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.

18 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Yenlit says:

    Well, I’m not normally very good at these weekly language quizzes but it definitely sounded Slavic and even I could hear something like ‘katolicki’ and ‘polski’ – Polish maybe or some dialect?

  2. fiosachd says:

    My first impression is that it’s Belorussian: he uses мова (rather than some variation on язык, język, језик) for ‘language’ – and it doesn’t seem to be Ukrainian (which also uses мова).

  3. joe mock says:

    Slavic, to be sure, and reminiscent of Polish – Kashubian or Sorbian?

  4. Lau says:

    @fiosachd, I heard język at least twice.

  5. fiosachd says:

    @ Lau: you’re right, he does, it’s just that the use of мова is what I found distinctive.

  6. William says:

    I heard the speaker say “po polsku,” which would mean “in Polish.” I would guess West Slavic – possibly Lechitic – meaning Polish, Kashubian, or Silesian.

    I might have heard nasal vowels (?), but I do not know if they are a part of each language’s phonology or Polish’s only.

  7. michael farris says:

    I was going to not comment, but since so many have already guessed, it’s Polish (of the standard, formal, speech-giving kind). Mowa can be used in Polish too, technically it means ‘speech’ (non-count) and is often used as a slightly flowerly word for spoken language.

    Basically he’s talkig about a school and how all the children are catholics and speak Polish and he mentions that in the past Polish was more common than German in said school. In 1910 the balance was 99-1 and by 1912 they were all Polish speaking.

  8. michael farris says:

    Oh, I just noticed, he uses the old fashioned ‘dark’ l for ł at the beginning ‘miejscowa szkoła’ associated with Polish east of the current borders now. But all the rest seem to have the normal modern pronunciation like w in English.

  9. Rauli says:

    I would say Polish as well. I didn’t know it sounds exactly like that, but I recognized it as a Slavic language and heard the “polski” words there.

  10. Yenlit says:

    I was pretty sure it was Polish as it’s the language I hear (other than English and Welsh, obviously) the most frequently and am passively picking up. In fact, saying that, I probably hear Polish *more* than I hear Welsh (I live just over the border in England) – some of my neighbours are Polish as too are my work colleagues and the majority of people I deal with at work are Slavic.

  11. prase says:

    It seems to be normal Polish, here is the attempted transcription (can contain bad orthography, I am not a Pole).

    Miejscowa szkola jest szkolą katolicką i w mowie polską. Wszestke dzieci są katolicke i po polsku mówiące. Kronykarzy prowadzili przes szereg łat specjalną statystykę. Z tej statystyky wynikało, że językem polskim posługiwało (?) się w roku tysiąc dziewięcset dziesiąty(m) dziewięćdziesiąt dziewięć dzieci mówiących językem niemieckim jeden (?) w roku tysiąc dziewięcset dwanaście językem polskim posługiwało się sto dwoje dzieci, z językem niemieckim żadno dziecko.

  12. Podolsky says:

    No doubt Polish.

  13. michael farris says:

    Pretty good, but with corrrections:

    “Miejscowa szkoła jest szkołą katolicką i w mowie polską. Wszystkie dzieci są katolickie i po polsku mówiące. Kronikarzy prowadzili przez szereg lat specjalną statystykę. I z tej statystyki wynikało, że językiem polskim posługiwało się w roku tysiąc dziewięcset dziesiąty dziewięćdziesiąt dziewięć, dzieci mówiących językem niemieckim jeden, w roku tysiąc dziewięcset dwanaściem językiem polskim posługiwało się sto dwoje dzieci, z językem niemieckim żadno dziecko.”

    quick and dirty translation:

    “The local school is a catholic school and in speech Polish. All the children are catholic and speaking Polish. Chroniclers conducted over many years special statistics and from these statistics, it turns out that Polish was used in 1910 by 99 children and German by one. In 1912, 102 children spoke Polish and no child spoke German.”

    There are a couple of grmmar irregularities here as well, among other things the children should be katolikami (a noun) instead katolickie (an adjective), also it should be dziesiątym and not dziesiąty, jedno (dziecko) and not jeden and dwunastym and not dwanaściem, and it should be żadne dziecko not żadno. I suspect the speaker does not live Poland, possibly to the east, though the content suggests somewhere closer to German speaking areas.

  14. Andrew says:

    I’m going to go with the crowd and say Polish–plus, he says “Polski” several times 😀 😀 😀


  15. Alex Semakin says:

    I’m going to go against the crowd and say Vietnamese! ;-)))

    Seriously, I recognized Polish when I heard it because it’s so similar to Russian and because the speaker articulated ‘Polski’ so well.

  16. Simon says:

    I thought it was Kashubian (kaszëbsczi jãzëk), which is spoken in mainly in Poland, as it comes from a YouTube video entitled Abecadło kaszubskie (Kashubian alphabet?). However perhaps it is Polish as spoken by a Kushubian, which might explain the grammatical irregularities.

  17. michael farris says:

    Abedadło can also mean ‘the ABC’s of’. So it’s more like “the ABC’s of (basic information about) Kashubia(n)”.

    Phonologically, except for that one ł, he sounds pretty standard. He’s translating from a German text at one point so that explains a little weirdness. Not sure where the other weird things come from (I might be mishearing a thing or two but not all of it)

    The school he’s talking about is in Studzienice, a little far south for Kashubian I would think.

  18. Squary says:

    Yup. It’s a particularly “prescriptive” pronounciation.

    Oh, and by the way, better not call Polish “język” in front of Polish speakers – it just means “language”, and would be considered silly at best. The same is true for quite a number of usages of the native word for “language” to refer to the language itself, like “bahasa” for Indonesian. It makes you sound savvy, but doesn’t make a lot of sense.

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