9 thoughts on “Language quiz

  1. Sounds like a Native American language, but beyond that I can’t really tell.

  2. Seems to be one of those languages fighting for the world record in the category Most Glottal Stops and Tones.
    But then, as the speaker seems to say at the end: You don’t haha!
    Seriously, I guess it’s one of the Hmong languages spoken in Southern China and neighboring Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.

  3. This definitely does not sound anything at all like a South-East Asian language and I’m 99.99% certain that it isn’t!

    It’s much more likely to be an indigenous language of North America.

  4. I’ll go with the indigenous North American, and narrow my guess to Athabaskan.

  5. I’m pretty certain this is an Iroquoian language (being read haltingly from the page) but whether it’s Mohawk or another one I can’t tell.

  6. I see that the answer is in, but I’ll try not to read it. I think I hear that the speaker is more familiar with English, so I’ll say a North American language. The weird phonology pulls me westwards. One of those recently extinct Californian languages?

    (But I’m probably off by half the world as usual. My wife says Tibetan. And my son says it sounds like the Maya leader in Civilization.)

  7. There are a lot of tones, but the tonal pattern and phonology doesn’t sound east Asian.

  8. About the tones people hear… Iroquoian languages tend to be tonal accent languages, in other words they have (like Swedish, Danish or southern Slavic languages) specific tonal contours associated with the accented syllable of a word. But as far as I know, they don’t work like typical tonal languages where every syllable can or must have a distinct associated tone: the tone is a property of the word and its prominent syllable.

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