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.

8 Responses to Language quiz

  1. Drabkikker says:

    Somewhere in the Indonesian archipelago?

  2. daydreamer says:

    I agree with Drabkikker ‘cos I hear reduplications to indicate the plural of nouns > orang orang = men.

  3. Lynnie says:

    The phonology and intonation makes it sound more Tibeto-Burman to me than Malayo-Polynesian.

    I’d go for a Tibeto-Burman language indigenous to North-East Indian states such as Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh but I just cannot say which one.

    It could also be one of the major Tibeto-Burman languages of Nepal like Newari, Gurung or Magar but with those languages, you’d expect to hear quite a significant number of Indo-Aryan loans from Nepali and Sanskrit which this particular language does not seem to have.

    But I could still be way off the target…hehe. ;-)

  4. P. says:

    Since I don’t know much about Indonesian/Malaysian/Polynesian languages, I’ll go with the “look for the keys under the lamppost” approach and guess Acehnese.

  5. Simon says:

    The answer is Sherpa (ཤེར་པཱ) of Helambu, a Tibeto-Burman language spoken in eastern Nepal.

    The recording comes from the GRN.

  6. Luke says:

    Nicely done Lynnie! I have to say I doubted your proposal and was very much leaning toward Austronesian of some sort. I’m quite surprised!

  7. Lynnie says:

    Actually, I’m surprised that it is Sherpa, a language which is generally considered to be a dialect of Tibetan. From memory, Simon had put up a couple of the other well-known Tibetan dialects before for this quiz such as Sikkimese and Ladakhi and with those I could instantly recognise them by their phonology and intonation as being fairly akin Tibetan, although of course being mutually unintelligible with Lhasa Tibetan. But Sherpa to me in this sound clip just sounds way too different from Standard Lhasa Tibetan to be even considered a Tibetan dialect!

    I thought that if it was going to be a Tibeto-Burman language of Nepal, then it’d most likely to be a language like Newari or Gurung. I never thought it could be Sherpa. What a suprise indeed!

  8. Maggie says:

    So interesting!I know its sounds like from South East Asia, because its like Thailand mixed some Tagalog. But obviously not Chinese.