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Happy Wednesday everyone!  I’m thinking of making Pop Quiz Wednesdays a regular feature, just a little language puzzle to keep us on our toes mid-week.  How does that sound?

This quiz will test your knowledge of some of the rarer languages of the world.
Answers are at the bottom (no cheating!) with links to the language’s Ethnologue page for more information.

Good luck!

Which continent do each of the following languages belong to?

  1. Occitan
  2. Quechua
  3. Hmong
  4. Hausa
  5. Basque
  6. Warlpiri
  7. Comanche
  8. Dari
  9. Inuktitut
  10. Nama

Extra credit: Which of these languages has the most documented speakers?  Which of them has the fewest?

(Note: some of these languages are actually coded as “macrolanguages” in the Ethnologue, though they’re usually thought of as single individual languages…just to show you how hard it is to draw the lines sometimes.)

Answers:  1. Europe, 2. South America, 3. Asia, 4. Africa, 5. Europe, 6. Australia 7. North America, 8. Asia, 9. North America, 10. Africa
Extra credit: Hausa is by far the most widely spoken, with 18.5 million speakers; the Quechua languages come second with about 10.1 million total.  Warlpiri has the second fewest, with about 2600 speakers the last time anybody counted, and Comanche, a language of my home state, has the fewest, with around 200.