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.

10 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Roger Bowden says:

    Not Arabic or Turkic sounds like Tajik or similar Persic tongue, almost a hint of slavic influence.

  2. Rauli says:

    The only thing I understand are the greetings in the beginning. I can’t even tell if it’s a Semitic language or just influenced by one. I tried googling for some of the words, but when I don’t know how they are spelt, it’s quite difficult.

    Would like to know what the [pʰistuʃ] means just after the middle of the file. It’s so separate from its surroundings.

  3. To my (totally untrained) ears, it sounds like a Slavic language, with several elements of Arab. The greeting suggests one of the Muslim countries that formerly belonged to the USSR.

  4. Christopher Miller says:

    Ossetic?

    The Russian accent here suggests a language socially and politically subordinated to Russian for a lomg period of time. It sounds vaguely Turkic with the high central/high back voewl (I can’t tell without another careful listen). The words are too short for Turkic languages though, and I hear none of the typical pile-ups of grammatical affixes accompanied by vowel harmony. As well, I don’t seem to hear signs of what would sound like the (nearly) exclusively word-final stress typical of Turkic languages. No ejectives, no pharyngeals or long consonant clusters typical of Caucasian-family languages. So that basically, as far as I can see, leaves a language of the formerly Soviet Caucasus north of Armenia and Azerbaijan that is neither Caucasian nor Turkic. Which as far as I know leaves Ossetic or perhaps some other Indo-Iranian language I haven’t thought of.

  5. Simon says:

    Here’s a clue – this is a Northeast Caucasian language.

  6. Daydreamer says:

    Thanks to Simon’s help it’s clear that it’s one of the 30something languages spoken in the Daghestan region of Russia, but I don’t know which one
    Just a guess: Lezgi.

  7. Tigerfire says:

    Avar? Or Dargwa or Lak?

  8. Simon says:

    Daydreamer – your guess is right – the answer is Lezgi (лезги чӀал), a Northeast Caucasian language spoken mainly in the Russian republic of Dagestan and in northern Azerbaijan.

    The recording comes from the GRN.

  9. Chris Miller says:

    The Caucasian region: one of the world’s bingo ball bowls of languages! :-)

  10. Tigerfire says:

    Imagine living there. Gotta love Dagestan.