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.

10 Responses to Language quiz

  1. michael farris says:

    At first I thought something dravidian but then I noticed – no fricatives, so now I’m thinking something Australian, but I have no earthly idea which aboriginal language it could be.

  2. P. says:

    Gosh, this sure sounds like something in the Formosan group. My guess would be Rukai, though I don’t think that’s it. (Amis? Saisiyat?)

  3. bennie says:

    It sounds like an Australian Aboriginal language because of the retroflex ‘R’s. I was hoping for an English loan word or the name of a modern city somewhere in the passage which could easily confirm this as an Australian Aboriginal language if it was pronounced with an Australian acccent like the one that Simon put up a few months ago. But there was none. But I’m still going with an indigenous Australian language.

  4. Chris Miller says:

    It sounds very much like an Australian Aboriginal language to me too, because of the retroflex /ɻ/ sounds and also the final palatal /ɲ/ and what seems to be initial word stress.

    Of course, that leaves one with a continent’s worth of languages!

    Just because there is a final palatal nasal in the name of Yidiny, I toss a wild guess that way…

  5. Jonathan K. says:

    Sounds Australian to me too. I’ll put in a well-known one: Warlpiri.

  6. André says:

    Yolngu Matha?/a dialect thereof?

  7. Simon says:

    The answer is Djambarrpuyngu, a Pama-Nyungan language spoken in the Northern Territory of Australia.

    The recording comes from the Global Recordings Network.

  8. TJ says:

    hehe ok … we need a now a pronunciation guide to say the language’s own name!

  9. André says:

    woahh first time i’ve ever been right then! :D

  10. d.m.falk says:

    It’s ironic that I didn’t give an answer this time– I recognised it as a language from northern Northern Australia (that may seem redundant, but isn’t), as it were similar to the words of the great Aboriginal singer Gurrumul ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Gurrumul_Yunupingu ), whose voice is one of the most beautiful in any language. If you’ve never heard Gurrumul sing, you’re missing a treat! (And it’s worth it just to buy his CD- I bought mine direct from Australia, although it’s domestically available here in the US– I knew the money from my purchase would go directly towards furthering Aboriginal arts, as the label in Australia it’s released on is Aboriginal-owned.)

    He has several videos on YouTube.

    (And yes, one of the languages he sings in is this week’s language challenge.)

    d.m.f.