An enjoyable little quiz: 7 questions on less-spoken languages. Don’t get cocky if you’re six for six going into the home stretch; the last one is almost impossible unless you happen to be familiar with the very obscure language in question (or are, of course, a lucky guesser). My score: 6 out of 7.


  1. marie-lucie says

    I had the same experience. But we can’t know (or guess right) about every language! The quiz is well done though. Only 7 questions: worth a try!

  2. 6/7, partly out of luck (esp. on Celtic language questions), but lost on the first one because I guessed the ‘logical’ answer, rather than the ‘Mel Gibson is a complete sociolinguistic idiot’ answer.

  3. Trond Engen says

    Three sad points, missing on the Gibson question, both Celtic questions, and the final.

  4. I actually knew the last one, but still got only 5/7: I guessed wrong for the Passion of the Christ question, and I couldn’t tell the various Celtic languages apart.

  5. marie-lucie says

    I confess that my answers to the Celtic quesitons were more or less lucky guesses.

  6. 4/7. That is pretty terrible. I knew the Celtic one without a second thought thanks to trying to learn Gaelic, and I’m practically fluent in Simlish, but I hadn’t even heard of some of those. I expected to do so well too…

  7. I think that some of y’all must have over-thought the “which one of these sentences is a question?” one.

  8. dearieme says

    6/7, largely by guess-work. But I didn’t guess the Cornish one.

  9. 4 out of 7. I missed the Gibson question (I answered Hebrew), and missed all Celtic language questions.

  10. I think that some of y’all must have over-thought the “which one of these sentences is a question?” one.
    Oh yeah, I got that one only because the question had a question mark.

  11. Bathrobe says

    3 out of ten. And I only got one of those because I could read the language on the sign below (the one that says ‘lead-free’).

  12. Bathrobe says

    Actually, the quizz on Defunct Coins is full of linguistic goodies, too.

  13. Greg Lee says

    5/7 — same as Ran. Fun quiz.

  14. Interesting.
    6 – I got the Mel Gibson movie one wrong.

  15. 7/7. There were, I think, tricks to the ones that one couldn’t reasonably be expected to know factually.

  16. Garrigus Carraig says

    5/7. I missed the Gibson and the Welsh questions, and guessed right on the last question. I think we are not all getting the same seven questions, as I did not see “Which one of these is a question?”.

  17. marie-lucie says

    MMcM, Congratulations! You are the only perfect score thus far, but I am not surprised!

  18. Missed only the Gibson. Many lucky guesses.

  19. Bathrobe says

    Garrigus Carraig, it is question 3.

  20. 7/7. Boo yah. I will admit I guessed the last one based on the rough ethnicity of the man in the photo though. The Celtic ones are fairly easy; Breton writing looks a lot more like French, and the Cornish sentence that corresponds to the English question is – well, the one with the question mark at the end. 🙂

  21. Yay me! I got 7/7 although I admit to guessing the final question about Aka. The Celtic questions which seemed to be a stumbling block to most people were easy for me mainly because I speak Welsh and live in the ‘Celtic Metropolis’ of Liverpool, capital of North Wales/Isle of Man!.

  22. Trond Engen says

    This is annoying. Except for the Gibson one, I know I shouldabeen able to answer them all. I didn’t notice the question mark and went for the shortest Cornish sentence, I didn’t think it looked Breton, but I imagined Manx to look even more English than Breton looks French, amd I knew of the Aka language of Assam, but I stupidly couldn’t square that with rap music.

  23. Trond Engen says

    the ‘Celtic Metropolis’ of Liverpool, capital of North Wales/Isle of Man!
    In a (Norwegian) wedding a couple of weeks ago, we got seated next to a couple from Liverpool. She was born in Wales and a native Welsh speaker, his family was from Cork and he spoke some Irish, though not fluently.

  24. I got all but the Mel Gibson one – but was helped by the question mark, the Bleifrei sign and the ethnicity in the last question. So the BBC’s generous 6/7 waS really 4/7 !

  25. Didn’t get the last one. Didn’t get the first one. Yet another reason to hate Mel Gibson.

  26. Athel Cornish-Bowden says

    5/7. I missed the Mel Gibson question, but I guessed anyway (what the heck does familiarity with a recent film have to do with less-spoken languages?) The ? was a big help for the Cornish question.

  27. I got four, all guesses, including number 7. On their other quiz, called Temporary Buildings, I got three.

  28. I missed Gibson and Aka.

  29. John Emerson says

    Random would be 2 1/4 as I figure. I got 5 with two blind guesses.

  30. Garrigus Carraig says

    @Bathrobe – Ah yes I misinterpreted one of the comments. And I second your notion that the coin quiz is also enjoyable.

  31. 5. The Cornish one is easy: the English is a question, and only one of the three Cornish options is punctuated with a question mark.
    Didn’t recognise Manx. I suppose there are tricks for telling Goidelic languages you don’t know apart from Brythonic languages you don’t know, but I don’t know the tricks either. And the last one is crazy.

  32. Bathrobe says

    Referring to the defunct coins quizz, I had no idea of the etymologies of ‘spur ryal’, ‘angel’, ‘florin’, and ‘guinea’, nor did I realise the reason for the name of the tube station Angel of Islington, let alone the etymology. I had never heard of a fuppence and no idea what a groat was. But I find my knowledge of many things is sadly lacking.

  33. Question 3 isn’t hard for people who understand punctuation!

  34. Trond Engen says

    I did better (5/7) on the building quiz. That was pure chance. I got 6/7 on the coin quiz, and that wasn’t. I could actually deduce most of the answers from linguistic clues. My only miss was the shilling, and I probably should have guessed that too by more intelligent elimination.

  35. Christopher Burd says

    I guessed Manx on the basis of the double vowels. It seemed to me that most Celtic languages use accent marks on some vowels (to mark length?), but one that was heavily under the thumb of the English might not have access to the right fonts and would use another method, such as doubling.

  36. The mark of Manx is using gh for /x/, like Middle English, unlike the ch of the other Celtic languages. It’s not totally anglicized, though; there are elements of Welsh orthography as well, like using y for /ə/.

  37. Treesong says

    5/7, thinking Manx was Breton and Aka was African. Didn’t even pay attention to the rapper’s looks, duh.

  38. Bathrobe says

    Question 3 isn’t hard for people who understand punctuation!
    I have got used to languages having different punctuation. When I saw the question mark, my first thought was: “What if it’s a trick?” (It wasnt’).

  39. marie-lucie says

    I did pretty well on the languages, but failed miserably on the coins.

Speak Your Mind