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.

14 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Jason B. says:

    sounds like it’s related to Arabic… but I wouldn’t know how to guess from there.

  2. Drabkikker says:

    It has a certain Persian sound to it. Maybe one of the varieties of Kurdish?

  3. Simon says:

    Try quite a bit further east.

  4. Drabkikker says:

    Hmm. In that case I’m going with one of the -stans :)

  5. Roger says:

    I also thought there were Persian sounds but I think it is Uyghur or closely related.

  6. TW says:

    I’m going to go with Uyghur.

  7. Dan, ad nauseam says:

    I think I’m hearing an IE inflection pattern, if I’m right that it sounds verb-final.

  8. Daydreamer says:

    To my ears, too, it does sound like an Iranian language. That would exclude Uyghur and most of the languages of the -stans, which are members of the Turkic family.
    Since it doesn’t seem to be Persian proper or the closely related Tajik, the suffix -ax could show the way to Yagnob, which is spoken in Northern Tajikistan.

  9. TJ says:

    well… the only Arabic-related word I could recognize here is “Tarikh” which means “history” or “date”.
    I don’t think it’s Uyghur … but its relation to Iranian languages seems debatable a bit here … I’m no expert in linguistics but the tune of the language doesn’t sound like Iranian (or its relative, Kurdish, for example).

    Maybe it is one of the new languages posted on Omniglot that come from around Sakhalin island (and Tarikh could be just a coincidence).

  10. Simon says:

    It isn’t spoken quite as far east as Sakhalin Island, but is not far from there.

  11. Simon says:

    The answer is Manchu, a Tunguisic language spoken in north east China.

    The recording comes from http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/MANCHU-LANGUAGE.html.

  12. Edmund Yong says:

    I read about Manchu before. There’s only 1 native family left :(

  13. P. says:

    Are there dental fricatives in this (or in Manchu or Xibe)? The sound quality makes it hard to tell.

  14. Simon says:

    P. – I don’t think there are any dental fricatives in Manchu or Xibe.