Language quiz

Here’s a text in a mystery language sent in by Stuart Johnson. Do you know or can you guess which language it is, and where the text comes from?

Language quiz 11/08/07

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

6 Responses to Language quiz

  1. David says:

    I’m gonna say Tok Pisin, but I have no idea where the text comes from.

  2. breckes says:

    I think it’s the beginning of the Gospel of John. “Tok” (from “talk”) is probably “the Word” and “God is probably “God”, and “Jon” is probably “John”. And it is clearly “Tok Pisin”.

  3. Jangari says:

    “Nogat” ‘no’ is a clear sign that it’s Tok Pisin. Most of the other traits would be consistent with other creoles of the region.

  4. d.m.falk says:

    Ditto. It’s definitely Tok Pisin, one of the official languages of Papua New Guinea.


  5. Ben says:

    Well, we know it’s Tok Pisin, and I’ve pinpointed it to the beginning of John. However, upon looking up a version of the Tok Pisin bible, it made me realize that this is not the translation I had found. I was looking at the Common Language Translation version. I wonder if we snoop around a bit, we can find the version this text came from.


  6. Simon says:

    It is indeed Tok Pisin, and the text is the beginning of the Gospel of John. Here’s an English version:

    1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    2. The same was in the beginning with God.
    3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    4. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
    5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
    6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
    7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
    8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

    Ben – does your version of the Tok Pisin bible have a translation of the Tower of Babel story (Genesis 11: 1-9)? If so, could you send me the text? Thanks.

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