Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language.

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

This entry was posted in Language, Quiz questions.

11 Responses to Language quiz

  1. joe mock says:

    Romance – Romontsch perhaps? Or something weird from southern France.

  2. Roger Bowden says:

    A Dialect from Italy but with Spanish influence, perhaps another Sardinian dialect or one from north west Italy Ligurian etc..

  3. daydreamer says:

    I agree with joe mock but call the language Romansch spoken in Southern Switzerland. That’s because the sound “ü” definitely marks German influence (as Swytzerdütsch) in an Italian setting.

  4. David Eger says:

    I am more inclined to go for the ‘something weird from Southern France’ suggestion. Most (if not all) French dialects have a vowel much the same as German “ü” (although not written as such). This language sounds somehow too ‘Iberian’ to be Romansch.

    One thing I am struck by is the heavy aspirates that come up quite often; aspirates are, as far as I know, largely or entirely absent from all the major Romance languages. This makes me wonder whether this language is, in fact, not from Europe at all, but some kind of Romance creole with Indo-African influences. I could be in the wrong forest entirely here, though.

  5. MadFall says:

    I will go for the variety of Catalan spoken in parts of Sardinia.

  6. Christopher Miller says:

    There’s a lot that’s hard to make out, but one guess is that this is Alguerès, the Catalan of Alghero/L’Alguer in northwest Sardinia. The però ‘but’ is typically Catalan. But then there are the strange /h/ sounds everywhere that I have trouble matching with anything else. It’s also possible that this is Gardiòl, the Alpine Occitan variety of a community called Guardia Piemontese/La Gàrdia in southern Italy, whose ancestors migrated several centuries ago from the Occitan Alps on the western edge of Piemont. A last possibility I can think of is Faetar, an Arpitan/Francoprovençal dialect spoken by another post-migrant community in the village of Faeta, again in the south of Italy.

    In any case, whatever it is, it’s definitely a southern Gallo-Romance variety.

  7. P. says:

    Could it be Monégasque?

  8. Trond Engen says:

    I think he’s comparing his native tongue to italiá, so I’ll have to pick something defining itself wiz. Italian. My first idea was Catalan from Sardinia, but then I too noticed that weird aspiration. I think I know they aspirate in Chur (extrapolating from the name), but I don’t think this can be Kaudervelsk, no matter how much I want it to be. But maybe Ladin of northern Italy?

  9. David Eger says:

    I’ve done a little bit of Wikipedia and YouTube ‘research’ (I use the term very loosely – not to belittle the efforts of the real linguists among us). Somewhat in contradiction to my previous comments, I was being led tentatively towards Bergamasque, related to the Occitan group. One of the clips I heard seemed to have something resembling Spanish ‘j’ (/x/), which could perhaps be realised more like /h/ in some local variants.

    I too noticed the reference to ‘Italiá’ – which sounded to me like a de-nazalized version of French ‘Italien’. This was originally part of what was leading me to a non-European creole, but I agree that it more likely indicates that it comes from a region where Italian is dominant.

  10. Trond Engen says:

    Substitute “viz.”, or preferably something less pretentious, for “wiz.”.

    I regretted going that far east, thinking of retreating to Valdôtain, but that may be one step too far. Maybe Ticinese?

  11. Simon says:

    Good guesses!

    The answer is Eastern Lombard / Orobic (Ürobeq), a variety of Lombard spoken in eastern Lombardy (la lumbardea urientala), mainly in the provinces of Bergamo, Brescia and Mantua in northern Italy.

    The recording comes from Wikitongues.

    Here’s a transcription and translation:
    Per me l’è la lengua dele imusiu’, qela qe so üs a senter de quant so pütì e la parla de me, dela me tera, de la me xet. Al dé d’ancœ la sa parla amo, la sa parla an tra le famee, an tra i amix, però anc’po an dei paixì le persune le sa parla piœ an qesta lengua, le sa parla en Talià, doma se ta cognoset be’ vergü ta parlet an Ürobeq, perqe la s’è cambiada an po la mentalità dela xet

    [..] for me is the language of emotion, what I am used to hear since I was child, and talk about me, my land, my people. Nowadays people still spoken Orobic in them family, among friends, but also in small countries people don’t speak in this language, but in Italian; only with people that you know very well you speak in Orobic, because the government changed the mentality of people, and seem like bad.

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