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.

14 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Christopher Miller says:

    So far, the same one as last week! Same recording…

  2. Simon says:

    Are you sure about that? It is a different recording and a different language.

  3. Vijay John says:

    I agree with Simon. It’s a different recording for sure. I don’t recognize this language, but it sounds like something either very closely related to Bengali (i.e. another Eastern Indo-Aryan language) or highly influenced by Bengali (or by another Eastern Indo-Aryan language?). (It sounds a lot like Bengali itself, but not quite).

    To throw out just a few possibilities I could think of: Assamese? (Probably not). Sylheti? Santali? Nagamese?

  4. Chris Miller says:

    I got exactly the same recording on this and last week’s clips on my iPad earlier this morning, and same thing on my iMac this afternoon. No difference.

  5. Eee says:

    I also have the exact same recording.

  6. Vijay John says:

    Really? If you go to the following link:

    do you still hear the exact same recording? (Also, I wonder whether this has something to do with Apple products. I don’t have an iPhone, iPod, or i-anything, but I can hear the new recording Simon put up on my PC).

  7. Eee says:

    That’s the new one. The problem is: The hypertext link takes you to the new recording, but the embedded player has last week’s recording. At least that’s the problem on my browser. I doubt it’s a Mac thing.

    That being said, I don’t recognize the language.

  8. Christopher Miller says:

    Ah! Thanks for the link, Vijay: now I hear the correct file.

    Although itbsounds possibly Indian (i.e. from the subcontinent), I will hazard a guess that this is from Colombia. I hear what sounds like a Latin American pronunciation of “Cartagena” a couple of times—though I admit ther may well be a place of the same name in some other Latin American country too…

  9. Simon says:

    I’ve worked out why you were getting last week’s recording and have fixed it.

  10. Vijay John says:

    Nope, it ain’t from Colombia! I found the actual recording. Here’s a clue: it’s one of the languages I guessed!

    According to the Spanish Wikipedia, there are places called “Cartagena” in Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Chile, as well as in Spain and the Philippines.

  11. TJ says:

    @Vijay: I think also in Argentina … and in some countries in the middle east as well.

  12. Simon says:

    The answer is Santali, a Munda language spoken in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.

    The recording is part of a story about a bear and a goat by Ganesh Murmu, and comes from YouTube.

  13. Vijay John says:

    It is indeed Santali, but I personally don’t think National Geographic is anywhere near as good as it used to be. (For instance, my dad pointed out that when conflict JUST broke out in Kosovo, they dared to predict very correctly that it would go on to be much worse. I don’t see them doing anything like that now).

    So, I’m going to provide a link to another traditional Santali story, with nice illustrations and subtitles in Santali written in Devanagari script:

    There’s a (UK) English translation of the story that you can also find on YouTube or Bookbox (with subtitles in English), but I haven’t looked at it yet. For now, I’m satisfied with what I understand from the pictures 🙂

  14. Dan_ad_nauseam says:

    For some reason, when I tried to play the clip, it repeatedly stalled out Windows Media Player

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