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.

15 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Daydreamer says:

    It sounds like a Dravidian language to my ears, maybe Kannada.

  2. David Eger says:

    I know the answer, but only because my brother-in-law, who is a native speaker of this very language, happens to be in the room!

    It is a Dravidian language, but not Kannada.

  3. Matt says:

    Malayalam, as primarily spoken in Kerala, India?

  4. Christopher Miller says:

    It sounds very much like Tamil, except for the final /u/ sounds, which in the Tamil I’ve heard aren’t rounded. (Not that I consider myself an expert on Tamil phonology.) I’ll join Matt in guessing this is Malayalam.

  5. jimutavahana says:

    This sounds like Telugu

  6. Esther Brown says:

    Here’s an optional guess of mine: either Badaga, Kodava, or Tulu, which are also Dravidian languages.

  7. Roger Bowden says:

    I also guess a Dravidian language but can get no closer.At first thought I heard the words infilada and tambien but just the desperate wish to unscramble . Also heard Yesus Christu and day one.

  8. Christopher says:

    Based on the “Indian” but not Hindi sound, and the reference to Jesus Christ, I’m going to go with Malayalam. Because all Malayalam-speakers I know are Christian. Not scientific, but the best I can do!

  9. David Eger says:

    I am confident enough in my brother-in-law’s ability to recognise his mother tongue, to say that jimutavahana is right – It’s Telugu. But Simon still gets the last word.

    It’s a pretty major language, as minority languages go, spoken by more people than the total population of the UK (76,000,000 speakers). But I suppose that’s still a small minority in Indian terms.

  10. Simon says:

    The answer is indeed Telugu (తెలుగు), a Dravidian language spoken mainly in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

    The recording comes from the GRN (16. The Prodigal Son).

    It sounds like the guy in the recording is speaking very quickly. Or is that just how Telugu sounds?

  11. David Eger says:

    “It sounds like the guy in the recording is speaking very quickly. Or is that just how Telugu sounds?”

    That’s much like how my brother-in-law sounds when he’s on the phone to his relatives in Hyderabad. Some languages just sound fast.

  12. jimutavahana says:

    This was far too easy Simon:) Telugu is a major language in India and anybody with satellite television would have figured this out. And the guy is not really speaking quickly- its probably how Telugu sounds to a non -Indian audience

  13. Matt says:

    Huh. The main reason why I didn’t choose Telugu was because it seemed to be about twice as slow as this recording! I couldn’t believe my ears when I heart this recording. I didn’t know a tongue could be so quick!

  14. Vijay John says:

    While I agree this is Telugu, this has got to be one of the strangest recordings of Telugu I have ever heard! The guy in the recording sounds like he’s talking with some kind of accent, perhaps deliberately (to sound like a foreign preacher?).

    Compare the Malayalam recordings here: http://globalrecordings.net/en/program/C62427. Here also, the speaker seems to not distinguish between the two “sh”s of Malayalam and often uses somewhat odd intonation.

    And Telugu is by no means a minor language, not even by Indian standards!

  15. Bhemeane says:

    I agree, his accent in speaking Telugu is very strange. And yes, Telugu can be spoken quite fast indeed. I can barely understand my grandfather sometimes.