PICK THE RIGHT ROMANCE.

An enjoyable quiz: “Can you pick the [Romance] language in which the given sentence is written?” (created by Norwegian_dude); I’m a little dubious about including Esperanto on the basis that “most of its words” derive from Romance, but big deal, it just adds to the fun. I got 11 out of 11; I wouldn’t recognize Romansh on its own, but it was easy enough to get by elimination.

Comments

  1. marie-lucie says:

    Merci!

  2. Not bad, but throw in Ladin, Friulian, Venetian, Corsican, Gascon, and a few others, and I would be lost.

  3. Yes, it would be nice to have an expanded version.

  4. Romansh is essentially Romance spelled as if it were German.

  5. My wife speaks little bits of Spanish and Italian at the useful-for-a-tourist level, and finds it hard not to muddle them. French isn’t a problem, she says, because her school taught her to read and write it but scarcely to speak it.

  6. The clue for me to recognize Romansh was ‘tgau’, pretty obviously equivalent to ‘ciao’. I’m sure I would have trouble with those suggested by Y.

  7. Trond Engen says:

    9 here, first missing one for not having understood I could postpone the difficult ones and then another for hitting the wrong field on my touchscreen. But I almost ran out of time too, so I don’t know if I could have scored any more.

  8. not having understood I could postpone the difficult ones
    Ah, I hadn’t noticed the “Next” button. Nice feature.

  9. 11/11, yesss. But why these eleven and why not include, say, Provençal, Galician or Aranese?
    Also, is anybody working on the Slavic version yet? I could do it, but you just know I will put it the weirdest stuff…

  10. 11/11. The fact that all of them have different orthographical conventions really comes in handy.

  11. Please, bulbul.

  12. marie-lucie says:

    Why not more languages?
    Give the guy a break! These must be languages that he knows or is learning. The sentence is the type that occurs (or can be put together) in the first few lessons of a language textbook:
    My name is X, I am 11 years old, my father is 39 years old, my grandmother is 74 years old, etc, hence the disparity in the ages in the translations. No textbook for a language, no place for it on the quiz.
    Muddling Spanish and Italian: many nouns are the same individually in the singular, eg vino ‘wine’, casa ‘house’, but a major giveaway is the noun plurals: Sp o, años, It anno, anni ‘year/years’; Sp casa, casas, It casa, case ‘house/houses’. Of course there are many other clues but this one is quite striking.

  13. I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but when my family was living in Buenos Aires we used a plumber who had immigrated from Italy (like so many Argentines) many years before and had forgotten most of his Italian, but had never learned Spanish properly, so that he spoke a sort of mishmosh; I was the only one in the family who could effectively communicate with him.

  14. Yes, it’s too easy if you’re familiar with the orthography of modern Romance languages.
    Incidentally, I suspect the variety of Rheto-Romance represented in the quiz is not Romantsch Grischun. More likely one of the dialects the emerging literary standards is based on – which lead to Romantsch Grischun. I’m a native speaker of German, so I find the mixture of Romance and Germanic fun – in the vocabulary too.
    bulbul: if you have the time and feel like putting together such a quiz for Slavic languages, I would only stand a chance if it was based on written languages. I can’t for the life of me hear a differrence between Czech and Slovak. I would bet 1€ that I can I distinguish Galego from Portuguese, but not Slovak from Czech.

  15. “not Slovak from Czech.” Depends on the clues. If you see an r or an e with a hachek/caron, it must be Czech.

  16. Dreas,
    really? To my ears, Czech has some very distinct prosody patterns, much like Hungarian.
    Alexei,
    you don’t really think I’d make it that easy, do you?

  17. I hereby announce in advance I’m not going to get a perfect score on bulbul’s test.

  18. If every other vowel is í and even -ный adjectives have -ní then that’s Czech. Easy.

  19. David Marjanović says:

    Romansh is essentially Romance spelled as if it were German.

    That’s true for sch and *facepalm* tsch, but not for tg [dʒ]; that one’s taken from Catalan on the grounds of “come on, I have to put something Romance-looking in there”.

    I can’t for the life of me hear a differrence between Czech and Slovak.

    Wait for long enough, and a ř will surface in Czech but not in Slovak.
    If you wait really long, an ô might surface in Slovak. However, don’t count on a ľ to show up; I strongly suspect western Slovak doesn’t have it.

    really? To my ears, Czech has some very distinct prosody patterns, much like Hungarian.

    Like Hungarian, Czech outside of (parts of?) Silesia takes its long vowels amazingly seriously, no matter how unstressed they are. Slovak… perhaps less and less so as you go east?

    Also, is anybody working on the Slavic version yet? I could do it, but you just know I will put it the weirdest stuff…

    Challenge accepted.

  20. marie-lucie says:

    Bulbul, that’s unfair! The Romance quiz (as I pointed out) is based on a very simple sentence, on the level of the first chapter or two of learning a language from a textbook. Or do you intend to chose something both very simple and very weird?

  21. Dreas: I think you are right; unless my sources are misleading me the Romansh in the quizz is Sursilvan (demographically the most important dialect) and not Romantsch Grischun.
    And while I did get 11/11 on the Romance quizz, I hereby announce that, like our cyberhost, I will definitely NOT get a perfect score on a Slavic language identification game. Indeed, if Bulbul creates it, and if his answer to Alexei above is any clue, I suspect I will get none of them right. I can see it already… (“How could you mix up Child Eastern Slovak and obsolescent Silesian Polish, you fool? Almost as unforgivable a blunder as mixing up Croatian teen slang and L2 non-standard Serbian! And may I add that a toothless elderly speaker of Southern Russian and a seriously intoxicated speaker of an Eastern Ukrainian dialect will find each other mutually unintelligible, so the failure on the part of a so-called linguist such as yourself to tell them apart is frankly unbelievable!”)
    Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have written the above –I wouldn’t want to give Bulbul or others any ideas… :)

  22. Alon Lischinsky says:

    @hat:

    I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but when my family was living in Buenos Aires we used a plumber who had immigrated from Italy (like so many Argentines) many years before and had forgotten most of his Italian, but had never learned Spanish properly, so that he spoke a sort of mishmosh; I was the only one in the family who could effectively communicate with him.

    That was a pretty common phenomenon. The resulting pidgin (known as cocoliche) was widely understood in Buenos Aires by the early 20th century, and became a staple of comic theatre before going extinct as the immigrants themselves died off. Their children invariably acquired the standard, although a good deal of cocoliche survives today as plain Rioplatense Spanish.

    Possibly the best piece on cocoliche I’ve ever read is buried in a hard-to-find edited collection: Lavandera, Beatriz R. (1978). The variable component in bilingual performance. In: Alatis, James E. (ed.), International Dimensions of Bilingual Education. Washington, DC: Georgetown UP (pp. 391–409).

    To go back on topic, I’d love a version with Ladin, Friulian, Venetian, Corsican, Gascon, Aragonese, Galician and the rest thrown in.

  23. Thanks, that’s interesting to know!

  24. Alon Lischinsky says:

    Do you read Italian, hat? If so, this seems an interesting intro to the phenomenon.

  25. I do, more or less, so grazie!

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