Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

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

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

8 Responses to Language quiz

  1. d.m.falk says:

    It’s either Salish or Chinook jargon- Chinook is mentioned at least once, if not twice. This would be from the Cascadia region (Washington/Oregon in the US; British Columbia in Canada).


  2. Petréa Mitchell says:

    It certainly sounds reminiscent of samples of a couple of Chinookan/Penutian languages I’ve heard at a museum here in Oregon (The Museum at Warm Springs, run by the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, three tribes of which two have native languages from that group).

  3. d.m.falk says:

    @PetrĂ©a Mitchell – I wouldn’t be surprised, since Chinook jargon, aka Chinook wawa, was a pidgin language, borrowing vocabularies and some grammar from across the Cascadia region and the Rockies, and greatly simplifying them as to make it usable as a Lingua Franca for trade and diplomacy. Because of its success, it was known as far as the great Mississippi River, and a good deal why Lewis & Clark, with Sacagawea, were successful in exploring a route to the Pacific. Today, very few know Chinook wawa, since English supplanted most native languages, which is sad, as it certainly was one of the greatest native inventions.

    (I’ve been wrong here most of the time, but I think I’m close, if not right. I think the sample is Chinook wawa, with a Salish language as a secondary guess.)


  4. michael farris says:

    Sounds a lot like Choctaw to me.

  5. michael farris says:

    Now I’m sure it’s Choctaw, it begins hattak achaffa (the fist man/person) and there’s lots of roots and affixes I recognize, mat -tok (past tense) and a few roots too (biika – sick).

  6. bennie says:

    A language from the Siouan or Algonquian family. I’m not sure about Salishan because I thought Salish languages would have lots of complex consonant clusters and ejectives. I just couldn’t pick out any. Maybe it’s just my hearing.

  7. Chris Miller says:

    My impressions:
    1. It’s clearly either a tonal or a pitch accent with two basic levels.
    2. With the lateral fricative, geminate consonants and long vowels, I get the impression of a Muskogean language. This because of the relatively simple CV(C) syllable structure, in contrast with the anything goes consonant sequences of northwest North American languages.
    3. There also seems to be a nasal vowel or two in there, but there’s no way to tell if it’s merely a superficial phonetic variant of something else.

  8. Simon says:

    Michael Farris got it – the answer is Choctaw (Chahta Anumpa), a Western Muskogean language spoken mainly in parts of Oklahoma in the USA.

    The recording comes from the Global Recordings Network.

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