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Mystery Languages 2 – Can You Identify These Languages?


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Check out the link in the description box. Hello everyone. Welcome to the Langfocus channel
and my name is Paul. Today’s video is the second installment
in the series “Mystery Languages”. If you haven’t seen the first video
in the “Mystery Languages” series, you can check it out right here. But basically, this is how it works: I will play you an audio sample of a language
and then I’ll show you a visual sample of the language in it’s written form
and you can guess what language it is. But whether you guess correctly or not,
that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you leave your guesses
and the reasons for your guesses
in the comments down below And that will spark some interesting discussion. So, let’s get right into the first language. Please, listen : Now let’s have a look at a few written samples
of that same language: So what language do you think it is? The language is Cebuano. A language spoken on the island of Cebu
in the Philippines If you guessed Tagalog or Filipino which is
the official language which is based on Tagalog, then that’s a pretty good guess because Tagalog
and Cebuano are closely related languages. I’ve studied Tagalog and I’m fairly familiar with it. And when I look at Cebuano, sometimes I don’t know
if I’m looking at Tagalog with lots of vocabulary
I don’t know or whether I’m looking at Cebuano. Cebuano is sometimes referred to as “Bisaya”, which is actually a group of closely related languages
that are spoken in the Visayas region in the Philippines. But some people like to refer to all the Bisaya languages
as a single language with different dialects. That’s because all the Bisaya languages
are quite closely related but also because, well, there’s power in numbers. You may have noticed the Spanish vocabulary
in the sample sentences. That’s because Cebuano has lots of Spanish loanwords,
just like Tagalop does. In fact, Cebuano has even more Spanish
loanwords than Tagalog. Ok, on to the second language. Please, listen: And again, let’s have a look at some written samples. So, what language is it? It’s the Lao language. Lao is a language spoken
in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos. It’s a member of the Tai-Kadai language family, which is spoken in some parts of Southeast Asia,
southern China in northern India. If you thought the language was Thai,
then you were very close because Thai and Lao are very closely related
and to a large degree, they are mutually intelligible. They are both tonal languages, but one notable difference is that
Thai has five tones while Lao has six stones They are also written in a slightly different script
but the scripts themselves are also closely related. And if you can read one,
then reading the other shouldn’t be too hard. Some of you may have noticed
the tones in the language sample,
which make the language sound kind of melodic. And you might have guessed one of the chinese
languages like Mandarin or Cantonese. And those guesses would make sense, because
those are tonal languages just like Lao and Thai are. Ok, on to the third language. Please, listen: And again, let’s see a bit of the language, visually : So what language is it? It’s the Romanian language If you speak any Romance languages, then
you probably noticed right away that there was
a lot of romance vocabulary in the samples. But the pronunciation might have seemed
kind of unusual to you. That’s because Romanian is a Romance language
with some Slavic influence. That influence affects the pronunciation
and also the vocabulary of the language. You may have also noticed the little glyphs
above the letter “a” and below the letter “t”. Those glyphs are actually an integral part of those letters. And those letters along with this, this and this give you a quick hint that you’re looking at Romanian
and not at a different Romance language. Romanian is spoken in Romania and Moldova and is geographically isolated
from the other major Romance languages. The Slavic influence on the language makes it distinct
from the other Romance languages. But Romanian is also said to be the closest
Romance language to the original Latin. In grammar, that’s probably true. But in some other areas like phonology, it may not be
as close to the original Latin as say Italian. Well, I hope you enjoyed guessing
today’s Mystery Languages. Leave your guesses and your reasons
in the comments down below. And also let me know if you liked this series
and you think I should continue doing it. And again, I want to say thank you to all of my
Patreon supporters for your continued support, especially these ones, right here on the screen,
for their especially generous pledges. Thank you for watching and have a nice day!

100 Replies to “Mystery Languages 2 – Can You Identify These Languages?”

  • I heard:
    1. Some borrowed Spanish, but with guttural and palatal sounds, so something Filipino. Close enough!
    2. Asian, tonal, but not Chinese. The writing is Southeast Asian. Thai? Close!
    3. Definitely a Romance language, but with a whiff of Russian. Romanian, Moldovan Romanian. Bingo!

  • Another giveaway about Lao vs Thai is the use of "kha" (for women) and "khrap" (for men) which is used in Thai but not Lao.

