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, Puzzles.

7 Responses to Language quiz

  1. J Roberts says:

    Sounds very much like chiShona or something very closely related like Manyika or iKalanga

  2. José says:

    If it’s not Swahili, it must be close to it, maybe Shikomor, Kinyarwanda…?

  3. J Roberts says:

    I dont’ think it’s Swahili. I’ve had another listen. Some words like “pambere”, “kuti” initially made me think Shona, but the typical whistling sounds weren’t there. I’ve ruled out Shona-like so Manyika, Kalanga, Ndau, Tonga and moved north, it sounds similar to Chewa but I don’t think it is. Is it Tumbuka?

  4. Chris Miller says:

    It sounds very closely related to Swahili and also like Swahili doesn’t sound tonal. One of the main differences here is that it has [β], which shows up in Swahili as [w], for example in the human plural noun class ‘βa’ instead of Swahili ‘wa’. It must be a northern or eastern Tanzanian language very closely related to Swahili if not some phonologically conservative Swahili dialect I don’t know about or perhaps once did and have since forgotten.

  5. C Murdock says:

    Semi-random guess: Tshivenda

  6. Simon says:

    J Roberts got it – the answer is Tumbuka (chiTumbuka), a Bantu language spoken in parts of Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania by about 2 million people.

    The recording comes from the Global Recordings Network.

  7. renato says:

    thanks a lot for the link site “The recording comes from the Global Recordings Network”.

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