Name the language

Here’s a recording of part of a story in a mystery language.

Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in and where it’s spoken?

26 thoughts on “Name the language

  1. Sounds Romanian to me. I’m probably wrong, since it’ll probably one of those crazy Italian dialects that are barely spoken anymore…

  2. I agree on the Romanian, but I’m probably wrong…I suck at these langauge quizes, but I love ’em.

  3. I’m useless at this because I thought I heard Italian, Spanish, Hindi and at the end it went quite oriental – maybe Vietnamese or Malaysian?

  4. It’s got something to do with the Romance languages, or just highly coincidental that I heard things like “aquesto,” “levant-” etc

  5. Maybe Filipino because of the influence of Spanish? Otherwise my first thought was also an obscure Italian dialect.

  6. To me, it sounds Turkic. I will guess Kyrgyz. I will be very surprised if it turns out to be indeed any Romance language.

  7. Something in central Russia, I’d guess.

    Definitely not Turkic: there’s not a single ö or ü in it.

  8. Well, “central”… I mean Mari or something geographically within, like, 1000 km of that. Just not Turkic. And not Russian of course.

  9. I’m hearing a romance language, too. I hear the “eu” and “ão” sounds from Portuguese. Is it Mirandese?

  10. Sounds kind of Portuguese-y to me, and closer to Brazilian in terms of its singsong quality — I would off-hand guess it’s a Portuguese Creole? But I wouldn’t know which one except that it doesn’t sound quite like Papiamentu nor Cape Verdean, or at least I don’t think.

    I hear words like “manjar (to eat)” (I’m hearing a lot of words with last-syllable stress, and I’m guessing a good number of these are the root verb forms where the final -r sound has been dropped as it happens in some Romance languages/dialects/creoles); “questa (this)” (the s is like sh in ship, as would be pronounced in Portuguese); and maybe “pena”(?) at the very end.

    Wish the audio quality were better.

  11. If even David Marjanović doesn’t know, then how do you expect me to?

    I agree with Doug.

    How about a Brazilian, normally a Portuguese-speaker, speaking in, say, one of those things David suggested?

  12. Crown, surely it isn’t Brazilian Portuguese (I’m Brazilian) it isn’t also spanish, nor italian, nor French.
    Sometimes it looks like Esperanto and any creole language, similar to Papiamento. But I wouldn’t say it is Papiamento, I have many doubts.

  13. I think this is some sort of language spoken in Italy (maybe Piedmontese).
    I am sure I can hear some romance features:

    ‘Leger’ – light??
    ‘Tots dus’ – like Catalan (both) ??
    ‘Manjar’ – to eat??

    Its an interesting one!
    Jim

  14. Interesting guesses – the language is Rumantsch Grischun which is spoken in the Swiss Canton of Grischun/Grigione/Grissons/Graubünden.

    The recording comes from Lowlands-L, and is part of a story called “Il poleschet” (The Wren).

    Here’s the text:

    Il poleschet

    Il poleschet aveva ses gnieu en la remisa dals chars. In di, ils vegls tuts dus han orsgulà – vulevan prender insatge per mangiar per lur giuvens – ed avevan laschà ils pitschens sul sulet.

    Suenter ina urella, il bab poleschet returna a chasa.

    “Tge è passà, uffants?”, el di. “Tgi va ha fatg questa chaussa dal mal? Tuts avais bler tema!”

    and an English version:

    The Wren

    There once was a wren who had made his nest in a garage. He lived there with his family. One day he and his mate went out to look for some food to bring their chicks, leaving the young birds all alone.

    After a while the father wren returned home.

    “What’s been going on here?” he asked. “Has something happened? You children look scared to death!”

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