When you hear a foreign language, can you tell what it is? A Melbourne-based engineer with a passion for languages has come up with a great little game to test just that. Just for the hell of it (apparently), Lars Yencken, has developed the Great Language Game and describes it as such:
The Great Language Game challenges you to distinguish between some sixty or so languages based on their sound alone. In each game you’re allowed three mistakes, which are kept for you to study at the end. If you’re feeling competitive, share your score with some friends and compete for some serious bragging rights.
The audio samples we use are snippets of news from SBS Australia, and reflect Australia’s rich migrant culture. Since people often migrate out of hardship, many of these languages should be common to international cities throughout the world. They might be spoken in a neighbourhood near you.
We had a go. It’s bloody hard (don’t expect to get to the end!) but it’s fun and interesting. Here’s how some of the Fully (sic) nerds fared:
Piers: Score: 700. Tripped up on: Latvian, Turkish and Swahili.
Adam: Score: 700. Tripped up on: Samoan, Burmese and confused Kannada with Gujarati.
Wamut: Score: 650. Tripped up on: Samoan, Hungarian and Portuguese.
Lauren: Score: 450. Tripped up on: Dinka, Maori and confused Russian with Portuguese.
Have a go (click here) and let us know how you did! You can also check out the games stats and see how you compare to everyone else. The game also kindly points you to Wikipedia articles about the languages you stuffed up on so you can learn more about them.