5 Strange Languages Still Spoken Today
September 8, 2019
Did you know that there is a language
composed entirely of whistles? – (whistles)
– Lets talk about that. ♪ (theme music) ♪ – Good Mythical Morning!
– Did you know there are over – 7,000 languages spoken on Earth today?
– Can’t say that I did. And probably a lot more spoken in the
universe by other beings… – Oooh.
– …but we’re not gonna get into – alien languages this episode.
– Cheek nork. Fleep. – Cheek nork. Hm, I like that.
– Cheek nork. – Cheek nork. What galaxy is that from?
– Uh, Andromeda. Mm. Anyway, there are 7,000 languages
spoken on this planet, and over 6,000 of them are spoken by under 100,000
people. Which basically means that you, watching this, probably don’t know nor
have ever heard of – most of the languages spoken.
– Let us take you through these. I wanna start in South Africa. This is an
official language. Under 8 million people – speak it. That’s not that many people.
– It’s a lot of people in one sense, – but not in another sense.
– But not in a language sense. This language is called (clicks) Xhosa.
(clicks) Xhosa. – What? (clicks) Xhosa?
– (clicks) Xhosa. Like “hosa” with an X in from of it.
It’s got all the vowels and consonant sounds that we know and love. But they
add in some cool three click sounds. – Oh. I like clicking.
– This is what it sounds like – conversationally.
– (foreign language with clicking) – (Rhett) What?
– (clicking continues) I think something’s just happening with
the microphone. Either something’s going wrong with the
microphone, or there’s somebody – off-camera going (clicking).
– No, there’s somebody hittin’ something. – No, that’s coming from this guy’s mouth.
– That’s amazing. The x, c, and q sounds are different
clicks, and a little clip of an instructional video, because I wanna teach
you. And along the way, we are gonna learn some of each of these languages.
Learn with us. You will be able to speak new languages
after watching today. – So here are the three clicks.
– Guaranteed. The three clicks are x, which is,
you know, (average clicking). Or the c, which is pronounced
(hissing clicking). And the q, which is pronounced
(deep click) – What?
– The q… So the t is (hissing clicking). – Or the c is (hissing clicking)
– (hissing clicking) – And the x is (average clicking)
– (average clicking) – But then the q is the…
– It made like a thudding noise. – (deep clicking) Can you do it?
– What? But there was more than that. – There was… (deep clicking)
– He did… (deep clicking) (deep clicking) – It’s somewhere in there.
– Yeah, just like that, guys. All right, I’m gonna teach you a phrase”
“Ee (deep click) eeyah.” – “Ee (deep click) eeyah.”
– It’s actually “ira.” – “Ee (deep click) eerah”.
– “E- E… Ee (deep click) eerah”. – “Lind ley lah.”
– “Lind ley lah.” – “Lin (deep click) oh.”
– Ling (deep click) oh.” – “N.. Nnyeng (deep click) oh.”
– “Ung (deep click) oh.” (clicking back and forth) No. (clicking back and forth) (laughing) It’s like two fish have
just met. And then the last word is
“Nng (deep click) twuh nay.” “Ung (deep click) way nay.”
“Ung (deep click) way nay.” And if you are able to put all that
together, you will be saying, “The road’s witch doctor is the knocking
beetle.” – It doesn’t make any sense.
– Well, if… – The road’s…
– The road’s witch doctor is the knocking beetle. It makes perfect sense.
I mean, (stammering) – That’s the sentence that they use?
– Yeah… – Or that’s something you just made up?
– Well, a little bit of both. Okay, uh, you just learned a new language.
How does that feel? You don’t wanna know what the road’s witch
doctor’s name is? – Oh, what is his name?
– The knocking beetle. Oh. How about Pawnee. This is the language
spoken exclusively on the set of – Parks and Recreation.
– (forced laughter) Not really. It’s the language spoken by
the Pawnee Native American tribe, of which there are only 100 native speakers
left. I didn’t say 100 thousand. – Wow.
– I didn’t say 100 hundred. I said 100. Triple digit.
Almost into double digit. – So it’s dying out.
– It’s dying out. It’s a polysynthetic language. Basically means they put
different word parts together and make sentences that are really just
words. So you can say a word, but it would mean the same thing that in
our language, a typical language, – a sentence would mean.
– Okay. For instance. Link, why don’t you say,
“Haht kah hut ee brah pah.” “Hahtkah hutyur apah.”
“Hahtkah hutyur apah.” – “Haht kahwur pure rapah.”
– “Hahtkah hutyur apah.” – “Haht kahrut pure ahprah.”
– “Haht corrupt…” – It’s not a corrupt opera.
– Hot corrupt opera. – You said corrupt opera.
– Well, yeah. – That’s what I’m thinking about.
– “Haht kahut yuraparah.” – “Haht kahut yuraprah.”
– “Haht kahut eer ah prah.” You just said, “To dig a small trench
or ditch the periphery as of a dweeling – to prevent seepage.”
– So “Dig a moat.” – To prevent seepage.
– That’s what a moat does. I don’t know what kinda seepage they’re
talking about. So they have one word that means that
whole sentence… – Yes.
– Of digging a moat. And here’s the language being spoken by
a native speaker. This is the Oklahoma – Historical Society’s clip from 1978.
– I bet this is gonna be better than you. (male voice) “Weh tehree kah oos.”
In Pawnee, when you say “Weh tehree kah oos,” it means, uh…
a child… is, uh… at an age where they can eat real well. – What?
– (laughing) All of that came from that one word?
That’s amazing. – “A child is at an…
– (both) “age…” – (both) “…where they can eat real well.”
– That’s good. I am at that age. – You are. You just became that age.
– I am a child at that age. – I am that word.
– We’ve been eatin’ really well – lately, Link.
– But I still can’t say it. – I don’t know how to say it again, though.
– I’m gonna build on that. I’ve got a polysynthetic language, uh… basically
word-sentences, too. The Eskimo language, um… spoken by
12,000 people, western Alaska, northeastern Siberia. They got 27
consonants. They only got four vowels. A, i, u, and the “shwah” sound, so they
got no e or o sound, but they have more consonants. Here’s a clip of a
woman saying — singing — saying. Not singing. She’s just talking. (speaking foreign language) It’s very sentimental music playing
behind that. Kinda makes it sad. – Yeah, made it seem even sadder.
– Yeah. And plus, she’s talking about how her
language is dying out. – Right.
– But we can change that, because we can – learn a little bit of the language.
– Okay, let’s keep it goin’. Right now. Try this one word with
30 letters in it. “Tun tussah kar nick sayt nick
ten quig tuck.” – (laughing)
– “Tun tussuck karnick satan quick…” You said Satan. You said Satan.
Don’t invoke anything here, Link. – So, you say it.
– “Tung tuss uh quah tahr nuck sing ting – kick quh tuck.” (click)
– And you just said, – “He had not yet said…” No.
– Is there a click in there? Sorry. He said, “He had not yet said again
that he was going to hunt reindeer.” Oh, yeah. Because he doesn’t need
to hunt reindeer anymore. None of those syllables except for
“tuntu,” which means reindeer, can actually stand on their own as an
independent word. That’s the amazing thing about this polysynthetic language
stuff, is that this word packs in this whole concept related to him saying
that “He had not yet said again that – he was going to hunt reindeer.”
– And you’re talking about Satan is – not gonna hunt reindeer.
– Satan doesn’t hunt reindeer either. I already knew that. How about
Silbo Gomero? This is spoken by the 22,000 inhabitants of La Gomera,
an island in Spain’s Canary Islands. – (Link) Okay.
– It has two vowels and four consonants, but it isn’t really spoken. it is a
language that consists entirely of whistling. Now, you’re gonna see a guy
who’s doing a little Castilian Spanish mixed in with explaining the whistling
laungauge. – Okay.
– (speaking Spanish) (quick whistling) (Spanish) (long whistle) – (Spanish)
– I don’t live with her any more. – Uh, I mean…
– (long whistle) – “I don’t live with her any more.”
– (laughing) I actually think that’s what he said at
the end in Spanish, but that middle part was like (quick whistling), meant
“Hey, where you goin’, honey?” But it just seems kind of like you’re
implying something, like (classic catcall whistle) You know, I know
what that means. But it’s actually mimicking Spanish words.
And… – That’s amazing.
