Ethnologue.com home
Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Asia > Russian Federation > Russian Federation (Asia)

Languages of Russian Federation (Asia)

See language maps.
Also see Russian Federation in Europe for a listing of languages in Europe. Immigrant languages: Abkhaz (11,400), Dungan (800), Georgian (198,000), Karakalpak (1,610), Kazakh (654,000), Kyrgyz (31,800), Mandarin Chinese, Northern Uzbek (123,000), Osetin (515,000), Tajiki (120,000), Talysh (2,550), Turkish (92,400), Turkmen (33,100), Udi (3,720), Ukrainian (2,940,000), Vietnamese (26,200). The number of individual languages listed for Russian Federation (Asia) is 45. Of those, 42 are living languages and 3 have no known speakers.
Aleut

[ale] 190 in Russian Federation (2002 K. Matsumura); 175 (2002 Russian census). 5 on Bering Island Atkan (Krauss 1995). Ethnic population: 540 (2002 Russian census). Commander (Komandor) Islands, Bering Island, Nikolskoye settlement. Alternate names: Unangan, Unangany, Unanghan.  Dialects: Beringov (Bering, Atkan).  Classification: Eskimo-Aleut, Aleut 
More information.

Aleut, Mednyj

[mud] 10 (Krauss 1995). Komandor Islands, Copper Island. Alternate names: Attuan, Copper, Copper Island Aleut, Copper Island Attuan, Creolized Attuan, Medny.  Classification: Mixed language, Russian-Aleut  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Altai, Northern

[atv] 1,570. Tubalars. Other Northern Altai speakers listed under Southern Altai [alt] in Census (2002). Ethnic population: 67,239 (including Southern Altai). Gorno-Altai Ao mountains, Mongolia and China border. Alternate names: Telengit, Telengut, Teleut.  Dialects: Tuba, Kumandy, Chalkan. No comprehension of Southern Altai [alt]. Considered a separate language. Teleut may be a separate language.  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern 
More information.

Altai, Southern

[alt] 20,000 (1993 J. Janhunen). Ethnic population: 67,239 (including Northern Altai [atv], but excluding 2,399 Talangits and 2,650 Teleuts, 2002 census). Gorno-Altai Ao mountains, Mongolia and China border. Alternate names: Altai, Oirot, Oyrot.  Dialects: Altai Proper (Altai-Kizhi, Altaj Kizi, Maina-Kizhi, Southern Altai), Talangit (Talangit-Tolos, Chuy). Not inherently intelligible with Northern Altai [atv], though there is a dialect subgroup between them.  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern 
More information.

Alutor

[alr] 150 (2000 A. Kibrik), decreasing. Estimated at 100 to 200 in 2000 (A. Kibrik). Ethnic population: 2,000 (1997 M. Krauss). Koryak National District, northeast Kamchatka Peninsula, Vyvenka and Khailino villages; 2 families in Rekinniki; families in Tilichiki and Tymlat; some scattered. Alternate names: Aliutor, Alyutor, Olyutor.  Dialects: Alutorskij (Alutor Proper), Karaginskij (Karaga), Palanskij (Palana). Considered a dialect of Koryak [kpy] until recently.  Classification: Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Northern, Koryak-Alyutor 
More information.

Azerbaijani, North

[azj] 622,000 in Russian Federation (2002 census). Southern Dagestan, Caspian coast in southern Caucasus Mountains. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani 
More information.

Bohtan Neo-Aramaic

[bhn]   Classification: Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, Aramaic, Eastern, Central, Northeastern 
More information.

Buriat

[bua] A macrolanguage.  Population total all countries: 498,707. 
More information.

Buriat, Russia

[bxr] 369,000. Ethnic population: 445,175 (2002 Russian census). Siberia, east of Lake Baikal, bordering on Mongolia. Alternate names: Buriat-Mongolian, Buryat, Northern Mongolian.  Dialects: Ekhirit-Bulagat, Selengin, Unga, Ninzne-Udinsk, Barguzin, Tunka, Oka, Alar, Bohaan, Bokhan. Buriat in newspapers from around Irkutsk, west of Lake Baikal; Buriat east of the lake less influenced by Russian, more like in Mongolia. Literary dialect differs considerably from those in Mongolia and China, which are influenced by other languages. Khori main dialect in the Russian Federation. Speakers in the Russian Federation apparently understand each other well.  Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Oirat-Khalkha, Khalkha-Buriat, Buriat 
More information.

