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.

17 Responses to Language quiz

  1. prase says:

    It sounds a lot like French, but it clearly isn’t French. To make a guess, I take Breton, even if I don’t think it really is Breton.

  2. Trond Engen says:

    The beginning sounds mock French; the rhythm, melody and (rough) phonology is there, except there’s both [r} and (uvular) [R], but I don’t recognize a word before “… (coumme?) Brazil, la vie …”. The middle is still French in melody but more, er, maybe North African in phonology. Towards the end there are a few sequences that could be Spanish phrases. Maybe whatever it is is spoken with a heavy French accent? That doesn’t help in narrowing the search, though, so I’ll rather try a French-based creole with substantial Iberian input. Apparently there are none of those left in Africa, so I’ll have to look elsewhere. Did he really say “Brazil”? Karipúna? But I’m probably totally off base.

  3. Christopher Miller says:

    It sounds like a Mayan language to me (and the background music even sounds Mexican!). I’d hazard a guess at Cakchiquel…

  4. Matthew Howie says:

    Is it Galician (Galego) spoken in NW Spain and N Portugual?

  5. joe mock says:

    I’ll go with a native language from somewhere in Latin America. It’s not Quechua (final stress rules that out) and probably not Nahuatl (no tl’s), but large enough to be used on the radio – so,perhaps Mayan or Guarani.

  6. I’d say some Amerindian language, based on the cadence and a few Spanish words like “Junio”.

  7. michael farris says:

    I’m about 98 % sure this is something Mayan, but I have no way of knowing which of the 20 or so Mayan languages it is.

    I’ll guess Tzotzil.

  8. Petréa Mitchell says:

    I think I heard Spanish month names, so I’d go with something Mesoamerican.

  9. Daydreamer says:

    I’m torn between Basque spoken in Northern Spain and South Western France and Garífuna spoken in Belize.

  10. Maggie says:

    It’s definetely not Basque…I was actually kind of thinking Catalan, maybe?

  11. Christopher Miller says:

    My first impression (because of the repeated -ik) was of Basque-but-not-quite-there, and because of this I was stuck for a while not quite able to put my finger on what it might be. I doubt it’s Basque, because it has no trilled r, nor three different sibiliants, but *does* have an ejective k’ near the end and syllables ending in -k, -tx (-ch), -j and -l (that I can make out from the recording), which seems like what I recall of Mayan languages. Basque would normally have an -e following tx at the end of a word, and the -txt- that appears to be in the middle of one word in the recording would be impossible in Basque (it would reduce to -xt-); also, syllables cannot end in -j in Basque. The overall sense I get from the phonological structure here is that it seems like what I know of Mayan languages and doesn’t resemble anything else I know of.

    I just listened to some YouTube samples of Garifuna, but what they have seems to have much more open syllables, with some nasal finals. I doubt that’s what it is.

    Well, I’m curious to see what Simon reveals to us tomorrow!

  12. TJ says:

    I would guess something related to Mayan. There seem to be many glottal stops in between.

  13. Aron says:

    I first thought it was Basque, then a Mayan language.

  14. Jim Morrison says:

    I think it’s sound has more Spanish influences than French. It is definitely not Catalan and I don’t think it is Basque.

    Wild Guess: Quechua!

  15. Dennis King says:

    Maya certainly. Yucatec?

  16. Simon says:

    The answer is Tsotsil (Bats’i k’op), which is spoken in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

    The recording comes from YouTube.

  17. michael farris says:

    Suck It Biotches! I effin’ RULE!!!!!

    … uhm sorry about that I was just happy at having guessed right, though the only reason I said Tzotzil was that I was once in the area where it (and Tzeltal) are spoken.