New! Linguistic Quizzes!

Do you like solving puzzles? We’re eager to announce that we’ll be posting a new linguistic quiz each week over the next four weeks. Try them all and discover a world of language! This week’s quiz ‘Understanding the Sounds of Language’ will help you understand what is happening in your mouth when you speak. Have fun figuring out which parts of your mouth are activated when you produce certain sounds, listen to sound files from six world languages, then try matching up what you hear to the symbols that are shown in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) chart. If you’re up to the challenge, use the alphabet and writing clues provided to figure out which spelling the Ngaanyatjarra people from the Western Desert of Australia would use in place of the English spelling for the name given. Yes, the spelling system patterns in a predictable way, and there is a correct answer.


Exploring the sound systems of the world languages (Phonetics) has application to multiple fields in linguistics. If you enjoy solving these puzzles consider taking some linguistics courses! Linguists document how a language works, help preserve languages, and facilitate the creation of writing systems that can be used in Bible translation or mother-tongue literacy and a host of other linguistic analyses.

Click here to take the first linguistic puzzle with challenges 1-4: ‘Understanding the Sounds of Language’

Note that these quizzes do not currently work on a cell phone.

Check back next week to try the second puzzle with challenges 5-8!