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. Rauli says:

    Considering that he’s speaking _about_ Inari Sami language, I assume he’s also speaking _in_ Inari Sami language. I think he says he’s living in Helsinki at the moment, in the district called Pohjois-Haaga, but he’s originally from Inari, Lapland.

  2. Trond Engen says:

    I second Rauli’s guess. I started out thinking that it sounds more Sami than Finnish, but not exactly North Saami. and then more Finnish, and then Sami again. I briefly pondered some Karelian variety from east of the Russian border, but when he came to the giveaway Anars it all made sense. Of the other compound elements jäuri (sp?) “lake” is between Finnish järvi and North Sami jávri, kiela “tongue; language” between kieli and giella. Some phonology, especially the frequent š, is definitely not Finnish. But I don’t speak any Finnish language, so someone speaking in one language about the other might well fool me.

  3. Rauli says:

    I happen to be Finnish, and that’s why I know it isn’t the Finnish language.

  4. Petréa Mitchell says:

    I thought it sounded Finnish, but I’ll take the native speaker’s word that it isn’t. :-) If Saami hadn’t been mentioned, my second guess would have been Estonian.

  5. prase says:

    Inari Sami, I suppose. He seems to say “anarâškielâ” near the end. I am surprised how much similar to Finnish it sounds.

  6. Trond Engen says:

    Rauli: I had you mapped as Finnish and didn’t mean to question your knowledge, just to tell about the impressions I got while listening.

    I understand that there used to be more of a dialect continuum between (Southern) Finnish and Sami, lost as the Finnish dialects moved north, so the extinct Sami dialects around Kuusamo were even closer to Karelian. Or whatever archaic northern variety I can pretend to have meant. Similarly, there used to be a Sami continuum from Dalarna in Sweden to the Eastern tip of the Kola, but this was lost with a movement from southwest, probably related to largescale reindeerherding. The result was that the dialect of the sedentary Sami around lake Inari became sharply distinguished from its neighbours. (More or less accurately — I’d have to dig out Sammalahti to straighten out the details.)

  7. Laurits says:

    Yeah, definitely Inari Sami.

    In the beginning he mentions some Finnish place names in the Helsinki area. Maybe that’s what makes it sound a bit Finnish.

  8. Simon says:

    The answer is indeed Inari Sámi (anarâškielâ), an Eastern Sámi language spoken in Inari in Finland by about 300 people.

  9. Rauli says:

    Trond: Don’t worry, I never thought you were questioning my knowledge, I just wanted to confirm your decision that it isn’t Finnish.

    By the way, the place names mentioned are Helsinki (capital of Finland), Pohjois-Haaga (a district of Helsinki, Tave-Haaga in Inari Sami), Martinlaakso (a district of Vantaa, which is also mentioned, and which is located to the north of Helsinki). My birth place was just a few kilometres from Martinlaakso, and now I’m living just a few kilometres from Pohjois-Haaga :D

  10. vuotopiuscuro says:

    immerhin hatte ich auf finnisch getippt, ist doch schon was ..

    i pointed finish first and had some suspect by missing some finnish characteristics .. such as repetitive vocals .. and finnish is somehow “funnier” than the language in this audio ..

  11. Tom Edwards says:

    It sounds Finnish to me, but I am not a native speaker. Great discussion on dialect.