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.

7 Responses to Language quiz

  1. adnankhalil says:

    It sounds like Swahili to me.

  2. Roger Bowden says:

    A complete Guess, something from Papua New Guinea.

  3. jonathan says:

    Something from the Philippines that has been influences by Japanese.

  4. Trond Engen says:

    My intuition says New Guinea, like Roger, but experience tells me that my intuition is not worth the effort that goes into it. Turning to careful listening, I don’t think the language has native s. There are three s’es around the middle, but two of them sound to me as “at least” and “access”. These words really stand out, as they also break the CV structure.

    I’ll do something I haven’t done before: Overlaying two features in WALS. No fricatives + simple syllable structure yields five languages. Adding English influence, we can rule out the two South American languages and the one from Western New Guinea. That leaves Hawaiian and Yele. This is not Polynesian, so I’ll say Yele. And, if it’s correct, a rare victory for my intuition!

  5. Simon says:

    Here’s a clue – this is a Bantu language.

  6. Trond Engen says:

    Yes, clearly. That’s embarassing.

  7. Simon says:

    The answer is Kikuyu (Gĩkũyũ), a Bantu language spoken mainly in the Central Province of Kenya.

    The recording comes from Wikitongues.

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