Where in the world?

Here’s a photo of a mystery city somewhere in Asia. Do you know which city it is, which languages are spoken there, and which alphabet(s) they use?

Where in the world is this city?

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions, Travel.

12 Responses to Where in the world?

  1. Jeksi says:

    Looks like something kind of high-tech. I’m going to take kind of a wild guess with somewhere in Japan or Russia (Because of the snow and the high-tech architecture).
    Japan – Japanese – Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji
    Russia – Russian – Cyrillic

  2. d.m.falk says:

    My guess is Ulan Baatar, Mongolia. Principle languages spoken are Mongolian, Russian and Chinese. Mongolian is written in both Cyrillic and traditional scripts… (A copy of a Mongolian-labguage newspaper in traditional script- there is a weekly published in UB and dailies in Chinese Mongolian autonomous region- is something I’m seeking….)

    The clue: The indic/Tibetan-style wheel– Mongolia practices Tibetan Buddhism.


  3. prase says:

    I would guess Harbin, China (with Mandarin and Manchu languages, even if I do not know up to what extent the latter is still a living language).

    Or maybe somewhere in South Korea (Korean language, Hangeul script).

  4. BG says:

    @prase: There are only a few native speakers of Manchu still alive (70 according to Wikipedia), but some people are trying to revive it. I believe this was in a previous Omniglot blog entry.

    The wheel means it is probably somewhere in the influence of Tibetan Buddhism, so as d.m.falk said, Ulaanbaatar is where I would guess. I think a city in Tibet would be too obscure.

  5. d.m.falk says:

    The (post?-)Soviet-style apartment complex (behind the yellow skyscraper) was another clue to me– UB wasn’t a true city- there were none in Mongolia- until after the establishment of communisim, and people started living in apartment complexes. Mongolia, as far as I know, is the only country to have ever truly benefited from communism, allowing the Mongolians to modernise and reestablish a national identity. (Not that I favour communism, mind you- I don’t.) Mongolia is still trying to find its place in a post-Communist era, but as it hardly gets any recognition, it also suffers from lack of investment. It’s one of Asia’s poorest countries.


  6. Simon says:

    It isn’t Ulaan Baatar or Harbin. It’s the capital of a country in Central Asia.

  7. OCCASVS says:

    Бишкек (Bishkek) – Кыргызстан (Kyrgyzstan)
    Languages spoken: Kyrgyz, Russian

  8. Simon says:

    The answer is Астана, Казахстана (Astana, Kazakhstan), where they speak mainly Kazakh and Russian, and also Uzbek, Kyrgyz. They write with the Cyrillic alphabet, but there have been moves to adopt the Latin alphabet for Kazakh.

  9. BG says:

    Nobody guessed correctly.

  10. hash says:

    Urumqi. They speak Uyghur there.

  11. ok says:

    what’s the answer after all?

  12. Simon says:

    ok – the answer is given above in my comment – Astana, Kazakhstan.

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