12 thoughts on “Language quiz

  1. Can’t say more than that they are South Slavic languages. The first one mentions Kosovo and Mitrovica, and the third one has “dobar dan”, which is used in the Serbo-Croatian dialect/language group.

  2. The fourth one has something that sounds like “dobre utro”, excluding a lot of variants where morning is “rano” or related (“jutro/utro” means “tomorrow” in these languages). Croatian? In that case #3 is Serbian.

  3. 1. Serbian
    2. Croatian
    3. Bosnian
    4. Slovenian

    Identification based on non-linguistic information. 1st speaks about Kosovska Mitrovica, 2nd seems to say something about bravery of Croatian army and mentions prime minister Jadranka Kosor, 4th speaks about Ljubljana. The 3rd is what’s left (it declines the nouns, so it can’t be Macedonian).

  4. Ha! This sounds like when I tune the dial on my radio. 😀

    But yeah, it’s Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Slovenian.

  5. Oh, too late. I agree completely with prase. I heard Kosova and Mitrovice in the first clip, something about Hrvatska in the second, the budget of the Republika Srpska in the third, and of a professor/doctor of the something-Technical Faculty in Ljubljana in the fourth.

  6. My guess: 1) Croatian 2) Montenegrin 3) Serbian 4) Bosnian

    I’m not sure though, but… very good post to prove how many times languages are defined by politics and speakers’ will.

    Because, for me, this is one and a single language that we can call South Slavic, Serbocroatian, BCS, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin/Serbian, or whatever. Differences among them are of the same nature that the differences between European and American Spanish. And, obviously, when there was only one country (Yugoslavia) they considered it one language with different standards (usually two prestigious ones: ekavian and ijekavian).

  7. An interesting thing about the Bosnian clip: the stressed syllables don’t have the rising tonal contour typical of accent in Serbian and Croatian varieties of the language. Nonetheless, you can hear that they are clearly the same language. The Slovenian sample also lacked the rising tonal accent, but also clearly sounds different: it obviously has a somewhat different segmental phonology and overall rhythm compared to the others, and the general word shapes sound different too.

  8. Yes… I think I missed Slovenian, I thought that the point of the contest was showing 4 varieties of the same language, and I voted Bosnian for #4 because I heard a different ‘melody’ (and I had read that Bosnian differs slightly in accent position, when compared to Croatian and Serbian). On the other hand, Montenegro recently started calling its official language ‘Montenegrin’ instead of ‘ijekavian variety of Serbian’.

  9. I still believe in my first guess, but it’s more fun if I change to something unique. Perhaps the first is Montenegrin? I thought I heard one -ije- in there before I made my choice, but not being able to discern native words, I didn’t want to speculate based on a single instance. And if that’s the case, the third, mentioning Republika Srpska, might also be Serbian.

  10. I got Slavic languages from the Balkans, like everyone else. If only I’d thought to check earlier in the day, I’d’ve had a chance to run the recordings past a native Serbian.

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