Chukchi

[ckt] 7,740. Ethnic population: 15,767 (2002 Russian census). Northeast Siberia, Chukchi Peninsula, Chukot and Koryak National Okrug. Alternate names: Chuchee, Chukcha, Chukchee, Chukot, Luoravetlan.  Dialects: Uellanskij, Pevekskij, Enmylinskij, Nunligranskij, Xatyrskij, Chaun, Enurmin, Yanrakinot. Closely related to Alutor [air], Kerek [krk] and Koryak [kpy]. Itelmen [itl] is more distantly related. Chukchi may be mutually intelligible with some varieties of Koryak [kpy] (1988 Comrie). Literary dialect and gender dialects also exist. Gender differences are largely phonological. Women’s dialect largely ignored in language development.  Classification: Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Northern, Chukot 
More information.

Chulym

[clw] 270. Ethnic population: 656 (2002 Russian census). North of Altay Mountains, Chulym River basin, Ob River tributary. Alternate names: Chulim, Chulym Tatar, Chulym-Turkish, Melets Tatar.  Dialects: Lower Chulym, Middle Chulym. Similar to Shor [cjs]; some consider them one language. The government considers them separate.  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Western, Uralian 
More information.

Dolgan

[dlg] 4,870. Ethnic population: 7,261 (2002 Russian census). Sakha Republic. Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern 
More information.

Enets, Forest

[enf] 20. Of the 20 speakers, 15 are in Potapovo. Ethnic population: 198 with Tundra Enets (2002 census). Taimyr National Okrug; along Yenisei River’s lower course, upstream from Dudinka. The Forest variety is in Dudinka region, Potapovo settlement. Alternate names: Bay Enets, Pe-Bae, Yenisei Samoyedic.  Dialects: Forest and Tundra Enets [enh] barely mutually intelligible. Transitional between Nenets [yrk] and Nganasan [nio]. Formerly officially considered part of Nenets.  Classification: Uralic, Samoyed, Northern Samoyed  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Enets, Tundra

[enh] 10. Of the 10 speakers, 6 are in Vorontsovo and 3 in Karepovsk (Khanina and Shluinsky 2005: 4, 9). Ethnic population: 198 together with Forest Enets (2002 census). Taimyr National Okrug; Yenisei River mouth, downstream from Dudinka. ‘Tundra’ in Ust-Yenisei region, Vorontzovo settlement. Alternate names: Madu, Somatu, Yenisei Samoyedic.  Dialects: Tundra and Forest Enets [enf] barely mutually intelligible. Transitional between Nenets [yrk] and Nganasan [nio]. Formerly officially considered part of Nenets.  Classification: Uralic, Samoyed, Northern Samoyed  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Even

[eve] 7,170. Ethnic population: 19,071 (2002 census). Scattered in Sakha (half of all Evens), Magadan, Oblast, Khabarovski Krai, Kamchatka Peninsula, and Chukotka. Alternate names: Eben, Ewen, Ilqan, Lamut, Orich.  Dialects: Arman, Indigirka, Kamchatka, Kolyma-Omolon, Okhotsk, Ola, Tompon, Upper Kolyma, Sakkyryr, Lamunkhin. Many dialects. Arman has no remaining speakers. Ola (basis for literary Even) not accepted by dialect speakers.  Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Northern, Even 
More information.

Evenki

[evn] 7,580 in Russian Federation. Ethnic population: 35,527 in the Russian Federation (2002 Census). Evenki National Okrug, Sakhalin Island. Widespread. Alternate names: Avanki, Avankil, Chapogir, Ewenki, Khamnigan, Solon, Tungus.  Dialects: Manegir, Yerbogocen, Nakanna, Ilimpeya, Tutoncana, Podkamennaya Tunguska, Cemdalsk, Vanavara, Baykit, Poligus, Uchama, Cis-Baikalia, Sym, Tokmo-Upper Lena, Nepa, Lower Nepa Tungir, Kalar, Tokko, Aldan Timpton, Tommot, Jeltulak, Uchur, Ayan-Maya, Kur-Urmi, Tuguro-Chumikan, Sakhalin, Zeya-Bureya.  Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Northern, Evenki 
More information.

