7 questions on less-spoken languages


Children in two villages in the Holy Land are being taught the ancient language of Aramaic, with the help of an Aramaic-speaking television channel from Sweden. How much do you know about some of the world's extinct, dying or less-spoken languages?


1.) Multiple Choice Question

When Mel Gibson made the Passion of the Christ he decided the script would not be in English, but mostly in three ancient tongues. Which of these missed the cut?

Passion of the Christ and Mel Gibson
  1. Latin
  2. Greek
  3. Aramaic
  4. Hebrew

2.) Multiple Choice Question

Carian, Lydian, Phrygian were all spoken in what is now...?

  1. Greece
  2. Turkey
  3. Armenia
    Armenian flag

3.) Multiple Choice Question

Cornish was formally recognised as a living minority language in 2002. Which Cornish phrase means: "How do I get to the shops?"

  1. Ass yw teg an gwel
  2. Fatel wrav vy mos dhe'n gwerthjiow?
  3. My a garsa kavos skonsen mar pleg

4.) Multiple Choice Question

"Bannaghtyn, Nagh nee laa braew t'ayn?" is an example of which other Celtic language?

Sunny day
  1. Manx
  2. Irish
  3. Breton

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Which of these is a real language?

Man with phone
  1. Nadsat
  2. Simlish
  3. Avestan

6.) Multiple Choice Question

What language is this sign at a petrol station in?

  1. Vepsian
  2. Quechua
  3. Romansh

7.) Multiple Choice Question

Linguists have reported that young speakers of the endangered Aka language have been using it to create hip-hop. Where is it spoken?

Hip hop
  1. India
  2. North America
  3. East Africa


  1. It was Greek. Although Greek was the lingua franca of the Middle East at the time, Latin was used, supposedly to make it easier to distinguish from Hebrew and Aramaic.
  2. It's Turkey. Carian and Lydian are both extinct languages from western Anatolia. Phrygian was spoken in central Anatolia.
  3. It's number two. The first phrase means "what a beautiful view" and the last "I'd like a scone please".
  4. It's Manx, and means "greetings, isn't it a fine day?"
  5. It's Avestan. No longer spoken, it is still used for Zoroastrian liturgical purposes. Simlish is used in the various Sim computer games. Nadsat is from A Clockwork Orange.
  6. It's Romansh, one of the four national languages of Switzerland, is now spoken fluently by fewer than 100,000 people. Vepsian belongs to the Finnic group of the Uralic languages, and Quechua is a native South American language.
  7. The rap tactic was in use in India. Aka is spoken by a few hundred people in India's Arunachal Pradesh.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Where's my phrasebook?

4 - 6 : Getting by

7 - 7 : Fluent as a native

For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down).

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