Universiteit Utrechtstudierichting Fonetiek

introduction to phonetics
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Kekchí healing prayer - Chinese -

unknown language

It's easy to identify words in a language that you know. But in an unknown foreign language this is surprisingly difficult! Word segmentation depends on word recognition, which is impossible in a foreign language (except for loan words and names we know). Obviously, we cannot understand what is said if we do not know the language.

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Kekchí healing prayer
Sound recording of a Kekchí priest reciting a ritual indian healing prayer. Kekchí is a Maya language spoken in Guatemala and adjacent countries in Central America.
Which speech sounds do you hear? Which words are intelligible to you? Do you hear any word boundaries? Can you understand the prayer?

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A fragment of Chinese. Details unknown.

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19 Sep 2000