Name the language

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, Quiz questions.

13 Responses to Name the language

  1. William says:

    I will have to say Abzhaz, spoken in Georgia, Turkey, and the Caucasus. Besides Arabic, Abkhaz is the only language I can find that has a /w/, /X/, and /ħ/.

    The only reason I am hesitant about guessing Abkhaz is the presence of loan words — or at least, what I think seem like them. I would imagine that English/Indo-European loanwords in Caucasian languages are few and far between; however, I am probably wrong!

  2. d.m.falk says:

    I’m inclined to think a west or central African language- It is neither Turkic, Semitic or Caucasian, and the intonation indicates it’s spoken by a black African, but is spoken where a great deal of Arabic loanwords are part of the vocabulary. It does sound like a religious speech, perhaps a sermon, either from within the muslim communities of the region, or from a Christian gospel outreach ministry. I can’t pin it any further.


  3. Vivaek says:

    I thought it was Caucasian, but then I reconsidered and would agree with an African language. Abkhaz has many phonemes and I didn’t think I heard that many.
    And I thought I heard the loanword of “politik-” or something so that doesn’t really sound like a religious speech, but it could be.

  4. P. says:

    Something from the Chad/Sudan/Darfur area, perhaps? That’s all we have. Otherwise I agree with the previous poster.

  5. Trond Engen says:

    I think it’s a political speech for the retorical repetitions and because I recognize exactly one loanword, politikak. I think it’s African for the voice (I’ve failed spectacularly on that clue before, but I have nothing else to go by), but it doesn’t sound like a Bantu language. Ki is a word by itself here, a conjunction or some such. Could that kind of word be a Romance loan? So what should I guess? Wolof?

  6. formiko says:

    I know it’s not Wolof. Wolof is definitely the German of Africa (has mostly consonant endings.) The language has plenty of nasals….and it also has short syllables. It doesn’t sound like Twi or any Akan language. I’m going to say Efik. But it could be Ewe too…..

  7. TJ says:

    … Why is he angry? lol

    To me… it sounded more like something from the far east… like tagalog.

  8. michael farris says:

    Fairly wild guess … Hausa?

    That’s based mostly on what sound like some emphatic voiced consonants.

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  10. Simon says:

    The recording comes from this site.

    Chris Miller, who sent me the link, believes the language is Wolof (Wollof), which is spoken in Senegal, France, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Mauritania. However it might not be.

  11. Daydreamer says:

    The site, we are directed to, is clearly held in French and Wolof and deals with events in Senegal. So, despite the fact that the spoken words sound quite different from lyrics sung by Youssou N’dour, there’s no reason to believe that the recording is in another language.

    The only word I could identify was “liggéey” = “profession” which would render “politikak” to “politician” and “mason” (directly from French) to “mason”.

  12. Christopher Miller says:

    Just a short note that I received a confirmation email from someone connected with the web site that the language of the podcast is indeed Wolof.

  13. Angie says:

    Hi! I live in Senegal and am studying Wolof, and while I didn’t understand everything in the recording, I can attest to the fact that it’s Wolof. What a small world! I was just scanning different blogs that were nominated for the top 100 language blogs, and I was lamenting that I’m not finding anything even mentioning Wolof, and then I stumble into this! Very cool!

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