Gilyak

[niv] 690. Ethnic population: 2,000 Amur, 2,700 Sakhalin (1995 M. Krauss). Ethnic population: 5,162. Sakhalin Island, Nekrasovka and Nogliki villages; Rybnoe, Moskalvo, Chir-Unvd, Viakhtu, other villages; along Amur River, Aleevka village. Alternate names: Nivkh, Nivkhi.  Dialects: Amur, East Sakhalin Gilyak, North Sakhalin Gilyak. The Amur and East Sakhalin dialects have difficult inherent mutual intelligibility. North Sakhalin is between them linguistically.  Classification: Language isolate 
More information.

Itelmen

[itl] 380, decreasing. Ethnic population: 3,189. Kamchatka Peninsula, west coast, Tigil region, Koryak Autonomous District, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskij. Alternate names: Itelymem, Kamchadal, Kamchatka, Western Itelmen.  Dialects: Sedanka, Xajrjuzovo.  Classification: Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Southern 
More information.

Kamas

[xas] Extinct. Sayan Mountains, Abalakovo village. Alternate names: Kamassian.  Dialects: Kamassian, Koibal.  Classification: Uralic, Samoyed 
More information.

Karagas

[kim] 28 (2001). Ethnic population: 730 (1989 census). Siberia, Irkutsk region. Alternate names: Kamas, Karagass, Sayan Samoyed, Tofa, Tofalar.  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Kerek

[krk] No known speakers. There were 200 to 400 in 1900 but language now has no remaining speakers. Ethnic population: 8. Cape Navarin; Chukchi villages. Dialects: Mainypilgino (Majna-Pil’ginskij), Khatyrka (Xatyrskij). Formerly considered a dialect of Chukchi [ckt].  Classification: Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Northern, Koryak-Alyutor 
More information.

Ket

[ket] 190. Ethnic population: 1,494. Upper Yenisei Valley, Krasnoyarski Krai, Turukhansk, and Baikitsk regions; Sulomai, Bakhta, Verkhneimbatsk, Kellog, Kangatovo, Surgutikha, Vereshchagino, Baklanikha, Farkovo, Goroshikha, and Maiduka villages; eastern Siberia, east of Khanti [kca] and Mansi [mns]. Alternate names: Imbatski-Ket, Yenisei Ostyak, Yenisey Ostiak.  Classification: Yeniseian  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Khakas

[kjh] 20,000 in Russian Federation (2007 SIL), decreasing. Stable population; noticeable urbanization. Population total all countries: 20,010. Ethnic population: 75,600 in the Russian Federation. Khakassia (Khakasia) Republic, north of Altai Mountains; Krasnoyarsk Territory, north of Khakassia Republic; Tuva Republic; scattered throughout the federation. Also in China. Alternate names: Abakan Tatar, Khakhas, Khakhass, Hakass, Xakas, Yenisei, Yennisej Tatar.  Dialects: Sagai (Saghai, Sagaj), Kachina (Kacha, Kaca, Khaas, Xaas), Kyzyl (Khyzyzl, Xyzyl), Shor. Nearly extinct: Beltir, Koibal (Khobal, Xoibal), Kamass (Kamassian).  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern 
More information.

Khanty

[kca] 13,600. Ethnic population: 28,678. Khanty-Mansi National Okrug; east past the Mansi [mns], along Ob River. Alternate names: Hanty, Khant, Khanti, Ostyak, Xanty.  Dialects: Northern Khanti, Eastern Khanti, Southern Khanti, Vach (Vasyugan). Intelligibility difficult between geographically distant dialects. 3 dialect groups; Vach ‘archaic’. Dialect used in writing rejected by many speakers.  Classification: Uralic 
More information.

