Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

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

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

28 Responses to Language quiz

  1. TJ says:

    Very close to German. Maybe a dialect of German? or Yiddish?

  2. Sounded “nordic” to me. I don’t think it’s a dialect of German. If anything, seemed closer to Danish.

  3. Cefin gwlad says:

    It sounds exactly like Danish to me. But surely that would be too easy for the Omniglot quiz?!

  4. William says:

    Sounds very Nordic. The uvular fricative throws me off. It is a phoneme of Danish, but I do not here the stød to go with it.

    Southern Swedish (Skåne, Malmö)?

  5. Benjameno says:

    I believe it’s Danish.

  6. nomad says:

    Definitely a dialect of German. Swiss German (Schwyzerdütsch)?

  7. Christopher Miller says:

    Glo’ddal sdo’ps in the middle ov vø’rds, affrica’ded t(s)’s, ri’sing declaratsive intsona’tion, voicing of consonants… Listening tso thi’s, i’d was obvious thad the sbea’gas were tsa’lging in Danish.

  8. Christopher Miller says:

    (To William:) This recording has støds like written Vietnamese has diacritics! Al’t, læ’ser and so on; just listen for the intrusive glottal stops.

  9. michael farris says:

    Sounds like Danish. But while many Danish speakers sound like they’re trying to keep the exact sounds they’re making a secret, this seems exceptionally clearly articulated.

  10. Rauli says:

    Sounds a lot like Danish.

  11. Arakun says:

    @michael: It *is* exceptionally clearly articulated – just what you’d expect from a radio drama. It’s about a man reading his poems to a woman and she starts to feel more and more heartbroken since none of the poems are about her. At least that’s my interpretation of this short segment.

  12. Jayan says:

    lol bestemt dansk 😀 for nemt!
    lol definitely Danish 😀 too easy!

  13. Wulfahariaz says:

    It will also be interesting to hear how old this recording is. I may be wrong here, but my guess is that this kind of pronunciation would be a bit out of fashion these days. (I’m Swedish.)

  14. Christopher Miller says:

    An extra tidbit: if you go to this week’s “What’s new” on the Omniglot main page, there’s a link to the Tower of Babel story in three written versions, two of them with recorded voice versions.

  15. Christopher Miller says:

    ps- Sorry, I forgot to mention that this is a Danish version of the Tower of Babel…

  16. Daydreamer says:

    Since Danish is thought to be way too easy, the language must be Faeroese spoken in the Faeroe Islands, which has a stamp “official language” instead of “Danish dialect” on it.

  17. Christopher Miller says:

    Not Faroese. Faroese could be described as Icelandic spoken with a heavy Anglo-Irish accent (to oversimplify things to a fault).

  18. Jayan says:


    I hear this type of pronuniciation in a lot of the news and stuff, so I think it’s just that this is a more formal context.


    Faroese is from the Western Scandinavian branch while Danish is from the Eastern. So it’s way more than a weird dialect of Danish (though the weird part still stands :p).

  19. bennie says:

    Some obscure, rare and archaic dialect of Swedish/Norwegian/Danish spoken in some little village in the middle of nowhere…maybe??

  20. blaabaer says:

    Danish for sure. And I agree: The pronunciation is too artificial. Could be foreigners, non-natives? But it’s too Danish to be Gøtudansk. But still, maybe Faroese natives speaking Danish?

  21. Ezzai says:

    it is not German but it sounds Nordic … or at most Sweedish .. How to We Know the Answer? I am curious

  22. dreaminjosh says:

    Skånska maybe? It sounded a little Swedish to me and that’s the only dialect of it I know that might be popular enough to merit its’ own radio drama. Plus I keep hearing that uvular fricative “r” like Timbuktu uses when he raps in skånska:

  23. Simon says:

    The answer is Danish (dansk), which is spoken mainly in Denmark.

    The recording comes from

  24. Jayan says:

    told you all it was just newscaster danish…

  25. Andrew says:

    Wow, I would’ve guessed German. Danish is closer to German than I would’ve thought, apparently (I knew it was Germanic, but having studied Swedish before I didn’t think it was that close since Swedish is also “Germanic” and there’s no way you’re mistaking Swedish for German). Crazy. Thanks.


  26. formiko says:

    Danish usually sounds like the speaker has marbles in his mouth. This sounded clear, and I didn’t despise it as much. 😉

  27. Topper says:

    Even Danes often have trouble understanding their mumblings, so radio broadcasts need to be super clear. Also the pronunciation is a little bit old-fashioned. Definitely not contemporary Copenhagen dialect.

  28. Mary says:

    Its most definitely Swedish!

    Unless Danish is that close, which i know they are similar, but I heard some Swedish words in the dialouge…

%d bloggers like this: