Author: Sheri Wells-Jensen.
Dr. Wells-Jensen is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the ESOL Program at Bowling Green State University. She also coordinates BGSU's Minor in Linguistics. Her teaching and research interests include phonetics, applied phonology, psycholinguistics, speech production (especially slips of the tongue), language preservation, braille and xenolinguistics.
Here's a little linguistics game for you. Can you match the word for "fish" with the language it comes from? The words here are written in faux-phonetic transcription—kind of what you might do if you hear a word but don't know how to spell it (i.e. they are not all spelled the way a literate speaker of the language would spell them).
balik, i’a, machli, pes, riba, sakana, yu
Chinese, Hawaiian, Hindi, Japanese,
Russian, Spanish, Turkish
Answers below; if you get 4 out of 7 right, feel pleased with yourself.