– …the reason they invented it is because you can hear it through the canyons on
the islands. – Kinda like yodeling.
– And they just reintroduced it into the school curriculum. Here’s some
kids learning it in school. You have to learn this in school if you’re on this
island. – That’s great.
– (speaking Spanish) (whistling) – Look at these little studious kids.
– (Spanish) “Tell him to get up and close the window.” (whistling) – Is she doing it?
– Yeah, the girl with the… Is she chewing her finger and listening,
or is she doing it? No, she’s — that’s whistling, man!
And the other students… – She’s whistling with her finger?
– it’s the most well behaved students I’ve ever seen! They’re looking like… That’s because they’re entranced by the
whistling. I think it’s cool. I’m gonna teach my children to only speak
in this language. I’m tired of hearing – their voices.
– it’s cool that they are, like… They’re keeping it alive by putting it in
the classroom. That is cool. – Yeah. yeah. (whistles)
– I mean, a whistling language – should never die.
– (quick whistling) – (Link) Put that on a t-shirt.
– That’s what I just was interpret– – I was just translating.
– You said… I said “Put that on a t-shirt.” (both whistling) I actually said, “Put that on a tank-top.” – (Rhett whistling quickly)
– (Link doing a long, buzzing whistles) You’re kinda doing an alien thing at
the same time. Right, I’m speaking to aliens and those
Castilians at the same time. – Ah, great.
– I got one more here: Pirahã tribe in the Brazilian Amazon
rainforest. This language, the Pirahã language, is spoken by 380 people.
So this one’s going the way of the dodo bird, too — becoming extinct
like a lot of languages in this region. It’s got 10 to 12 sounds, only seven
consonants, and three vowels. So this sounds easy, right? Nope. (speaking foreign language) Now, translation: that guy said,
“I gotta talk to my lawyer before I – sign this release for this video.”
– Ah, okay. – So I want you to say “Nyeh so.”
– “Nyehso.” – “Ee see see.”
– “Ee see see.” – “Nee eye.”
– “Nee eye.” – “Kee eeyo.”
– “Kee eeyo.” – “Moh gay.”
– “Moh gay.” – “No gay.”
– “No gay.” And that means, “The fat spider monkey
inside my breast: what is it?” – (laughing)
– It’s a fat spider monkey inside – my breast. That’s what it is.
– Next time you go to the Amazon, you are gonna wanna ask somebody
what fat spider monkey’s in your breast. – Do they get in your breasts?
– Oh, yeah. And you’re gonna wanna memorize that phrase. Put that on your
smartphone. All right, if you’re planning on
getting a… – When canoeing down the Amazon.
– …a spider monkey in your breast, you’ll be thanking us later.
Thanks for watchin’. – And commenting.
– (both) And liking. – You know what time is is.
– Hi, I’m Paul. – I’m [inaudible].
– And I’m Michael. – And we are from Poland.
– And it’s time to spin (all) The Wheel of Mythicality! Remember we’ve got an all new Wheel of
Mythicality with much more opportunity for Win Face, #GMMWinFace.
You can win stuff. And don’t forget, you can go to the
rhettandlink.com/store and get the Rhett & Link bobble heads. And listen,
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– Solid as a rock! – …very heavy, substantial.
– Awesome. – Not your typical bobble head
material, just so so you. – It’s hard to tell just by looking at it.
– We got a Win Face! – (bells ringing)
– Hey! Oyoyoyoyoyo! Also, click through to Good Mythical More.
I’ve got another language that exists now that no one knows how to speak it.
It’s very mysterious. – ♪ (celebratory music) ♪
– (Rhett) All right, ClarkeInThe100. (Rhett) You win an Instasong. (both) ♪ (Clarke in the 100) ♪ – ♪ (You know you’re in…) ♪
– (both) ♪ (The 100. But we don’t know) ♪ – ♪ (what the 100 are.) ♪
– ~♪ (what the 100 is–are) ♪ – ♪ (But we are so glad that you’re) ♪
– ♪ (But we are so happy that you’re) ♪ (both) ♪ (in the 100!
Good luck with that!) ♪ – ♪ (Whatever it) ♪
– (both) ♪ (Is!) ♪ (laughing) See that? You won that, man. [Captioned by Kevin:
GMM Captioning Team]