Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

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

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This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

11 Responses to Language quiz

  1. stormboy says:

    An indigenous language of Australia? Aranda/Arrernte?

  2. Nick Lombardo says:

    Based on what I thought I heard as /ð/ and /ɹ/ and maybe tones (though my ears aren’t the best for this stuff), Zapotec?

  3. bronz says:

    Am I hearing it wrong, or does it almost seem like she’s telling a story about Adam and Eve?

    I’m fairly certain it’s not a Zapotec language, which usually has a more complicated vowel system (such as long/short distinction, creaky voice, echoic, voiceless, etc.).

    The general sound of it makes me think African, but I’m not that sure about it. I was intrigued when I heard the alveolar flap come up towards the end of the recording, since the approximant has been so prominent from the very beginning. I’m really curious what language this is.

  4. Pavel says:

    I hear palatals, labialized velars and lots of nasals. I guess Guaraní.

  5. bennie says:

    I hear a lot of retroflex consonants, and it sounds like a cross between an Australian Aboriginal language and a Dravidian language. But I couldn’t detect any Sanskrit-derived words, and the way the speaker pronounces ‘Adam and Eve’ definitely sounds more like an Australian accent than an Indian one.

    So I’m going with an indigenous Australian language and guess that this is Pitjantjatjara.

  6. pennifer says:

    I have no serious idea, but I was thinking that it sounded like something from the Americas, more specifically West Coast US/Canada. But that’s a complete shot in the dark.

  7. Simon says:

    Here’s a clue – this is an indigenous language of Australia.

  8. stormboy says:

    If not Aranda, then Warlpiri or Dyirbal? These are the only others I know without checking a list.

  9. bennie says:

    Same goes for me. I’ve only heard of Pitjantjatjara, Arrernte, Tiwi, Yolngu, Warlpiri, Dyirbal and Guugu Yimithirr (without looking up a list). But it’s impossible for me to differentiate them apart. I doubt that that many people would be able to unless they actually speak one of these languages.

  10. Simon says:

    The answer is Alyawarr (a.k.a. Aljawara, Alyawarra, Alyawarre, Iliaura, Yowera), a Pama-Nyungan language spoken in Central Australia by about 1,450 people.

    The recording comes from the Global Recordings Network.

  11. stormboy says:

    bennie – Guugu Yimithirr, of course! What a great name. It was on the tip of my tongue ( still not right though).