Language quiz

Here’s a recording of a short conversation in a mystery language.

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

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

12 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Jayarava says:

    Reminds me of hearing the Pirahã recordings made by Dan Everett. So I’d guess South America/Amazonian with no great hope of being right.

  2. Rauli says:

    To me it sounds like some native (North) American language, but I don’t really have any real knowledge of them. Sounds like the other speaker is not very fluent.

  3. joe mock says:

    Amerindian I would suppose, unless it’s some weird paleo-siberian language … reminds me vaguely of Navaho, though I’m pretty sure it isn’t.

  4. Sandra says:

    english backwards spoken? ;-)

  5. Trond Engen says:

    Spoken slow and carefully with much repetition of elements. A dialogue exercise in a language class? The word nurses towards the end makes it clear that it’s North American. I don’t think I hear Athabaskan agglutination. Beyond that I have no idea. Lakota? Oh, checking the WP article on Lakota I see that it has ejectives. I’ll stick to that.

  6. d.m.falk says:

    Just on a hunch- and that it’s local to me- I’m going to say Yurok. :) There have been intense efforts (with some success) to preserve and teach the language in recent years.


  7. Andrew says:

    Definitely going to go with Native North American – Navajo or Cherokee maybe?


  8. fiosachd says:

    It sounds something like Arapaho to me.

  9. Simon says:

    Here’s a clue: this is an Algonquian language spoken in the USA and Canada.

  10. renato says:

    I thinks it is blackfoot

  11. Christopher Miller says:

    Thanks for the clue Simon! I couldn’t guess anything more than an indigenous NA language otherwise. This helped me figure out a partial transcription:

    Tsa kitaanikkooh? Nitaanikkooh Keith. Tsa kitaanikkooh? Nitaanikkooh Narcisse.
    You, what’s you name? My name’s Keith. You, what’s your name? My name is Narcisse.

    The ‘tsa’ appears cognate to Cree kiila/kiiya/kiidha/kiina/tshiiya/tshiin (depending on the dialect). This doesn’t seem to be part of the Ojibwe continuum because of the palatalization on the pronoun (if I’m right in assuming this is what it is, rather than perhaps a question particle). Other Algonkian languages that straddle the border are Abenaki-Penobscot and Maliseet in the east and Blackfoot/Siksika in the west. Because of the long /s/ in one of the words and the French Greek-Classical name Narcisse which reminds me of the name of Ovide Mercredi, a western Cree who was former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, I’m going to guess Blackfoot.

  12. Simon says:

    The answer is Blackfoot (Siksiká), which is spoken in the US state of Montana and the Canadian province of Alberta.

    The recording comes from this site.