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.

14 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Daydreamer says:

    Same mistake as last week when the mysterious language wasn’t extinct at all but still being spoken by millions of people?
    This way or the other, all I can say is that it has a certain Slavic feel to it. At least in the second part of the recording.

  2. taktoa says:

    Basque?

  3. Simon says:

    Daydreamer – you’re right. This is a living language, though not one spoken by millions.

  4. Chris Miller says:

    I’m pretty sure this is one of the Wendish/Sorbian/Lusatian varieties of southeastern Germany. (I think Sorbian is the most widespread name.) At first I thought this was Breton from the general overall sound, but then I realised that there was a lot that sounds like west Slavic (Polish, Czech). Combine this with the German-sounding uvular [ʁ] and this seems like the most likely answer.

  5. Vijay John says:

    If Chris is right, then this must be Lower Sorbian.

  6. Trond Engen says:

    Hey, I wanted to say Sorbian yesterday, for much the same reasons as Chris, but my connection failed. But why it’s the lower variety, I’ve no idea.

  7. Vijay John says:

    Well, “must” is probably an overstatement, but from what I can tell from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lower_Sorbian_language, the lower variety is the one that has that uvular “r.” Also, it doesn’t sound *all* that Slavic, so it probably has been “greatly influenced by contact with German” as the Wikipedia article says of Lower Sorbian. However, I must admit that I have been spectacularly wrong in the last few quizzes!

  8. Simon says:

    Well, it isn’t Sorbian (Upper or Lower), but you’re close.

  9. TW says:

    I’ll say Kashubian.

  10. Simon says:

    TW is right – the answer is Kashubian (kaszëbsczi jãzëk), a Western Slavic language spoken mainly in Poland.

    The recording comes from YouTube.

  11. Luke says:

    Wow! I knew it was closely related to Polish, but it sounds nothing like Polish to my ear, at first listen, and I couldn’t understand a word of it (not that my Polish is that great, but still.)

  12. Vijay John says:

    Not only does it sound nothing like Polish to my ear, it doesn’t even sound like Kashubian to my ear!! So basically, I’m just bad at recognizing languages (in recordings that don’t sound like what I expect them to sound like. See my last comment from the language quiz preceding this one).

  13. Vijay John says:

    Simon, I just realized the URL you have for “Kashubian” here is broken. It should end in “.htm.”

  14. Simon says:

    Thanks for letting me know – I’ve fixed that now.