  • I thought the Romanian was Portuguese when I heard it, although it became very obvious when I saw the writing. Somehow Portuguese sounds Slavic to me, and it seems that I'm far from the only person to think that.

  • My answers are almost correct all:
    1. A dialect of the Philippines (I know Tagalog but this one is much faster and has different accent, should not be Tagalog)
    2. Lao (because I’m Thai, understand spoken Lao, and of course, I can differentiate it)
    3. Romanian (it has Latin vocabulary but with Slavic-like phonological feature: Patalization and the vowel “ă” which does not exist in other Romance languages)

    How to differentiate Lao from Thai:
    1. /r/ and /ch/ in Thai became /h,l/ and /s/ respectively.
    2. In polite or formal Lao, “jao” is used at the end of sentence while Thai use “krap/ka”.

    Romanian is a good example of Sprachbund influences. It’s a Romance language but spoken in the Balkan where the majority is Slavic. So the Balkan languages, including Slavic, Romance, Hellenic and Albanian are somehow similar in phonology and grammar.

  • 1.I heard Mohammed something, so I guessed some Arab languages. I saw Latin notes, so I switched to some…Malay or Indonesian maybe? Well, a Philippine.
    2. Wow I’m so familiar with such phonology, it seems very much like Cantonese that I cannot catch a single word! (I speak Wu and Mandarin Chinese) It must be… Vietnamese! When I saw the writing which looks like Thai but more curly, I realized, Not Latin noted Vietnamese nor unique Thai, it may be Cambodian or Lao. Well, half correct.
    3. No idea at all

  • 1.) The written has aspects of Spanish and some other SEA language so I'm going to guess Filipino (Tagalog).
    2.) I've seen the script somewhere before, obviously this is a language from Asia and is tonal. But I have no clue as it's not Thai or Vietnamese.
    3.) It's a romance language and it sounds mildly slavic so Romanian.

  • 1. didn't have any idea honestly 2. thai was my closest guess 3. romanian! (based on the written example, wouldn't have been able to tell otherwise)

  • My first thought with the 2nd video was that it was maybe Hmong, but then I remember it sounded like the Southeast Asian languages I heard growing up in the 80's in OKC, OK. I guessed either Lao or Cambodian. The sounds are definitely distinct from Mandarin. The immigrants came there after the Vietnam War. There weren't any Hmong there just Cambodians, Lao, and mostly Vietnamese. It was fun to hear that sound again. I don't hear it as often as I did when I was a kid. Thanks Paul.

  • For the first one I was lost, other than it being a Romance language. The second one I actually got! It sounded a bit like a milder version of Vietnamese so I said "Laotian" (didn't know the name). My second guess was going to be Thai once I saw the written form. The third one I got as well, but it was a total crapshoot.

  • 1. Visayan Language (Cebuano)… 2. Thai Language.. (Central Thai) – I completely skipped the script that i answered it wrong.
    . . 3. Russian (It is a Romanian and no idea how it sounds). lol..

  • 1- Thought it was a language from South India like Tamil, when I saw it written I thought it was Quechua because of the Spanish words.
    2- thought it was Vietnamese, or at least somewhere from Indochina. When I saw it written I guessed Thai or Laosian or Cambogian.
    3- Surprised to hear my mother tongue :)))

  • The mutual intelligibility of Thai and Laotian is clearly demonstrated in traveling between the two countries. As a Thai speaker I can confidently order fried chicken and sticky rice in Laos without fear of getting something drastically different. The funny thing is that the Thai phrase for "I'm doing well", sabai dee, is the common Laotian "hello". It stops being tricky after a couple of days.

  • 1 – No idea. At first glance sounds like some african language but not sure. Maybe some indo-aryan language?
    2 – This one sounds even more like indo-aryan language.
    3 – Italian? Oh, the written samples doesn't look like italian. I am confused. Oh, what a surprise!

  • my guesses:
    1.hmmm what is it? tagalog?
    2.about the pronoun and the accent sounds like thai,*after saw the script* oh it's lao!
    3. hmmm russian (it's romanian LOL)

  • Ok, let's do this.

