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Whoops...The correct answer was Double Dutch
September 4, 2013 10:09 AM   Subscribe

How many languages can you recognise?
posted by fix (46 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
The correct answer was Kannada

TETSUO!
posted by poe at 10:14 AM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was on a damned spree, like 15 correct in a row, then they throw Armenian at me, and then the Scandinavian languages. Uggggh.
posted by The Whelk at 10:15 AM on September 4, 2013


I apparently cannot distinguish/recognize southeast asian languages.

Also Maltese sounds weird.
posted by PMdixon at 10:18 AM on September 4, 2013


Dutch is an easy one. Just imagine that the person speaking is a German who just had a stroke.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:20 AM on September 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


If only this were written, not spoken.

As a college student, I worked in the library acquisitions department, where apparently part of the application process for getting a full-time job was completing a similar test, but with printed rather than spoken languages. Even as a student, I got pretty good at that, except for the time we got a book in Deseret. That looked like it was written by moon people trying to imitate Georgian.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:20 AM on September 4, 2013 [13 favorites]


Dutch is an easy one. Just imagine that the person speaking is a German who just had a stroke.

And Portuguese is Spanish spoken by a Russian with a mouth full of oatmeal...
posted by jim in austin at 10:24 AM on September 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Perfect score so far, even managed to id Tongan, then the server died on me...
posted by MartinWisse at 10:25 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Got 500. Asking me to distinguish between Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia is a pretty dirty trick though.

Maltese is in the same fun category as Caboverdiano. A mostly Indo-European vocabulary superimposed over an "Afro-Asiatic " (enjoy your seizures, linguists!) grammar. You recognize so many of the words and yet have no idea what the person is saying.
posted by 1adam12 at 10:29 AM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Huh. Tried it twice, did really well both times, but Bosnian keeps throwing me for a loop. First time I clicked Portuguese, second time Punjabi. And I know what those languages sound like! (Not like each other, for one thing.) What the actual fuck.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:30 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Didn't do so well the first time around, but the second time I scored 700. I lost on Latvian. Baby.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 11:00 AM on September 4, 2013


650... once they get into listing like 7 options it gets tricky
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:31 AM on September 4, 2013


I'm a total monoglot, so I was surprised to even get 500. Looking at the stats I saw the highest score on the site is 4050!

It seems like if you play enough times you get a run of answers where the choices are all from different language families, which I find a lot easier to guess correctly than when I have to choose between Serb and Croat say.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:35 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


600 - the three I got wrong were all secondary choices, and 2 of them I felt like I knew the instant I hit the button like "fuck!"

I almost hit Estonian when it was Russian sounding (though I knew it wasn't Russian), and then thought that, IIRC, Estonian is even in a different language group, though I could be wrong.
posted by symbioid at 11:36 AM on September 4, 2013


1000!
posted by gimonca at 11:58 AM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I managed 900, but some of those were pure guesses. Got a freebie on one when the speaker mentioned Berlusconi.
posted by that's candlepin at 12:00 PM on September 4, 2013


"Dutch is an easy one. Just imagine that the person speaking is a German who just had a stroke."

Or a Fleming who needs to clear their throat and is currently being tickled.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:01 PM on September 4, 2013


1150 on my second try. All were easy until it came to the languages of India. I can't differentiate between Bangla and Hindi.
posted by misterpatrick at 12:22 PM on September 4, 2013


I missed Lao, Sinhalese and Bangla.
posted by jph at 12:22 PM on September 4, 2013


650 on my first try so far, but I swear I was robbed - on the very first question (before I'd even warmed up!) it gave me one I could tell was Slavic, but it only offered two options that are nearly adjacent to each other geographically: Croatian and Bulgarian. Is there any obvious trick to tell them apart without speaking one of them?
posted by XMLicious at 12:34 PM on September 4, 2013


I am going to spend the rest of my evening on this. Goddamn, Metafilter.
posted by kariebookish at 1:02 PM on September 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


How the hell am I supposed to tell Hindi and Urdu apart?
posted by madcaptenor at 1:17 PM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


And Portuguese is Spanish spoken by a Russian with a mouth full of oatmeal...

Essentialist explanations might interest you.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:20 PM on September 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, while we're on this, Ms. madcaptenor refers to Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian collectively as "Bosnifuckit".
posted by madcaptenor at 1:20 PM on September 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


600!
posted by dhruva at 1:44 PM on September 4, 2013


Hey, this post appeared a couple days ago and then promptly disappeared, right? What went wrong? (Just geek curiosity, I don't mean to derail) Anyway I'm glad it's back, I wanted to try some more.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 2:04 PM on September 4, 2013


I got 500 on my first try. 700 on my second. what's horrible is when they have several choices that are all geographically near each other (like all middle eastern languages). Then you have to pick out cadence and consonant repetitions to determine which language it is.

Man, I wish I wasn't a monolinguist.
posted by daq at 2:10 PM on September 4, 2013


650 first time out, 900 the second, but there were several lucky guesses involved for that return trip. A solid grounding in Latvian helped me out, but a complete lack of grounding in the languages of the subcontinent dragged me to my doom. And TIL that I know nothing about Maltese.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:00 PM on September 4, 2013


1150 on my first try. I'm a bit of a language enthusiast, speaking three unrelated languages well and having dabbled in many more. When we're out on the streets of NYC it's always fun to identify what language people are speaking.

