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.

11 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Daydreamer says:

    I think it’s Armenian.

  2. Chris Miller says:

    I think it’s most likely a western hemisphere language, either in Mexico/Central America or somewhere in Western South America. No ideas yet to narrow it down though.

  3. Trond Engen says:

    Something makes me want to say Basque, but I can’t hear a single Spanish loan or any word-final k’s. Still I think it’s non-IE but European or borderline so. The obvious place to look would be the Caucasus, but I can’t recognize any Russian loans either, and the phoneme set sounds far too reasonable. (Could I possibly be overestimating my ability to recognize loans from languages I don’t know? No, hardly.) Maybe Daydreamer is right and it’s Armenian, perhaps expatriate Armenian. But I’ll go back to Basque.

    [Daydreamer, I’ve been meaning to ask. Are you the same Daydreamer my wife knows from someweb completely different?]

  4. Daydreamer says:

    I must admit that the main reason for picking Armenian was the occurence of word final (vowel-ts-vowel) that seems to be a grammatical morpheme in that language. And the lack of Russian loanwords could be a feature of the variety spoken by the vast community of Armenian immigrants to France (i.e. singer Charles Aznavour and the like).
    But, the more I write about it the more it becomes clear that I may be completely wrong.
    (@Trond Engen: No way. Simon’s site is the only place I use Daydreamer as a nick. My regards to your wife, anyway.)

  5. Simon says:

    Here’s a clue: this language is spoken in South America.

  6. d.m.falk says:

    I was thinking it sounded Indian of origin (as in India), so I’ll hazard a guess at Sarnami, the Bhojpuri creole spoken in Suriname.


  7. Simon says:

    The answer is Nomatsiguenga (Matsigenka), an Arawakan language spoken in Peru by about 350 people.

    The recording comes from the Global Recordings Network.

  8. Rauli says:

    I actually thought it might be Machiguenga after googling around for the word tasorintsi, which is said several times. Didn’t dare say anything because I cheated 😉

  9. Simon says:

    That’s not cheating, but rather using the information available intelligently.

  10. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    I wondered if it could be MapudungĂșn (before looking at the comments above), because I thought I caught a word like Araucana two or three times, and a word like Chile at least once. However, I don’t think the Mapuche use the term Araucania for their land, so I was off on a false trail (even if it did get me to the right continent).

  11. Rommel says:

    I don’t know what this language is.
    One thing I do know: it is not Armenian.

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