13 April 2009

Today's Quiz: What language is this?

UPDATE: So far Jack has guessed Thai (nope) and Carmen Cherokee (ditto). Here is a hint: it is a language from a mountainous region, several speakers of it were once on the Manchester City Futbol team, it uses a base 20 number system (!) and is an agglutinative language like Finno-Ugrian languages. My favorite word in the language is gvprckvni with the improbable meaning of "You peel us."

Any other guesses? Maire? Anyone?



At 13 April, 2009 22:28, Blogger jack perry said...

Is it Thai?

At 14 April, 2009 11:19, Blogger Clemens said...

No. I'll do an update with some hints. Carmen guessed Cherokee, which makes some sense if you have ever seen written Cherokee (a living language in this state, btw).

(Actually, Jack, I thought you would tell me not only the name of the language, but that you spoke it once! I admire your linguistic skills)

At 14 April, 2009 13:52, Blogger jack perry said...

When you say mountainous region, I want to guess Nepal. I don't know enough linguistics to know what agglutinative means, but thanks for the compliment. :-)

Sadly, I don't know who uses a base 20 number system, but rather than cheat I'll hit "submit" and then use Google. :-P

At 14 April, 2009 22:14, Anonymous Maire said...

Georgian huh? I was kind of hoping for Basque....

At 14 April, 2009 22:20, Blogger Clemens said...

Maire is RIGHT! It is Georgian, formally part of the evil empire and forced to write in Cyrillic. Now they have returned to their native alphabet called "military".
Apparently there is another, completely different alphabet called "priest" that is no longer used.

(ok - you cheated, right?)

At 14 April, 2009 22:31, Blogger jack perry said...

I knew I'd seen it before. Dang, I should have guessed that. If the Thai's hadn't been having their protests lately, maybe I would have.

Oh well, there's always next time.

At 14 April, 2009 22:34, Blogger jack perry said...

I showed it to my wife, and the first word out of her mouth was, "Georgian." Before I could say "yes", though, she added, "or maybe Armenian, or Abkhazian? I can't tell the three apart."

I guess your readers know that she's Russian, but she also spent a summer in the Caucasus while getting her astronomy degree. Something about telescopes, don't ask me.


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