14 thoughts on “Language quiz

  1. It’s a native North American language, that much I can tell. Guessing, however, is it Cree?


  2. this one is rather difficult:first I hear some arab words and sounds like sana’and “swaya”, also “algo sabato” what s like Spansh Saturday. A lot of sharp fricatives, like Polish; one retroflexed trill as in american english (that jerk),”de phi:gen” sounds scandinavian,the word Thibet. long vowels, sharp articulated as in baltic tangues… I’m sorry I can’t make chocolat out of it!

  3. At first I thought Somali for some unknown reason, but I’m going to say that it’s a Native American language from British Columbia (to give this quiz an Olympics theme).

  4. By the pronunciation of “Benjamin” and “journey”, and the careful recitation throughout, I gather that the speaker’s native language is US or Canadian English. I can’t make head or tail of it otherwise, so the only thing I’m prepared to back firmly is that it’s an aboriginal language. I like the Olympic hypothesis.

  5. I am not convinced that this is North American. Going on extremely limited experience, I would place this as a minority, non-Indo-European language of Europe/Eurasia.

    I don’t know why, I just have a feeling.

  6. I’m guessing the Benjamin referred to is Benjamin Masty from Whapmagoostui, North Quebec?

  7. Is the Cree syllabary in the header a hint? (Or is it being used in it’s Inuit incarnation?) At any rate, it doesn’t sound much like anything I associate with Inuit so I’m sticking with somehting Algonkian.

  8. I vote for Cree as well. Just based on the extensive Cree dialogue in the movie “Black Robe” that I’ve heard.

  9. For Michael Farris:

    The syllabics in the header are in Inuktitut and read “uqausiq atausiq naammayuittuq”: you can tell Inuktitut by the raised ‹r› (ᕐ) before some variant of ‹k› (ᑭᑯᑲᒃ) in almost any written sample of the language. No special letter was ever devised for the /q/ phoneme so Inuktutut uses an ‹rk› digraph.

    This language ain’t Inuktitut, I can tell you!

    (Giggling from the sidelines…)

  10. The answer is Northern East Cree (ᐄᔨᔫ ᐊᔨᒨᓐ / Īyiyū Ayimūn), which is spoken in Quebec, Canada on the east coast of lower Hudson Bay and James Bay.

    The recording comes from a programme called Maamuitaau on CBC.

    The language in the header is Inuktitut, by the way.

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