Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

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

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

10 Responses to Language quiz

  1. old_nomad says:

    Sounds Gothic to me…

  2. Rauli says:

    Gothic or some other old Germanic language.

  3. Absent Martian says:

    I’d say Gothic, too.

  4. Roger Bowden says:

    Gothic or old Norse? Although Tolkien did come to mind.

  5. Trond Engen says:

    “A man had two sons…” Luke 15.11-32 in the Wulfila Bible!

  6. Trond Engen says:

    Not all the way to 32. Luke 15.11-14.

  7. Trond Engen says:

    I should add that I recognized the prodigal son by listening, guessed Wulfila’s Bible, and googled the chapter and verse. The correction came after checking the Wulfila Bible online. I won’t pretend to have Wulfila’s translation or even the chapter and verse numbers of such a well-known part as ready knowledge.

    Does anybody know what’s going on with the form manne? Methinks that ought to be a genitive singular. Is it treated as the object of qaþuþ(-þan)?

  8. Simon says:

    The answer is Gothic, an extinct East Germanic language spoken in parts of the Crimea until the 17th century.

    The recording comes from YouTube, and was provided by Phil Salathe, who edited it. The video is by Prof. Alexander Arguelles.

  9. Trond Engen says:

    The clip is a reading of Wulfila’s translation, not Crimean Gothic. I’m an utter amateur and shouldn’t be teaching anyone on a subject I’ve only partly understood, but I don’t think it’s correct to treat Wulfila’s 4th century Visigothic and 16th century Crimean Gothic as simply different stages of the same language. At the very least, Crimean Gothic is the descendant of a different dialect, and the two must have diverged significantly before Wulfila’s day. I don’t remember details, but where Crimean Gothic differs from Wulfila’s, it has enough shared features with modern German dialects that some have questioned the authenticity of the report, others the age of the community of Germanic speakers in Crimea.

  10. Chris Miller says:

    I have the impression from the rhythm and intonation that this isn’t a native speaker.


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