Author Topic: What language is she singing in?  (Read 3264 times)

Offline Kuetilina

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What language is she singing in?
« on: May 01, 2018, 08:20:19 PM »
Hi everyone, I'd like to know what is the language this woman is singing in. I recorded her singing in the streets of Liverpool and thought she was Indian at first, but some Indian friends told me they can't recognize what she is saying.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 08:26:57 PM by Kuetilina »

Offline Daniel

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Re: What language is she singing in?
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2018, 09:37:54 AM »
India has hundreds of languages, even including 23 official languages. So there is no reason to assume that a speaker of one (or even several) Indian languages would understand or even just recognize all of them.

The recording sounds to me broadly like Indian music, so that seems like a reasonable starting point. (Also maybe a neighboring country, or just a similar style from elsewhere though.) One approach might be asking someone who has a background in music to identify the specific style to see if that can help you narrow it down. (Of course technically any music style could be sung in just about any language, but most of the time there will be a cultural connection.)

I don't personally recognize the language in the recording (not surprising at all, because I only have minimal familiarity with a few Indian languages), and I can't try to figure it out without more information-- singing tends to neutralize differences between languages ("accents" fade away), and without being able to write down what is being said I can't, for example, look up the words in a dictionary. So you could ask more people from India (with more diverse backgrounds) if they can understand it.

Honestly the easiest way to figure this out would probably be to go back to the same place until you find her again and just ask. You might get lucky online asking speakers of various Indian languages, but if that turns out to be hard, then finding her in person could be the only reasonable answer.

Another option would be to find an expert in Indian languages who might be able to recognize the language from just those few words-- a professional interpreter/translator or forensic linguist (the sort of person who would consult with government agencies to identify unknown languages, for example). Or maybe you could contact a translation agency in India-- there are many-- and they could ask their various translators to see if anyone knows it. The expense would depend on how obscure the language is-- if it's one of the 23 official languages of India, it would probably be easy to do that. If it's a smaller language, maybe one with only a few hundred or thousand speakers, it could be much more difficult, and you might have to work with multiple agencies. Plus it could be a language from Pakistan, or somewhere else, etc.

It's an interesting puzzle, but too hard to solve without more information, unless someone happens to know this language.
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