Language quiz

Here’s a recording of part of a news report in a mystery language. Can you guess or do you know which language it is?

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

0 Responses to Language quiz

  1. d.m.falk says:

    My first guess would be Zulu.


  2. Mike says:

    It sounds very much like a Portuguese dialect, or perhaps a creole based on that language.

  3. michael says:

    Sounds vaguely Bantu, and I think I heard the root “rundi”, so my guess is Kirundi.

  4. xarxa says:

    i heard ‘[bu]rundi’ too, and id go for bantu as well…

  5. Strika says:

    I’ve been visiting this blog for a while, but this is the first time I will leave a comment. I like very much your blog and your language quizzes.

    As for this quiz, it sounds like a Bantu language but with Portuguese influence. So my guess would be Kimbundu.

  6. Simon says:

    It is indeed a Bantu language, but not Zulu, Kimbundu or Kirundi.

  7. pavel says:


  8. Greg says:

    I will guess in the same general area and say that it’s Swazi.

  9. Jason Fisher says:

    I’m going to guess it’s Luganda, one of the major languages spoken in Uganda.

  10. Simon says:

    It isn’t Tswana, Swazi or Luganda either.

    Another clue: this language is mutually intelligible with Kirundi.

  11. TJ says:

    aaa… what is Kirundi? πŸ™‚

  12. pittmirg says:

    “Kirundi is closely related to Kinyarwanda, the main language of neighbouring country Rwanda and to Giha, a language spoken in western Tanzania. Kirundi and Kinyarwanda are mutually intelligible.”

    So probably it’s Kinyarwanda πŸ™‚

  13. Jackie says:


  14. AR says:

    It’s interesting that many news agencies combine their Kinyarwanda and Kirundi services in one because of the mutual intelligibility.

  15. VJ says:

    Boy, I guess I was waaaaaaay off. I immediately thought of some distant dialect of Farsi.

  16. michael farris says:

    My first guess (with no clues) was either Kinyrwanda or Kirundi

  17. BG says:

    @VJ: Farsi actually came to my mind too, but I wasn’t confident enough to post it and as soon as I saw the Bantu comments I knew they were right.

    I am going with Kinyarwanda.

  18. Simon says:

    It is indeed Kinyarwanda (Ikinyarwanda), a Bantu language spoken by about 7 million people mainly in Rwanda

    The recording comes from the BBC World Service.

  19. Tim says:

    Like Strika above, I enjoy these quizzes despite most of them being way too hard for me. Both Mike and Strika thought this language had some sort of Portuguese influence and I had the same feeling. Can anybody analyse why this might be?

  20. Alfia says:

    My guess was also that it was a Portuguese-African creole, possibly from Cape Verde islands. It probably sounded like that to us because of the nasal vowels and all the ‘zh’ sounds it shares with Portuguese. πŸ™‚

  21. wordlover says:

    I know nothing about African dialects, and my first thought was Tamil or some other north Indian dialect.

    However, the dipthong slurring makes it sound Bantu.

    Hey, I’m getting better at this.

  22. ismael says:

    I was way way off as well. I was thinking something European.

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