    1.- There are some spanish words here and there… So maybe loanwords? It somewhat reminds me of vietnamese for the pronunciation. Like a mixture of Vientamese and Spanish, so guessing Filipino?
    Ok, that written part really looks like Spanish in some words.
    Cool, nice guess.
    2.- Sound like Mandarin, because of the different accents in pronunciation of vowels. Maybe Cantonese or Shanghainese?
    Ok, I'm wrong. The writing suggests Thai? Maybe Thai?
    Damn… that was difficult.
    3.- Italian, but not Italian language. One of the regional languages. Sicilian, Napolitan, Venetian?
    Ok, the words look like some strange pronunciation of italian words. Defintely an italic language but with strange accents…
    ROMANIAN WTF???!!!

    Meh… 1.5/3
    Need to watch more videos.

  • อันที่2เสียงมันเหมือนกับคนภาคตะวันออกเฉียงเหนือของไทยอ่ะ แต่ถ้าให้เอาแบบดีๆ ก็ต้องเป็นLao(Translate this)

  • 1. Cebuano – it was kind of a cheat because I'm Filipino and therefore knew quickly it was Cebuano
    2. Khmer – I thought it was Hokkien at first but then it sounded a bit Viet, so I thought it was somewhere along the area. Apparently it was Lao xD
    3. Sicilian or Romanian – I thought Sicilian at first because it sounded Italian but with a different flavor, then guessed Romanian after reading.

  • 1. tagalog/filipino? not sure, close guess tho
    2. i can easily tell it's tai kadai, it's lao from script, nearly thought it was thai until i saw the script
    3. the script is so obvious, romanian

  • 1. sounds romance but looks like some asian thing…
    2. sounds like japanese/chiense/corean but it´s written in arabi script so idk
    3. Romanian!

  • 1:Dzongkha because I don’t know how to speak it
    2:Thai because I recognise the symbols
    3:don’t know

  • I was completely lost on the 1st one. For the second I guessed Thai, which was close. For the 3rd one on the ear I was mixed between Romanian and some sort of a Portuguese-related dialect. However, seeing it written made it clear it was Romanian.
    Please make a topic on Vietnamese! Thank you for this wonderful channel!

  • 1st Cebuano: I was totally wrong, I saw the spanish influence and thought to hear the word Panama, my guess was any Ketchua (then I learned there is no Ketchua spoken in Panama). 2nd Laotian: this was my lucky guess. It sounded like thai but slightly different, somehow like kambodian but more tonal. 3rd: Romanian: I learned it years ago and it`s gone of course, but enough left to recognize it even without the written text. Please make more of this nice quiz. Thank you

  • 0:36 It's Cebuano mix with Spanish, English, Tagalog, and Austronesian Languages that
    has combined, the Cebuano is VSO sentence. Well here the sentence is:

    Pwede ko makatabang nimo?
    Maybe I will help you.
    "Pwede" was derived in Spanish "Puede," ko was me connected to verb not subject, the root is tabang which means help + maka (future tense) and "nimo" is with you.

    Next sentence is:
    Nanginahanglan ko ug doktor.
    I need a doktor.
    Kinahanglan is the root word means "need someone" + nangi not nagki is "present tense" then, "ko" is me connected with "ug" which means identify an object to "doktor."

    Last sentence is:
    Trayntay tres na ako edad.
    Oh! Sounds like Spanish!
    I'm 13 years old
    While "na" (presented by age usually past tense) and "ako" is me was different in "ko."
    "Ako" was nearby subject and "ko" was before or after verb. INTERESTING!

    Edited: (I just added a 1 sentence)

    Do you like Cebuano? Tell us in the reply section

  • When Romanian was playing, I immediately recognized it was a Romance language (as a native speaker of French who also knows Spanish), but I was kinda confused as to what it could be, as it sounded very similar to Italian in terms of vocabulary, but with a Slavic accent and pronunciation. I only realized it was Romanian when I saw the written form.
    As for Lao, as I know Thai, I thought it was Thai at first, but then I realized some words sounded off, and there were some words I didn't recognize at all, but again, it all made sense when I saw the written form…

  • I heard Latin sounding languages and a bit of Slavic influence and I knew it was Romanian

  • 1) I tried Wolof, as it sounds kinda like arabic but without the "harsh" sounds.
    2) Thaï. Obviously.
    3) I went to some italic language with the sound. Maybe Corsican. But then I saw the orthography, so I got it right.

  • 1. Hmm. Sounds asian, like indian. Oof, latin script, it must be from Phillipines or Indonesia.
    2. Sounds asian too with tones. Oof, it looks like Thai script. Thai.
    3. Sounds like spanish but not spanish. Hmm. OOF, written, romanian.

