Condescending Quiz, But Fun

When I was challenged to take a quiz asking whether I could identify 19 languages by glancing at one phrase, I had to take it, even though it had the condescending title of “If You Can Identify 75% Of These Languages On Sight, You’re Probably A Genius”. I know it was meant to be clickbaity rather than condescending, but it still irked me some. Genius has nothing to do it, but rather how privileged you have been to have either been very international, or very educated in languages.

Still, I had to take it.

I got 16 out of the 19 right, which is 84% and technically makes me a genius by Buzzfeed’s standards. Obviously their standards are quite low.

So, anyone else want to test their language prowess? Tell me how you did!


  1. inquisitiveraven says

    It’s amazing how many can be gotten by process of elimination. I also flat out guessed a couple. I also blew a couple by not paying attention. Oops.

  2. says

    I’m too egotistical to say how many I got wrong.

    Some are easy if you know what to look for, such as Korean, or Portuguese v Spanish. Japanese is easy to tell from Chinese because of the hiragana and katakana.

    Chinese is not one language, between five and eight distinct ones depending on who’s counting. Plus, Mandarin is written in three different types – Simplified in the PRC, Traditional in Taiwan, and the Latin alphabet in Singapore.

    Omniglot is a fascinating site which collects writing scripts from around the world. Most are from natural languages, but there are also constructed scripts – alternatives to real ones, or made up for constructed languages.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    I got 18/19. The only one I screwed up was Punjabi, which I thought was Bengali. I guessed at least three others without almost any idea.

  4. says

    12/19 – most of my mistakes were close flips like spanish/portuguese and hindu/punjabi. I’m pretty sure I could have gotten my score up a bit if I had thought harder instead of just whipping through but I wanted to see about language recognition not test-gamesmanship.

  5. says

    14/19. It would have been 15, but I thought the first one was too obvious so maybe it was a trick. It wasn’t.

    I’m also not ashamed to say some of them I got right not because I recognized what the languages were, but because I was able to rule out the other options.

  6. enkidu says

    18/19 Toss up between Hindi and Punjabi. Ironic that was my error because only yesterday I was looking up a Punjabi word on the interwebs.

  7. Onamission5 says

    14/19, process of elimination helped some with the ones I didn’t immediately recognize. I cannot, apparently, recognize Turkish, Danish, German (FFS, I knew that one and second guessed myself), Urdu, or Chinese.

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