How well can people understand a language that is closely related to their native language? The MICReLa research group, based at the University of Groningen, developed an online game to investigate this matter. To make a meaningful analysis, they need more than 24.000 participants from 16 countries.
Languages that are mutually intelligible are closely related to each other. The Scandinavian languages for instance, are mutually intelligible to a high degree. Therefore receptive multilingualism is already widely used in Scandinavia. The advantages of this way of communicating are that the speakers only need to focus on understanding the other language and that they can express themselves in their native language.
The MICReLa research group investigates how mutually intelligible European languages are and which factors influence the mutual intelligibility of languages. They developed an online language game in which people can test how well they understand a related European language. The group will use the results of this game for their intelligibility research.
Participants with all kinds of backgrounds can participate; the only criterion is that they speak a European variant of one of the languages below. There are 16 languages in three language groups involved in the game: Germanic, Slavic and Romance. Participants of the language game can win various attractive prizes.
The following languages are included in the game: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish.