Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

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

This entry was posted in Language.

22 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Kevin says:

    I will guess Darija (Moroccan Arabic) — mostly because it sounds like a variety of Arabic, and there do seem to be several mentions of Spain (though I may well be just imagining that!)

  2. Jasmine says:

    Arabic, mentions of Spain and Tarek el Idrisi (Moroccan kick boxer)

    Moroccan or Maltese؟

  3. Will says:

    I will have to go with Arabic of North Africa. At first I thought it was Persian, but I don’t hear any descriptive sounds, so I guessed another language of the region!

  4. pennifer says:

    Another vote for Moroccan Arabic, and for the exact same reasons that Kevin cites.

  5. TJ says:

    yeh Moroccan (if not then Algerian). Something about Spain and … the spanish army I think?
    By the way it could also be tamazight… i remember the Moroccan TV got 4 official news broadcasts … Arabic, Spanish, French and (amazight).

  6. Daydreamer says:

    My favourite guess when it comes to a Semitic language, that doesn’t seem to be Arabic: Hassaniyya spoken in Mauritania.

  7. Petréa Mitchell says:

    I heard the mentions of España too and for that reason my first guess would be Euskera (Basque). Second guess, something from North Africa.

  8. Daydreamer says:

    I’m sure that it’s neither Maltese nor Euskara.

  9. Christopher Miller says:

    Maybe I should slip in a hint here: does Moroccan or Algerian (or any colloquial Arabic variety west of Irag and the Arabian Peninsula) have interdental fricatives, voiced or voiceless?

  10. Casey Goranson says:

    Sounds either Caucasian or Arabic to me. The presence of the /th/ suggests Arabic from Tunisia or Lybia.

  11. TJ says:

    @Christopher: unfortunately, I’m not quite familiar with the sound names, but we usually identify the dialects just like that by experience and the way they sound.
    We don’t have analytical minds you know hehe 🙂
    But I’m surprised that some people guessed it is Basque. I’m quite positive that it is either Moroccan (or a second guess Algerian). I don’t think it is even Mauritanian.

  12. TJ says:

    Again listening to it… seems it is about some of the “procedures” of the spanish army in Morocco in the period of 1923-1927. Tareq Al-Idrisi seems to be some…resistant figure? and I hear a talk about victims.

  13. Christopher Miller says:

    OK – the sounds I’m referring to are ‘th’ (as in ‘breath’) and ‘dh’ (as in ‘breathe’). Hopefully, this might help…

  14. TJ says:

    ah … I’m not sure about Moroccans myself but I think they say them naturally. Egyptians on the other hand always change the “TH” as “S” and the “DH” into “Z”. But Moroccans and Algerians, well, did not accompany much of them in my life so I can’t confirm this really.

  15. joe mock says:

    I’d say it’s Berber – only thing I can think of that’s North Africa, sounds Arabic but isn’t. Don’t know though, have no idea of what Berber sounds like.

  16. michael farris says:

    Definitely sounds Maghrebi to me, so I’ll say Tunisian because of the interdentals.

    On the other hand, elements of MSA are known to creep into most of the colloquials at various times so it might be something else.

  17. Kellen says:

    It’s definitely related to Arabic if not a dialect. Maltese was my first guess though I’m not terribly familiar with Maltese so it really is just a guess.

  18. Kellen says:

    I take that back. After a few more listens I’m certain it’s not Maltese. It’s also not jumping out at Magrebi because of the clarity and frequency of /θ/. I’d say Sudanese or Egyptian, but a pretty clear media version of either of those.

  19. Simon says:

    The answer is Tarifit (ⵜⴰⵔⵉⴼⵉⵜ, تاريفيت), a Berber / Tamazight language spoken in Morocco.

    The recording comes from BTV Notícies, a Catalan TV station, hence the references to Spain.

  20. TJ says:

    I guessed that 😀

  21. prase says:

    @TJ: I thought you are a native Arabic speaker. If so, is it difficult, for a speaker of some eastern variant of Arabic, to understand the Maghrebi dialects, to such an extent as not to be able to distinguish them from Tamazight?

  22. Christopher Miller says:

    Picking up on my references to ‘th’ and ‘dh’ sounds, this is the normal way /t/ and /d/ are pronounced in most if not all Berber languages. In Moroccan Arabic, though, /t/ is normally pronounced [ts], and ‘th’ and ‘dh’-like sounds aren’t part of the sound system.

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