Language test – the answers

Answers to the World Language Test I posted about earlier. I got three wrong – they are in italics.

1. What immediate family of languages does English belong to?

2. Which of the following is not a Romance language?

3. What is the official language of the African country of Angola?

4. Which of the following is not a Celtic language?

5. What is the language in common use in the city of Zurich, Switzerland?

6. What country has the largest Spanish speaking population?

7. Of the following, which is most closely related to the English language?
West Frisian

8. A minority language is a language spoken by a minority of a population of a country, often times within an ethnic nation of that country. Which of these is not a minority language spoken in France? (Yes there are more languages than just french)

9. Of the 4 languages previously listed, which one of them is a Celtic language?

10. Of all the minority languages in Western Europe, which is the most spoken and in a process of rebirth with anywhere from 10 to 12 million speakers?

11. In what city would you expect to meet speakers of this minority language from the previous question?

12. Which of these is not an official language of Belgium?

13. Which of the following belong in the Slavic family of languages?
Bulgarian, Czech, Slovenian

14. Now for a couple easy questions. From what language are all Romance languages derived from?

15. The language from the previous question is itself a part of what family of languages?

BONUS: The following two questions are bonus questions, they are worth twice the points of a regular question if you get them right, but are of course significantly harder. As expected, if you guess wrong you get no points, however if you skip the question you’ll be given the point tally of a normal question. Up to you whether to attempt them. Good luck!
16. What was the language spoken by the first confirmed European explorers to reach the Americas? (Hint: This is harder than you think)
Old Norse – so no need to worry about Columbus and his crew.

17. What is the last documented Romance language to have gone extinct?
Dalmatian – Iberian and Cornish not Romance languages, and Galician still alive.

ASIA: Onward to Asia, which is, believe it or not, even more complicated in terms of languages than Europe. But fear not, this section is somewhat shorter than the previous.
18. Farsi is an official language of Pakistan.
False – further north and west.

19. The official language of Bhutan is?
Dzongkha – I knew this because it was one of 14 languages spoken fluently by a polyglot former colleague

20. Back to Europe for a second. What European language is commonly spoken in the Chinese city of Macau? (Besides English of course)

21. The Korean language is part of which language family?
This is still under debate. – surprised me but Wikipedia confirms it. I guessed anyway since I reckoned it wouldn’t be one of the options if it weren’t true.

22. The official languages of Singapore include all the following except…
Thai – Tamil yes, Thai no.

23. Tatar is a minority language spoken primarily in which of these Asian countries?
Russia – sneaky, of course, because people like to forget that Russia has all those Asian parts

24. Is Spanish currently an official language of the Philippines?.
No – slightly surprising, but US colonialism was obviously effective.

OCEANIA: Just a brief look at Oceania to end this section.
25. Fijian is the name for the native language of Fiji.
True – in English anyway.

26. The following are all common languages of Papau New Guinea except…
Maori – wrong islands.

AFRICA: Sorry, it doesn’t get any easier, hang in there you are almost done.
27. How many countries in Africa have speakers of Swahili? (Both official or not official)
10 – I took a wild guess at this but it turns out to be correct.

28. Bantu is a family of African languages primarily spoken in which region?
Southern/Central Africa

29. This African language was highly influenced by the settlement of Indonesians in the area it is spoken about 1500-2000 years ago.
Malagasy – spoken in Madagascar

30. What African language is derived primarily from 17th century Dutch?
Afrikaans – rather easy!

31. Is Arabic an official language of Mali?
No – the official languages are French and the Berber language Amazigh.

THE AMERICAS: The Final section. These languages are probably the least known in all the world, just a few more questions though.
32. The official language of Peru (besides Spanish) is…
There is none. – turns out Quechua is only official in the areas where it is spoken, rather than all over Peru.

33. Greenlandic (East Inuit) is an example of a(n)…
Eskimo-Aleut language

34. Navajo and Hopi are both languages with speakers in the state of Arizona, USA and also both derive from the same immediate language family.
False – turns out that Navajo is Athabascan, Hopi is Aztec.

35. Which of these South American countries is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and their indigenous language of Guarani?
Paraguay – a bit of a guess but got there by remembering where the Iguazú falls are.

36. What is the primary indigenous language of modern-day Quebec?
Cree – again a bit of a guess, but I knew the first two were geographically unlikely and hadn’t heard of Slavey (which it turns out on further research is spoken much further west, around the Great Slave Lake).

BONUS: One final bonus question. Same rules as before apply. If you do not attempt it you get a regular score. You get twice the points of a regular question for the correct answer.
37. Papiamento, a creole language spoken on the Caribbean islands of Curaçao and Aruba, is based primarily upon which three European languages?
Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch – the clue here is that Curaçao and Aruba are both Dutch colonies and this was the only option of the four that included Dutch.

One thought on “Language test – the answers

  1. Sounds but looks not: 1) I’ve nothing to work on; 2)I’ve even less than nothing to work on; 3. And even that less than nothing must be qualified, etc.
    Yes, Thompson “sounds” like a cautious scholar, he masters (like you) the discourse of “reasonable scholarship”.
    But if one is not beguiled by the “sound of reasonability” and keeps his eyes open… there is nothing else than “swearing against the truth so foul a lie”, aka blahblah.


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