Here’s a recording in a mystery language.
Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?
Upon acoustic observation, I would swear it’s Arabic. But it isn’t, it’s slightly different, at least one tʃ and one ts can be heard, and the music of the speech is something not Arabic. A close relative language or a slightly different dialect of Arabic.
Perhaps a modern Aramaic dialect?
Definitely not Arabic, although there are some similar sounds, so possibly from somewhere where Arabic is the dominant language. I think a modern Aramaic dialect (perhaps Assyrian) is a likely candidate. Contunuing along the Semitic route, Syriac might be another possiblity.
I also considered the non-Semitic possibility of its being one of the Caucasian languages but, if that were the case, I would expect more phonetic influence from Russian than from Arabic.
I’d pick a Berber language, maybe Shluh spoken in Morocco or Tamashek spoken by the Tuareg in Mali, Niger and elsewhere.
To me it sounds vaguely Turkic, although it’s certainly not Turkish. I guess Yakut.
It’s certainly not Yakut or any other Turkic language.
I’d rather be right, at last, with my all time favourite guess: Hassaniya spoken in Mauritania.
I’m with Daydreamer on it being a Berber language.
@ David: No, I’ve studied Syriac, and this is not it. In fact I’m starting to doubt my modern Aramaic guess more and more. It’s too “Arabic-like”, but for the tʃ and ts sounds that LAttilaD pointed out. Perhaps Daydreamer is closer with the Berber suggestion, or maybe we should look towards Ethiopia?
What about one of those funny little South Arabic languages?
Amharic crossed my mind, but I don’t think it would qualify as a minority language. One of the Semitic languages spoken in Eritrea – Tigre or Tigrinya (or another, if there are any) – is a possibility.
I am not familiar enough with the Semitic languages (despite going to weekly Hebrew calsses as a child) to know whether this definitely is one. Daydreamer’s suggestion of a Berber language seems likely (although I’ve never knowingly heard one of them), given the phonetic similarities with Arabic. Another possibility might be one of the Cushitic languages of E. Africa – e.g Somali (but probably not that one, as it’s not a minority language within Somalia).
The answer is Central Atlas Tamazight (Tamaziġt / ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ), a Berber language spoken in Morocco.
The recording comes from the GRN.
Daydreamer and I were right (me, for once!)… The tip-off for me was the mix of Arabic loanwords and words with “zh” sounds at or near their ends, a characteristic of some Berber languages.
(I was going to originally say Amazigt, specifically, but Tamazigt is close enough to my guess. :) )
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