Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

Can you guess the language and where it’s spoken?

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This entry was posted in Language.

17 Responses to Language quiz

  1. prase says:

    Samoan. This is a dummy text whose only purpose is to make the comment bigger, since short comments are automatically rejected.

  2. michael farris says:

    My first thought was that it was Hebrew spoken with a Chinese accent, but I don’t think that’s a real option…

  3. Christopher Miller says:

    I hesitate between Samoan and Maori..There are things I her that remind me of both..

  4. joe mock says:

    Reasonably sure it’s Polynesian, but beyond that it’s hard to pinpoint.

  5. Čuovggas-Mikkal says:

    Sounds like Samoan to me.

  6. Trond Engen says:

    Čuovggas-Mikkal: Sounds like Samoan to me.

    Funny. I spent the better part of the clip trying to recognize words and inflexion endings of what sounded like a Finnic language. Surely, the similarity of the names Saami and Samoan can’t have come about by accident!

  7. xarxa says:

    is it papiamentu?

  8. Čuovggas-Mikkal says:

    @ Trond Engen

    I don’t know if that’s a Uralic language or not but I really don’t think that’s any Finnic language or a Sámi language. If it was, I’d understand some of it since I’m native Finnish and northern Sami speaker and also speak intermediate Karelian and fluent Estonian.

  9. Chris Miller says:

    You can hear her say tangata ‘man’ (equivalent to Hawaiian kanaka) once or twice. Most likely Samoan or Maori, perhaps another Polynesian language but definitely Polynesian. You can also hear something like ‘faka-’ which may be the Maori whaka- prefix, which makes me doubt Samoan because I think (but don’t know for sure) that Samoan has fa’a- instead.

  10. Trond Engen says:

    @ Mikkal:

    I know it’s not Uralic, but that really was my first impression, based on sentence melody and even some phonology (but I can’t play sounds now, so I won’t go back for examples). I gave it up about halfay through when I concluded that whatever it is, the grammar is nothing like Uralic.

  11. Simon says:

    It is a Polynesian language, though not one of the ones mentioned so far.

  12. TJ says:

    hmmmmm… Sakao? :)
    silly guess… pardon me :)

  13. renato says:

    TJ, maybe isn’t too sily, if you see at this Sunday news, Simon put a new language Sakao. Maybe this is the answer.

  14. Christopher Miller says:

    OK — maybe Tongan?

  15. TJ says:

    @renato: in fact yes, this is what made me say Sakao :)

  16. Bennie says:

    Rapa Nui ….okay, that was a wild guess.

  17. Simon says:

    The answer is Niuean (ko e vagahau Niuē), which is spoken in New Zealand, Niue, Tonga and the Cook Islands, and is closely related to Tongan.

    The recording comes from Radio New Zealand International.