Language quiz

Here’s a photo of a sign in a mystery language sent in by Lara, who took it while on holiday. Do you know or can you guess which language it is?

Sign in mystery language

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This entry was posted in Language.

16 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Colm says:

    Is it Papiamento, a creole language of Aruba?

  2. Mike says:

    I’m going to guess Guinea-Bissau Creole.

  3. Jerry says:

    I’m sure it’s Papiamentu

  4. segosa says:

    Whatever it is, I can understand it.

  5. It must be a Portuguese or Spanish creole, because I can understand almost all of it.

    It it written:

    “Dear visitor,

    We are working hard to make our infrastructure better (lit. “optimize our infrastructure”). We want to create a place (lit. “environment”) as nice (lit. “agréable”) as possible for you, in two months. (I’m not sure about “two”, but it seems to be that)

    We wish you to have a pleasant stay, and we “kórda” (“we remember you”?):

    We are wating you “right again” (something like it).

    By the way, Google tell us that “atrobe” is Papiamento. Thus…

  6. TJ says:

    hmm is there a chance for Basque?

  7. Giovanni says:

    It is a Portuguese creole for sure. I’ll say Cape Verdian Creole.

  8. renato figueiredo says:

    ” and the Oscar goes to’ Colm, Jerry and José, of course is Papiamento, spoken in Aruba, one of the three Netherlands Antilles island in Caribbean Sea. José made a very good translation.

  9. James says:

    (as always without reading comments)

    It´s very close to Portuguese, but not standard. Gallago, but I don´t think so (I once read a gallegan poem in a spanish novel with the help of a brazilian friend).

    the spelling is very interesting (k for the [k] sound is like text messaging in spanish.

    It means roughly

    Dear visitor,

    we are working hard to improve our infrastructure, we want to make the best possible environment for you, [i nos mes... something about months... must be the period of time: in 9 months?] We wish you a pleasant stay, and remember,

    we are looking forward to see you again soon (that´s a bit of a guess, no idea what atrobe is)

    J

  10. BG says:

    TJ: Basque is not an Indo-European language, but an isolate. It is not related to Romance languages even though it is spoken near them and has Romance based orthography.

  11. TJ says:

    BG: Yep I know :) although when you read some words in Basque it has some sense of spanish …… I mean in sense of sounds or so!
    But anyway I see everyone agrees that this language is spoken in some island ……. but the argument goes to which island is it! :)

  12. Mike says:

    Could “i nos mes” maybe mean something like, “and us as well”?

    “We want to make the best possible environment for you, and us as well!”

  13. ManuFM says:

    Mike, ‘i nos mes’ has an ellipted word, ‘pa’ (for). The sentence would be ‘pa abo, i pa nos mes’. So, in English, we should say: ‘to you, and for us as well’.

  14. ManuFM says:

    Sorry: ‘for you, and for us as well’.

  15. Simon says:

    The answer is Papiamentu, which is also spelled Papimento, a Creole spoken mainly on the Caribeann islands of Curaçao, Bonaire, and Aruba. It’s a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, and also has some Arawak and African influences.

    Lara took the photo in Curaçao, part of the Netherlands Antilles. The sign is from a UNESCO funded restoration of the capital Willemstad.

  16. James says:

    yes it was the ellipsis that got me:

    i pa nos mes’. ´y para nosotros “más”´

    oh, and (oops) I was not the first to translate, but zt least we basically agree