9 thoughts on “Language quiz

  1. Sounds like an Arabic-influenced African language. I could make out “Allah” (God), “Adam” and “Hawa” (Eve) in it.

  2. Not for definite, but I would be very interested in finding out as it’s extremely close to a language I learnt a while back!

  3. Perhaps Ewe, or a very closely related Kwa language, it seems to me. Especially with the voiced velar fricative I hear.

  4. I’m thinking along the same lines as cl, and have no guess as to the specific language.

  5. Unlike Andrew I don’t think it’s Wolof. Instead, I tend to point to Bambara, the national language of Mali.

  6. This recording sounds completely different to me on my main computer from how it sounded on my iPad this morning. I’m more inclined now to think like Daydreamer: it does have the open syllables, nasal vowels and two tone levels of Bambara, but it doesn’t sound quite like what I remember hearing when I was in Mali. I wouldn’t be surprised though if it were a closely related language.

  7. The answer is indeed Bambara (Bamanankan) – a Mande language spoken in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ghana.

    The recording comes from the GRN (no. 3)

  8. Wow. Stumped by the rate of speech. I’ve only ever heard it spoken at regular rattle-fire conversational pace, so this sounded quite different to my ears even though the basic phonology is close enough!

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