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, Quiz questions.

15 Responses to Language quiz

  1. MäcØSŸ says:

    It may be Hebrew, but it’s a bit weird…

  2. prase says:

    Sounds Polynesian. I heard “Manukau” twice, and since it is a city in New Zealand, I guess Maori. (At first, I thought it was some variety of Japanese, thanks to the frequent use of “wa” syllable.)

  3. William says:

    I hear glottal stops (so I think), which rules out Maori.

    Going on the presence of glottal stops, labio-velar approximant (‘w’), and a seeming dearth of fricatives, I will still say something Polynesian, however.

  4. Christopher Miller says:

    Hmm, Andrea Barnett: is that the girl who wanted to sail around the world but had to abandon ship?
    Definitely Polynesian; with the [v] sounds, I would guess Samoan but don’t know enough to make any more accurate guess.

  5. Petréa Mitchell says:

    I’m thinking Polynesian too, but all I can say beyond that is it’s not Hawaiian.

  6. d.m.falk says:

    Either Samoan or Tokelauan.

    d.m.f.

  7. TJ says:

    Kinda off the track here, but it made me feel a bit like a native american. Navajo?

  8. Podolsky says:

    I think it is Hawaiian. No doubt it’s Polynesian, but what is characteristic of Hawaiian is K instead of T in other languages.

  9. Christopher Miller says:

    However this excerpt has /t/, /s/, /f/ and /ŋ/, for which Hawaiian only has no /k/, /h/, /h/ and /n/ respectively. It is definitely from the southern Polynesian area and the pronunciation of “Andrea Barnett” in the second half sounds like an approximation of an Australian or New Zealand accent.

  10. Christopher Miller says:

    Oh, I forgot the/r/, for which Hawaiian has only /l/.

  11. joe mock says:

    I’d say Maori, though with Polynesian languages ……

  12. Simon says:

    The answer is Tongan (Faka-Tonga), which is spoken mainly in Tonga.

    The recording comes from Radio New Zealand International.

  13. TJ says:

    Faka-Tonga?
    That’s funny. “Fak” in Arabic means “jaw” ! :)

  14. Evans Knight says:

    argh! dammit! i just figured out how to tell Tongan from other polynesian langs the other day, and i missed this challenge! curses!

  15. prase says:

    TJ: Well, “fak” has also an English meaning, even if spelled a bit differently, and some people certainly would find it more funny than “jaw”. Which reminds me that in colloquial Czech some people use the question “fakt, jo?” when hearing something surprising or strange. It means “really?” (literally “fact, yes?”), but for English speakers it sounds like something which I think the spam filter would not allow to publish if spelled correctly.