Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

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

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This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

17 Responses to Language quiz

  1. bennie says:

    Tamil….if not, another Dravidian language (Telugu, Malayalam etc.)

  2. Christopher Miller says:

    My reaction, too. Lots of Hindu deities’ names and the intonation make this clearly a language of India; there are no aspirated stops — voiceless or voiced — and a lot of doubled (geminate) consonants. Also the quality of the long /a:/ reminds me of what I hear when I hear Tamil spoken, so i’m certain it’s a Dravidian language, and without knowing enough to tell the difference between them, I’ll guess it’s Tamil.

  3. Vivaek Shivakumar says:

    I speak Tamil. It’s Tamil :)

  4. jimutavahana says:

    this is definitely Tamil but not conversational Tamil and is therefore is not that easy to follow. The speaker is talking about knowing the Vedas and appeasing the gods for a son-several gods are quoted but Murugan is important. A son is born to her and she teaches him all the vedas and the prayers.

  5. Rauli says:

    Something from India. A lot of retroflex plosives.

  6. Trond Engen says:

    Before opening the answers, my thought was that it’s definitely Indian, and that it seems to have the derivational endings of a Dravidian language. I think it takes a language community of both size and political authonomy to produce that sort of radio lecture in India. Tamil is taken, so I’ll go for Malayalam.

  7. Rauli says:

    Oops, I meant to say “consonants” instead of “plosives”.

  8. Jurčík says:

    It´s silimar to Kannada, so it´s a Dravidian language. Telugu, Malayalam or Tamil.

  9. Petréa Mitchell says:

    Not just deities’ names, but several other loanwords from Sanskrit (or one of its descendants). I’ll go with Dravidian too.

  10. michael farris says:

    I thought it was Tamil based on the overall Dravidian sound and frequent -le’s I was hearing I was assuming they were the spoken locative (as opposed to formal locative -(v)il so I’m surprised it’s not conversational.

  11. prase says:

    Before reading the comments my guess was Telugu.

  12. Luke says:

    Was gonna guess Malayalam, but Kerala is the only part of South India I’ve been to, so that’s where my mind went.

  13. Simon says:

    The answer is Tamil (தமிழ்), which is spoken in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malayasia and a number of other countries.

    The recording comes from Tamil Amudham, a Tamil radio station based in Detroit.

  14. Austin says:

    I was going to guess Hindi, but it looks like some Tamil speakers have already spoiled it for us all. :)

  15. My guess was Hindi too, haven’t heard much of Tamil. Maybe is time to get to know the dialect.

  16. Luke says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s a dialect, Tamil is Dravidian, Hindi is Indo-European. They definitely share areal features and sound similar to the untrained ear, but are unrelated languages (although there’s been a lot of vocabulary shared, mostly from Indo-European to Dravidian)

  17. Provi says:

    Before the comments I thought it was something from the Middle East.