Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

By the way, this was recorded by a non-native speaker of this language. I couldn’t find any recordings of native speakers, probably because there are so few.

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11 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Rauli says:

    Some form of Japanese. I don’t think it’s Okinawan. Other than that, can’t say anything more specific.

  2. Drabkikker says:

    Going from Rauli’s suggestion: Ainu?

  3. Joe Mock says:

    Since Ainu is on the point of extinction, seems like a good bet.

  4. Ray Bonetti says:

    Another vote for Ainu, location is more difficult. Sakhalin is too obvious, since it’s a non native speaker I’ll go with Tokyo.

  5. P. says:

    I too was thinking Ainu, specifically Hokkaidō Ainu.

  6. Roger Bowden says:

    Very Japanese sounding with a difference, so I think a dialect or related language from one of the islands of Japan. Okinawan maybe but in my view too Japanese related to be Ainu.

  7. Chris Miller says:

    What with all the Ainu comments, I decided to see what there was on YouTube to see if I might get an ear for Ainu to tell it apart from a Ryukyuan language. Lo and behond, first hit:

    Reading the story from “Ainu Times No. 46.”.

    You can even hear the Japanese loanword ‘terebi’ (television).

    I can’t say Ainu it all along, unfortunately…

  8. Simon says:

    The answer is indeed Ainu (アイヌ イタク / Aynu itak), a language isolate spoken in Hokkaido in Japan.

    The recording comes from YourTube

  9. Rauli says:

    Chris, he even says “terebi rimokon” (television remote control). That was my main reason for thinking it’s a form of Japanese. I couldn’t make myself think another language would borrow that from Japanese. I also thought I heard “onna” (woman) and other very Japanese sounding words. But that’s probably just because of close contacts. And the fact that the speaker was a Japanese person.

    Looking at the Japanese transcript in the video, the “onna” had nothing to do with women.

  10. David Eger says:

    “he even says “terebi rimokon” (television remote control). That was my main reason for thinking it’s a form of Japanese.”

    @Chris: Those are ultimately loan words from English (Ironic, considering many of them are manufactured in Japan or by Japanese companies), albeit through the route of Japanese. It is logical that a minority language should borrow words from the dominant language for concepts that have come from the dominant culture.

  11. David Eger says:

    That was meant to be @Rauli.