Name the language

Here is a short text in a mystery language sent in by Shair Ahmed. Do you know or can you guess which language it is?

Tíobáhai hi báaiso kohoaihíaisóogabagaí. Tí ‘ísi báaiso ‘ogabagai, gíiai ‘ogihíaihiaba. Tíobáhai hi ‘ísi báaiso ‘oaboihaí. ‘Ahoakohoaihio ‘ísi kaopápihaí.

Clue: the name of this language looks a bit fishy.

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

15 Responses to Name the language

  1. Tolkien_Freak says:

    I knew I saw this somewhere, it was a part of Vreleksá’s ‘What Language Is This’ thread.

    It’s Piraha.

  2. Aeetlrcreejl says:

    I should have told you all not to post here.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This language is clearly Arabic, as the person who submitted it has an Arabic name.

  4. dmh says:

    My guess is the “language” that comes up when you have your character encodings set up incorrectly and the browser doesn’t recognize the real language. Of course, that’s just what it looks like to me 😉

  5. ٍAbdul-Rahman says:

    I can tell you one thing: this is definitely not Arabic.

  6. Marco A. Cruz says:

    It seem to me a polynesian language: it looks agglutinant, among other details…

  7. d.m.falk says:

    My first thought was Chinook.


  8. pittmirg says:

    It is Pirahã (piranha ;D), spoken in Brazil. The language has one of the smallest phoneme inventories in the world.

  9. Daydreamer says:

    Funny that noone seems to believe Tolkien_Freak, but doesn’t mention another language the name of which reminds of the name of a fish (as Piraha, spoken in Central Brazil, and Piranha does).
    And the first word “tíobahái” simply means “child”. Believe or not.

  10. Simon says:

    It is indeed Pirahã, a language spoken by about 150 people along the Maici river, a tributary of the Amazon in Brazil.

  11. TJ says:

    to tell the truth, the text with all these accent marks on vowels, looks like Irish for the first instance!!

  12. Stuart says:


    I notice you haven’t got this particular language on the main Omniglot page – will you be adding it?

  13. Simon says:

    Stuart – I do plan to add a page about Pirahã to Omniglot soon.

  14. BG says:

    I also thought it looked a bit like Irish. Pirahã has the least number of phonemes if [k] and the tones aren’t counted. Otherwise it is Rotokas, if long vowels aren’t counted. See Wikipedia for more info. (Just a random note)

  15. Simon says:

    There’s now a page about Pirahã on Omniglot.

%d bloggers like this: