Language quiz

Here’s a recording of a short conversation in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it is?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Clue: some would call this a dialect rather than a language, even though it does have it’s own literature.

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This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

19 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Helena says:

    Hi!
    It sounds like this is an old recording.
    As for the language – could it be Trentino?

  2. James P says:

    I don´t speak Italian so I can´t “do” the dialects, but I´m guessing something in the North of Italy or Switzerland, simply because the cost of “un paro de mudani” costs “1,800 lire Frau Schutsze” – She is “Frau”

  3. Kel says:

    Hm… perhaps underanalysing, but my guess is Sicilian.

  4. Peter J. Franke says:

    It is Sicilian or Napolitan one of those.

  5. dmh says:

    I’m guessing Romansh.

  6. Jonathan Katz says:

    Perhaps it is Corsican?

  7. James P says:

    I was thinking romansh… but I´ve never heard it, and I was not aware that it was considered a dialect.

  8. LandTortoise says:

    Sard? spoken in Sardinia.

  9. renato figueiredo says:

    Genovese, she she spoke Buon Giono Don “Gxigxio” and not Giogio from grammatical Italian. The genoveses speak with an X into some letter.

  10. renato figueiredo says:

    Sorry, Grammatial Gigio, not giogio as I wrote

  11. xarxa says:

    sicilian?

  12. BG says:

    (Without looking): obviously a “dialect” of Italian. I can’t tell beyond that. Maybe Napolitanese?

    The embedded audio is more convenient, too!

  13. BG says:

    With the Frau bit brought to my attention, I am thinking it is probably northern. Maybe Venetian, Piedmontese, or Genoese as renato figueiredo said.

  14. Simon says:

    The language is Sicilian. Unfortunately I don’t remember where I found so can’t provide a translation.

  15. BG says:

    That’s odd with what we thought was “Frau” in an area of Italy not even close to the area influenced by German. I guess I was closer the first time with Neapolitan.

  16. He doesn’t say “Frau Schutze”, but sciatuzzu (diminutive of sciatu, standard Italian fiato, meaning “breath” but in this case “darling”).

    The dialogue is between a woman, Rosa, and a shop owner, don Ciccio (Francesco). Approximate transcription:

    Rosa: Buongionno, don Ciccio. Quanto costa un paro di mutanni?
    Ciccio: 1300 (mille e triccento) lire, Rosuzza.
    R: Esta cammisa ricamata, quant’è?
    C: 800 (ottocentu) lire, sciatuzzu miu.
    R: Va’, finìmmola cu’ ‘stu scherzo. I prezzi sono alti, e vussia ammava (?) a ffare uno sconto.
    C: Se covo (?) me fai ggenio, Rosa mia, facciamo cossì: i mutanni 1100 (mille e cento) liri, e a camisa 1000 (mille) liri. Pecché si’ tu!
    R: Va’ va’, don Ciccio! Che modo è stichisso de trattare i cristiani! Vussia amisa a cammisa e me cali i mutanni!

    Basically, the woman asks to the guy the price for some panties and a shirt. They are respectively 1300 and 800 lire (old Italian currency).
    The woman asks for a discount, so the guy replies that “just because it’s you” (pecché si’ tu!) he is going to sell her the panties for 1100 lire and the shirt for 1000 lire. However, the woman is not dumb and, knowing that this is no discount altogether, she replies: that’s not how you treat people (cristiani): you’re raising my shirt and lowering my panties! :-)

  17. Nick says:

    It’s Sicilian. Any body who grew up in Sicilian emmigrant communities in North America or Australia will be familiar with it. It could also be southern Calabrian, but it is almost certainly Sicilian.

  18. ILuvEire says:

    I know it’s a Northern Dialect of Italian. I just can’t place it. It’s not from Switzerland, I can say that much.

  19. Stefano says:

    I’m a Northern Italian, and this language is not a Northern dialect. I think it’s 100% Sicilian.