not quite.

  3. TJ says:

    A shot into the darkness… Lombardi?

  4. d.m.falk says:

    I was going to take my shot here and suggest Sicilian, Sardinian or Corsican, as spoken in Italy…. Probably wrong on all counts, EXCEPT that it’s an Italian language, but NOT Italian itself. :)

    d.m.f.

  5. Trond Engen says:

    Venetian. It’s clearly local Italian. It sounds Northern, and the lisp on -cion is a Northern feature, isn’t it? I don’t know enough to discern Northern varieties, but the mention of Trieste is probably significant. (Since I actually had a clue, I didn’t do the Google trick today.)

  6. John A says:

    I’m going to guess Venetian as well. Definitely Italian, at the very least.

  7. Petréa Mitchell says:

    It sounds solidly Italian to me, although the little voice at the back of my head says Simon would never pick something that easy…

  8. prase says:

    Italian dialect, even if it sounded a little bit like Romanian in the first moment. Probably Venetian, because Trieste was mentioned.

  9. Aron says:

    I, too, guessed Venetian.

  10. I have to go with Venetian as well. Not just because Trieste is mentioned, but also because the pronunciation in some words is closer to Spanish than to Italian.

  11. Definitely north-east Italian, further east than Venice.

    Even though the city of Trieste, which is mentioned, is part of the Venezia Giulia subregion, and not of Friuli (politically it is one region, called Friuli-Venezia Giulia), I am going to guess this is Friulian language.

  12. Wulfahariaz says:

    I agree, but have to make my own guess: Aromanian?

  13. Simon says:

    You’re in the right area, but haven’t quite got the language. The answer is Friulian (furlan), which is spoken in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of north-east Italy.

    The recording comes from Radio Onde Furlane.

  14. Pavel says:

    Simon: I can clearly hear palatal plosives, but they are not mentioned in the article.

  15. Christopher Miller says:

    Pavel: You probably heard “regjon”. There are two main origins, one where a velar is followed by a glide but does not become an alveopalatal affricate, and velars followed by /a/, such as cjan and gjat (to take but two vocabulary items from the Wikipedia article). This is a widespread change in the northern tier of Gallo-Romance languages, and outside of the Gallo-Italic family which Friulian has been argued to be a member of, this has been taken further with affrication and them fricativisation, some of the most advanced changes being found in French.

  16. TJ says:

    I see some people almost understood the sample here from their knowledge in Italian. Doesn’t tht make Friulian a dialect of Italian rather than a spearate language?

  17. Simon says:

    TJ – the distinction between dialects and languages is based not just on mutual intelligibility, but also on political, cultural and other criteria.

  18. Christopher Miller says:

    I would add to Simon’s comment that clearly distinct languages can be quite mutually intelligible; i.e., listening/reading carefully, one can easily get the gist of what is said. If you know Russian, you can quite easily (though not perfectly) understand many other Slavic languages. The same goes for Turkic languages, various Romance languages and many other languages that belong to a single family. In fact, many very closely related languages and even regional varieties of a single language are not necessarily mutually intelligible despite their close common origins. All it takes is enough of the right kinds of sound change to completely mask their relationship.

    What sets languages apart is the grammatical apparatus: the syntax and inflectional morphology. Friulian is a member of the Rhaeto-Romance group (like Ladin and Romansch), which some consider to be part of the larger Gallo-Italic group which takes in the majority of the indigenous languages of Italy north of the “La Spezia-Rimini line” that runs more or less along the crest of the Appenines. All of these languages share syntactic structures and inflectional morphology that are fundamentally different from the Italian dialect continuum south of the Appenines, not to mention that their sound systems developed from late Latin in a very different way. In some ways, they are more different from Italian than Spanish is.

  19. Petréa Mitchell says:

    It’s been said that a language is a dialect with an army and a navy.

  20. Riccardo says:

    Friulan! I’m 95% sure.

  21. Christopher Miller says:

    Well Riccardo, at Radio Onde Furlane, they’re 100% sure!