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.

8 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Roger says:

    With no expertise in African Languages it sound a little like Mandingo or at least in the vicinity of Senegal.

  2. Dan, ad nauseam says:

    I’m not sure, but I think the content relates to Islam.

  3. Daydreamer says:

    Don’t know what it’s all about, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a Nilo-Saharan language like Maasai, spoken in Kenya and Tanzania.

  4. Vijay John says:

    I think I listened to this pretty much as soon as Simon put it up. I was thinking along Daydreamer’s lines that it might be a Nilo-Saharan language. I don’t think it’s Mandinka or Masai because neither of those languages seems to have the nasalized vowels that we hear in this recording. I thought maybe it was a Songhai language, but that doesn’t seem to be right, either. I also don’t think the content has anything to do with Islam. Dan is presumably picking up on the repetition of [ala], but I think this is probably from the Global Recordings Network (the clips Simon uses usually are!). The [ala] may not have anything to do with “Allah” at all, but even if it does, I think people who have “Allah” in their daily vocabulary use it even when they’re not talking about Islam (and probably even if they’re not Muslim).

  5. Heike says:

    I’m going to try Soninke, mainly spoken in Mali with speakers also in Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, the Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Ghana.

  6. Simon says:

    It is a Nilo-Saharan, though none of the ones already mentioned.

  7. Simon says:

    The answer is Kanuri, a Nilo-Saharan language spoken in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

    The recording comes from the GRN (4. Noah)

  8. Dan, ad nauseam says:

    I also heard something that sounded like [kuran].