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. Roger Bowden says:

    Nearest I can get is a Turkic language?

  2. David Eger says:

    Definitely Turkic. I hear a Russian-sounding /je/ come up a few times, which suggests one of the former Soviet republics. If Wikipedia is to believed, the presence of /q/ (k, but from the back of mouth) rules out Standard Azerbaijani – but that’s not to say that it doesn’t occur in some of the regional variants. Uzbek was my second guess, but that (according to the omniscient W) lacks the vowel /y/ (ü) – which is very frequent in this clip. These features are steering me towards Turkmen.

  3. Christopher Miller says:

    One of the eastern ones, judging from the uvular [q] and the uvular fricative equivalent of Turkish ‘ğ’. Otherwise it sounds similar enough to Turkish itself I imagine it’s from the same subfamily.

  4. daydreamer says:

    It seems to be so close to Turkish that it could be Gagauz.

  5. Isa Sari says:

    It’s Kyrgyz (Kirghiz) I think. There’s so many labials.

  6. Lynnie says:

    Kazakh maybe. But as others have said, it’s definitely Turkic.

  7. David Eger says:

    In Simon A’s own page on Gagauz, he says, “В, Г, К & Л are palatalized / palatal before ä, е, и, ö and ÿ” – i.e. similar rules to Russian. The first word in the excerpt sounds like “Tiveria” (= Tiberias?), where we hear palatalisation of the /v/. Simon does not specifically mention this feature on his pages on Turkmen, Kyrgyz or Kazakh (although Turkmen and Kyrgyz do both have [je] as a possible realization of letter E.). Palatalized /v/ before /e/ is heard again at 0.06. This is making me lean towards Daydreamer’s suggestion of Gagauz (although, I admit, I had not heard of the language before).

    Another possibility I had thought of was Tatar, but that language, it seems, is characterised by a distinct lack of palatalization; its native speakers often lack palatalization when speaking Russian (the ‘Tatar accent’ – see Wikipedia entry).

  8. Simon says:

    The answer is Kyrgyz (Kyrgyz tili / Кыргыз тили / قىرعىز تىلى), a Turkic language spoken mainly in Kyrghyzstan.

    The recording comes from the GRN.