  • Hi Paul!

    I am a chavacano (de zamboanga)

    1. We have a lot of visayans in the city so i know that's visayan

    2. You got me. I thought its Thai.

    3. I thought its Portugese coz you have a video telling portugese and russian sound similar. And i kinda felt its a romance language but sound russian.

  • 1. Urdu/Altai bc it sounded kinda middle eastern n Slavic
    2. Cambodian, I was close
    3. Czech, I speak Russian and it sounded eastern European at least I had some influence right

  • My guesses:

    1- Chavacano. At first it sounded Asian – don't ask me why – and when you showed the written samples I noticed some Spanish-like words ("pwede" = "puede", "duktor" = "doctor", "tres" = "tres", "edad" = "edad"). Given that, I assumed the language was spoken in Philipines, so I guessed it could be Chavacano. I guessed wrong.

    2- Vietnamese. It sounded really similar to Vietnamese to me, so I thought it could be, but then I looked at the written sample and it had this strange script. Maybe it was a close language? It is from Southeast Asia for sure. I got that last thing right, but not the language.

    3- Romanian. The audio recording sounded like a Russian woman trying her best at speaking Italian. It was Romance for sure and the Russian-like sound made me think it may have a Slavic influence. Romanian was the first thing that came into mind and this was confirmed when I looked at the written samples: Latin script, Romance words and those strange curved accents from Romanian. I got this one right.

    1/3 Pretty bad :c I really liked the video tho👍

  • Filipino (Because I saw the spanish loanwords)
    Thai (I watched some videos in Thai once and I recognized the tone)
    Romanian (I remember searching for vids of people speaking romanian and when i finally found one i was really shocked because it didnt sound the way i was expecting)

  • My guesses

    1-Uhm, this sounds like Pashto or some Urdu, then i was surprised it was sorta Tagalog. So i got it off.

    2-Oh ! This one sounds just like that Thai BL series that i've watched last night, then the scripts were shown so i knew it wasn't Thai so i said Khmer maybe ? or Lao. Therefore i got it right, hehe somehow

    3-Okay i bet this is porteg- oh wait that's why harsher, okay i bet my ass this is Romanian, then i was like OMG bitches im a genius lmao.

  • My guesses and their reasons were Cebuano (I have a close friend who speaks this as his native language), Cambodian (it sounded tonal, not Mandarin, and appears to have an alphabet, but not the Thai one), and Romanian (it sounded like there was an influence from Spanish or Italian, but the diacritics gave it away).

  • A Russian here.

    1. Well, there were no chances for me to guess that, but the sound of a language itself kind of made me think of some islands in South East Asia, so for some reason I thought of Bahasa Indonesia. False.

    2. From the very first moment the phonetics reminded me of Khmer because of it sounding so similar to what the Khmer language has. Though, the way vowels sounded was more melodic, and all these /pr/, /ph/, /br/ consonant combinations, which Khmers love so much aren't present here as well. Somehow I didn't think Thai could be an option here, so the only conclusion was correct – the Lao language. Also, they had mentioned something being pronounced as "Lao" with variations, hadn't they?

    3. Romanian, guessed at the spot. I do not even know, how can one confuse a combo of a vast amount of Romance lexicon and their /î/, /ă/ sounds with something at all. 🙂

  • First – I was sure it is Arabic because it sounded throaty, harsh and… little ugly. Also was there something in the Speech cutting.
    Second – I knew it's something from southeastern Asia because of the letters. I was sure it's tamili or telugu because I confused the alphabethes. I almost never heared languages from this area or was there so it's close enough 🙂
    Third – at first I thought it is Romance because it is quick and musical, but then I saw many similarities to Russian and Polish, so I thought it's south-slavic language. Well, twice I was so close but incorrect…

  • 2/3 😀 I totally got Lao! and Romanian 🙂 I really was way on the wrong continent for the first. Sorry, Cebu!

  • I guessed the second one was Vietnamese… Going out on a limb, paused the video and posting this before knowing the answer. This is fun.

  • 1. Audio: No idea
    Script: No idea
    2. Audio: SE-Asian smth
    Script: Lao?? The script seems curvier than Thai
    3. Audio: Romanian, I know a little of this language))
    Script: still Romanian))

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