The game asked me to distinguish between several Slavic languages early on - I was asked Polish / Slovak, Slovak/ Slovenian, Bosnian / Czech, and Bosnian / Polish. I only got Slovenian because the person specifically said "slovenska" in the recording, and I identified Polish because they said "pan" a few times.

One of the hardest "common" languages for me to recognize (both in this game and in real life) is Portuguese. It doesn't sound anything like Spanish, and if I'm not listening carefully it almost sounds like a Slavic language. Fortunately they said "Portugal" in the recording.

Almost lost a life on Hebrew/Assyrian and Indonesian/Fijian/Tongan - these were just lucky guesses going with the language with more speakers.

Finally, I ended the game by getting Fijian, Hindi, and Samoan wrong. Fijian and Samoan were fair game, as I have zero exposure to Polynesian languages, but the Hindi recording was awful (it was a guy talking over a bad connection to a female radio host who only laughed).

Neat game, thanks for linking.
posted by pravit at 3:33 PM on September 4, 2013


BULGARIAN RUSSIAN SLOVAK

fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:00 PM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Funnily enough, after 4 playthrus averaging 650 or so, I never got a sample from either of the two languages I've had any level of formal instruction in (Spanish and Hungarian).
posted by PMdixon at 5:03 PM on September 4, 2013


Hey, this post appeared a couple days ago and then promptly disappeared, right? What went wrong?
That would be this post when the servers were overloaded. From the creators twitter: It's on new servers now -- give it another try.
posted by unliteral at 5:57 PM on September 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


If it sounds like a vampire speaking Italian, gotta be Romanian.
posted by Hlewagast at 6:00 PM on September 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


One suggestion would be to give you more points for getting a correct guess with a larger number of choices. I got 700, but in many of the first few there were only 2 options, and one seemed (to me) obviously wrong. But to get one with 7 options when Albanian, Latvian, and Polish are options seems like a bigger achievement.
posted by Metro Gnome at 6:24 PM on September 4, 2013


1200 on my first try but I am a reformed linguistics major.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 6:26 PM on September 4, 2013


Croatian or Bosnian: c'mon, gimme at least a choice between languages that aren't mutually intelligible!
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:47 PM on September 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fun! I'm going to send the link to my students.
posted by jiawen at 7:06 PM on September 4, 2013


Got 800 my first try. It gave me Slovenian 3 times, and I got it by recognizing a place name in the clip. Missed Lao (guessed Thai), Serbian, and Dinka. Think I'm doing this all night.
posted by Sand Reckoner at 8:00 PM on September 4, 2013


Monoglot here so I'm a bit boggled that I got 900 on my second try. Only 500 on my first, but I was impressed with myself at the time and then when I tried again, I took my time and listened to the samples multiple times and just thought about what I was hearing. So I feel like my 900 isn't a fluke. I guess I need to play a couple more times to be sure.

Except that you sort of learn some of these as you go, right?

Well, on the other hand ... on that 900 game I just did, two of my three misses were Tigrinya. I heard it once, was told what it was, and got it wrong again! My other miss was Urdu. Which I think I missed in my previous game. (Wikipedia: listen for nasalized vowels and the different plosives. Okay.)

I'm going to play again and see if I was just lucky...
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:09 PM on September 4, 2013


It broke at 1200, with 3 lives left. The next recording just didn't load! I would try again but I'm afraid I'll get a question where I have three Dravidian languages to choose from.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 9:44 PM on September 4, 2013


I'm really not as good as I wish I were, and am getting to the point where my improvement is due to recognising the clips (so memory rather than actual language recognition).

Also, perhaps it is just me, but do many of the clips mention Australia? I swear I keep hearing variants on Australian and even Sydney in there. But maybe it's some sort of weird cognitive bias?
posted by Athanassiel at 9:49 PM on September 4, 2013


I really really want this in writing rather than audio.
posted by desuetude at 10:19 PM on September 4, 2013


Also, perhaps it is just me, but do many of the clips mention Australia?
Lars Yencken (the creator) is in Melbourne, Australia. As he says in his 'about': "The audio samples we use are snippets of news from SBS Australia, and reflect Australia's rich migrant culture."
posted by unliteral at 11:49 PM on September 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


pravit, you might have been a bit lucky with you slavic languages: in Slovak, "slovensko/á" means Slovak (the nationality). (Slovenian in Slovak is "slovinsko", Slovak in Slovenian is "slovaška", and finally, of course, Slovenian in Slovenian is "slovenščina" (as opposed to the native name of the Slovak language, "slovenčina" (all this information from browsing Wikipedia, but I got a cool 1000 in the game too)))
posted by ikalliom at 11:51 PM on September 4, 2013


unliteral, that explains it. I was listening to something about John Howard and the Liberals in Indonesian and thinking there must be some kind of regional link. I was having too much fun trying to recognise the languages to read the About!
posted by Athanassiel at 12:17 AM on September 5, 2013


One of the Greek clips mentions Athens, but it's not terribly obvious as it sounds more like Athina.

I'm amazed at the number of times I got it wrong after getting it right the first time...
posted by fix at 12:56 AM on September 5, 2013


1050. I was consistently foiled by the South-East Asian languages, but (for obvious geographical & linguistic reasons) nailed North-Germanic and most Slavic languages. I used to have a Somali neighbour & I have a Turkish in-law, so that helped.

But I had never heard of Dinka nor Dari. So now I'll spend tonight learning stuff about new languages. Goddamn, Metafilter.
posted by kariebookish at 1:01 AM on September 5, 2013


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