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.

9 Responses to Language quiz

  1. cl says:

    Sounds like an Arabic-influenced African language. I could make out “Allah” (God), “Adam” and “Hawa” (Eve) in it.

  2. Libby says:

    Not for definite, but I would be very interested in finding out as it’s extremely close to a language I learnt a while back!

  3. Christopher Miller says:

    Perhaps Ewe, or a very closely related Kwa language, it seems to me. Especially with the voiced velar fricative I hear.

  4. Petréa Mitchell says:

    I’m thinking along the same lines as cl, and have no guess as to the specific language.

  5. Andrew says:


  6. Daydreamer says:

    Unlike Andrew I don’t think it’s Wolof. Instead, I tend to point to Bambara, the national language of Mali.

  7. Chris Miller says:

    This recording sounds completely different to me on my main computer from how it sounded on my iPad this morning. I’m more inclined now to think like Daydreamer: it does have the open syllables, nasal vowels and two tone levels of Bambara, but it doesn’t sound quite like what I remember hearing when I was in Mali. I wouldn’t be surprised though if it were a closely related language.

  8. Simon says:

    The answer is indeed Bambara (Bamanankan) – a Mande language spoken in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ghana.

    The recording comes from the GRN (no. 3)

  9. Chris Miller says:

    Wow. Stumped by the rate of speech. I’ve only ever heard it spoken at regular rattle-fire conversational pace, so this sounded quite different to my ears even though the basic phonology is close enough!

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