Name the language

Here’s a recording of a poem in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it is?

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This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

0 Responses to Name the language

  1. Greg says:

    I would have to go with Frisian.

  2. garance says:

    Frisian sounds ok, or from Luxemburg (has some deutch) it is from the Flemish family anyway I think.

  3. I think it’s Frisian, it’s no Luxembourgish at all. Dutch influences anyway.

  4. Daydreamer says:

    If it’s not Frisian, it must be Afrikaans.

  5. Matt H says:

    I don’t think it is Afrikaans. It is definitely obvious it is related to Dutch. I haven’t heard much Frisian, but I think it is close enough geographically to sound that similar to Dutch. Luxembourgish sounds like German with a Dutch accent, not like a regional variation of Dutch. I’ll have to go with Frisian… now which dialect of Frisian is it??? lol

  6. xarxa says:

    its got to be afrikaans or something very similar

  7. xarxa says:

    is this recording from the poetry international web site, by any chance?

  8. garance says:

    I have not heard Afrikaans in fifty years (even then, just a few sentences), but it is a great suggestion

  9. Aaron says:

    I’m probably totally off, but could this be Icelandic? I heard a ‘th’ in there, also the cadence and lisping sibilants remind me of Norwegian.

  10. Leitbulb says:

    i am probably way off seeing as almost everyone here thinks it sounds like dutch or german (i dont) i think it sounds like french a bit. i am guessing breton, spoken in (i think) brittany, france.

  11. neurolux says:

    It doesn’t sound Germanic to me. It sounds a little Semitic/Arabic but somehow European. Maybe it’s Maltese.

  12. Aaron says:

    Wait… do I hear vowel harmony?

  13. prase says:

    Is it a contemporary language? If not, it could be Middle English.

  14. d.m.falk says:

    My first thought when hearing this- and I’m not saying I’m aiming to be right or wrong, mind you- was Old English (Englisc), although the poem sounds contemporary in structure. :)

    d.m.f.

  15. BG says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s Germanic, but not Middle or Old English ,although I thought it sounded a bit like English, especially the end “and laughs, and laughs, and laughs” (at least that’s what I thought I heard). I’m guessing Frisian.

  16. LandTortoise says:

    The ACCENT is so similar to Dutch but the words aren’t Dutch so I’ll opt for Frisian too. It’s not harsh enough to be Afrikaans.

  17. Simon says:

    The answer is Frisian (Frysk), which is spoken mainly in parts of the Netherlands and Germany. Well done to those who got it.

    The recording comes from YouTube and was made by Omrop Fryslân, a Frisian broadcaster based in Leeuwarden.

    Here’s an English translation of the poem:

    she lives in a burning house
    every storm takes a tile from the roof
    it’s cold her teeth chatter
    someone outside thinks up new rules for traffic
    an old man cycles on
    newspapers stuffed under his clothes
    she walks out with a basket full of washing
    black sheets black blankets black
    pillowcase she sees the fields are burning too
    no point in going out
    it’s better back inside the walls
    flames dancing on his portrait
    letters fall unasked through the door
    rustling down not reaching the mat her cat
    jumps onto her lap with a vegetable desire
    to be stroked she pours more meths
    over the photo albums wipes
    the ash from her glasses and reads
    and reads and reads

  18. michael farris says:

    Without looking at anybody else’s answers the obvious guess is Afrikaans (or just maybe Frisian?) Something Dutch-ish at any rate.

  19. BG says:

    Oops, it was “and läst/lest” … not “and laughs”. Like German “lesen (liest)” it seems.

  20. Matt H says:

    Haha… after I posted my comment, I found this video on youtube. It confirmed that it was in Frisian, but I thought I wouldn’t spoil it for anyone…

  21. Peter J. Franke says:

    Yes it indeed is Frisian (Frysk),not Friisk, Simon. Frysk is the name for the language spoken in the Dutch province of Friesland (Fryslân). It’s one of the roots of English. For instance: “Butter, brea en griene tsiis, hwa dat net sizze kin is gjin oprjochte Frys” (Butter, bread and green cheese, who cannot say this is not a genuine Frisian) is the password for Frisians. I’m not a native speaker of this language but since I lived there in my childhood and joined theatre and drama in this language I speak it fluently. I even joined in Shakespeare’s Mac Beth in old Frisian.

  22. Adam says:

    Ek praat afrikaans en dit is nie afrikaans nie. Die afrikaanse taal niks so sneel is.

    I speak Afrikaans and it’s not afrikaans

    Nad yw’n Affricaneg gallaf eich sicrhau chi achos dwi’n siaradwr rhugl yn yr iaith.