Language quiz

Here’s a recording of a folk tale in a mystery language.

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

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

15 Responses to Language quiz

  1. prase says:

    Another wild guess: Nahuatl.

  2. Andrew says:

    Whatever it is it really sounds Scandinavian to me, especially at the beginning where its got a little bit of that musical quality to it that Swedish usually has. I don’t know which Scandinavian tongue it is, but I’m just going to guess that it’s from somewhere around there and hope I’m close 😀


  3. Jurčík says:

    Sounds any Asian language.

  4. stormboy says:

    Andrew – I had a similar feeling and thought that it might be a Sami language (not that I’ve ever heard one spoken!).

  5. michael farris says:

    Sounds more like something Inuit to me than anything else, but can’t say any more than that (and I wouldn’t bet money on it being Inuit).

  6. Daniel says:

    I think it’s an American language, actually.

  7. Trond Engen says:

    It’s not Sami. I pondered if it might be one of it’s more eastern relatives, but it doesn’t feel Uralic to me. I do think it’s something circumpolar, though. A wild guess on Chukchi?

  8. fiosachd says:

    It’s Ket (Остыганна ка’).

  9. fiosachd says:

    … and the last word is Russian (всё). It’s a story about a sick mother asking her children to bring her water … and she turns into a bird (which she imitates near the end).

  10. bennie says:

    Sounds ‘Siberianish’….maybe Chukchi?

  11. fiosachd says:

    Listening again more carefully, I see now that it’s impossible to understand the connection the story makes between the mother and her children without knowing Ket. The bird-call at the end is a cuckoo – given as «qoˀk hɨˀp, qoˀk huˀn» – which in Ket mean “one son, one daughter”.

    Chukchi doesn’t sound at all like Ket (and is, of course, wholly unrelated). Perhaps the most obvious difference is that Ket is word-tonal, Chukchi isn’t.

  12. Simon says:

    The language is indeed Ket, a language isolate spoken in Siberia and possibly related to the Athabaskan languages of North America.

    The recording comes from YouTube.

  13. TJ says:

    you know Simon, maybe you should open a betting place and put on some quizes lol

  14. jimutavahana says:

    Simon, your link seems to be wrong its directing me to the Warang chiti alphabet.

  15. Simon says:

    jimutavahana – I’ve corrected the link now. The Ket story is towards the end of the video.

    Stian – you’re right – it works with traditional characters.

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