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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Mystery Languages 5: Guess These Languages!

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Back, by not so popular demand

Meaning, about one third of my, viewers love these videos, and the other two-thirds are like--

It's another episode of mystery languages.

I will give you some samples of a language, and you have to guess what language it is.

You might not be able to guess the exact language, but maybe you'll be able to guess the language family

or the region or country where that language is spoken, or something like that.

Just try to see how close you can get.

Language #1.

Please listen.

So what language do you think it is?

The language is Yoruba.

Yoruba is a member of the Niger-Congo language family, and is spoken in the west African countries of Nigeria and Benin

as well as Togo.

It's an official language in Nigeria and is spoken by an estimated 30 million people.

Current estimates are based on population growth since 1990 when 18 million people spoke it as a native language.

It's also the most widely spoken African language outside of Africa, spoken by migrants around the world.

(That's excluding Arabic, which is not considered a native language of Africa.)

Yoruba is primarily the language of the Yoruba people, but not all Yoruba people speak the Yoruba language.

Yoruba is a tonal language and each syllable has one of three tones: high, mid, or low.

And as I understand it, you can hear these three tones in the name of the language,

which is pronounced "Yorùbá" with a mid, low, and high tone.

I probably just slaughtered that pronunciation but you get the idea, there are three tones.

Another feature to notice is that Yoruba syllables consist of:

a vowel,

a consonant followed by a vowel,

or, a nasal sound that functions as its own syllable.

There are no consonant clusters, and in that regard it's similar to Japanese.

Alright, let's look at another language. Please listen.

Now, what language do you think it is?

The language is Navajo.

Navajo is a member of the southern branch of the Athabaskan language family.

It's one of the most widely spoken Native American languages with around 170,000 native speakers,

most of whom are bilingual and speak English as well.

The area where Navajo is spoken is in the southwestern United States,

principally in Arizona, but also across the state borders in New Mexico and Utah. Navajo is a tonal language with four tones:

high,

low,

rising,

and falling.

It has a large inventory of consonant sounds; one example is a distinction between plain stops and fricatives and

labial stops and fricatives.

For example, there's the plain stop "k" and there's the labial stop "kw".

The difference is that the labial sounds include the rounding of the lips.

Another example is "x" and "xw", and "gh" and "ghw".

These two sounds, "x" and "gh", are sounds not used in English.

And then we have the labial sounds as well. Those are just a few of the many sounds of Navajo.

OK, time for the next language.

All right, what language do you think it is?

It's the Hungarian language.

Hungarian is spoken by around 15 million people, most of them in Hungary in central Europe,

but some live in neighboring Romania as well as other nearby countries like Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria,

Serbia, Croatia, and Ukraine.

Hungarian is *not* an Indo-European language.

It's a member of the Ugric branch of the Uralic language family.

One notable feature of Hungarian is that there are lots of geminated consonants.

Geminated, meaning long consonants, that are held longer than a short consonant.

These are represented in writing by double letters.

In the audio sample you can hear this if you pay attention for little pauses when the consonants are lengthened.

Another notable feature is palatalized consonants such as "ty"

Hungarian voice: "tyé"

"gy"

Hungarian voice: "gyé"

and "ny".

Hungarian voice: "EN-yé"

An overly simple way of describing these sounds is to say

that they sound like the consonant followed by a "yuh" sound.

I hope you liked this episode of Mystery Languages. If you haven't seen the previous four episodes, be sure to check those out.

They're pretty much the same as this one, but with different languages. Be sure to follow

Langfocus on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and once again thank you to all of my Patreon supporters,

especially these ones right here on the screen, who are, my top tier Patreon supporters. Thank you for watching and have a nice day!

The Description of Mystery Languages 5: Guess These Languages!