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.

12 Responses to Language quiz

  1. andre says:

    Well the repetition and slow speaking suggests it’s from a language course of some sort, I got that far… I’m fairly sure I heard the alveolar lateral affricate as well :) (Pointing towards Amerindian languages)

  2. TJ says:

    hmmm not sure but does it sound like counting Navajo or Heidi?

  3. My guess is Maranao

  4. David Craig says:

    Sounded Navajo to me, but it could have been Apache.

  5. Dennis King says:

    It seems to be mainly Navajo number words, possibly a telephone number: 2, 4, 5, 8, 9 are in there.

  6. PR says:

    Yes, I also think it is Diné bizaad (Navajo).

  7. Simon says:

    The answer is, I don’t know. This clip was sent in by someone who thinks it might be Navajo.

  8. pennifer says:

    Siiiiimon! No fair! I didn’t have a guess, but was surprised to hear folks thought it was Amerindian.

  9. David Craig says:

    I worked for one winter with a lot of Navajo and, while I don’t know anything theoretical about the language or how to describe any of the phonemes of Diné bizaad I know what the language sounds like. This sample sounds like Navajo. I have heard it said that Apache is very close to Navajo and differs mainly in the speed in which it is spoken but I can’t swear to that myself. There are some youtube samples of counting in Navajo so Dennis King’s comment can be checked out.

  10. Rauli says:

    I checked out a video on YouTube and then browsed through Wiktionary and I’m quite sure she says this in Navajo:

    ánéeltʼeʼ ádin náhástʼéí dį́į́ʼ tseebíí náhástʼéí námboo ádin náhástʼéí naaki ashdlaʼ naaki

    Ánéeltʼeʼ and námboo both seem to mean ‘number’. Translated, it would be:

    Number 0 9 4 8 9 number 0 9 2 5 2

  11. d.m.falk says:

    Fascinating! Considering the pattern, it’s strongly reminiscent of spy numbers stations one occasionally finds on shortwave radio- Usually these are in English, Spanish, French, German, Russian and Chinese, but more obscure languages are not unheard of.

    (longtime shortwave radio listener)

  12. P. says:

    I think d.m.falk’s comment about numbers stations is spot on. The repetitions are identical — I checked in a waveform editor — so this is clearly a series of pre-recorded samples being assembled into a code of some kind. The recording is much clearer than a typical shortwave recording, so I’m not sure if it’s a numbers station per se, but it absolutely has that “feel”.