Korean

[kor] 149,000 in Russian Federation (2002 census).  Classification: Language isolate 
More information.

Koryak

[kpy] 3,500 (1997 M. Krauss). Ethnic population: 8,743 (2002 census). Koryak National Okrug, south of the Chukchi [ckt]; Kamchatka Peninsula north half and adjacent continent. Alternate names: Chavchuven, Nymylan.  Dialects: Cavcuvenskij (Chavchuven), Apokinskij (Apukin), Kamenskij (Kamen), Xatyrskij, Paren, Itkan, Palan, Gin. The border between Koryak and Alutor [alr] has not yet been defined. Chachuve (Northern Koryak) and Alutor are now separated. Alutor at one time was considered a dialect of Koryak. The classification of the other dialects is unclear. The Chavchuven, Palan, and Kamen dialects are apparently not inherently intelligible.  Classification: Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Northern, Koryak-Alyutor 
More information.

Mansi

[mns] 2,750. Ethnic population: 11,432. Western Siberia, Komi-Zyrian to west of the Urals; between Urals and Ob River. Alternate names: Mansiy, Vogul, Vogulich, Voguly.  Dialects: Northern Vogul (Sos’va, Sosyvin, Upper Lozyvin), Southern Vogul (Tavdin), Western Vogul (Pelym, Vagily, Middle Lozyvin, Lower Lozyvin), Eastern Vogul (Kondin). Intelligibility difficult between geographically distant dialects. May be 4 languages. Most similar to Hungarian [hun].  Classification: Uralic 
More information.

Mongolian, Halh

[khk] 2,660 in Russian Federation. Ethnic population: 11,498. Buryat. Alternate names: Central Mongolian, Halh, Khalkha Mongolian, Mongol.  Dialects: Khalkha (Halh), Dariganga, Urat, Ujumuchin.  Classification: Altaic, Mongolic, Eastern, Oirat-Khalkha, Khalkha-Buriat, Mongolian Proper 
More information.

Nanai

[gld] 3,890 in Russian Federation. Population total all countries: 3,902. Ethnic population: 12,160. Extreme far east, confluence of Amur and Ussuri rivers, scattered in Ussuri Valley and Sikhote-Alin, centered in Amur Valley below Khabarovsk. Also in China. Alternate names: Gold, Goldi, Heche, Hezhe, Hezhen, Nanaj.  Dialects: Sunggari, Torgon, Kuro-Urmi, Ussuri, Akani, Birar, Kila, Samagir. Quite distinct dialects.  Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southeast, Nanaj 
More information.

Negidal

[neg] 150. Ethnic population: 567. Khabarovsk Krai (Kamenka, Im); Paulina Osipenko region; lower reaches of Amur River. Alternate names: Neghidal, Negidaly.  Dialects: Nizovsk, Verkhovsk.  Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Northern, Negidal 
More information.

Nenets

[yrk] 31,300. Ethnic population: 41,302 including both Forest Nenets and Tundra Nenets. Northwest Siberia, tundra area from mouth of north Dvina River in northeast Europe to the delta of the Yenisei in Asia; scattered in Kola Peninsula; Nenets, Yamalo-Nenets, and Taimyr national okrugs. Alternate names: Nenec, Nenetsy, Nentse, Yurak, Yurak Samoyed.  Dialects: Forest Yurak, Tundra Yurak.  Classification: Uralic, Samoyed 
More information.

Nganasan

[nio] 500. Ethnic population: 834. Siberia, Taimyr Peninsula, Taimyr National Okrug, Duinka region, Ust-Avam and Volochanka villages; Khatang region, Novaya village. Northernmost people in Russia, near Yakut [sah], Dolgan [dlg], Nenets [yrk], and (Tundra) Enets [enh]. Alternate names: Tavgi Samoyed, Nya.  Dialects: Avam, Khatang.  Classification: Uralic, Samoyed 
More information.

Oroch

[oac] 260. Ethnic population: 686. Eastern Siberia, Khabarovsk Krai, along rivers that empty into Tatar Channel (largest group in Sovetskaja Gavan’); Amur River near Komsomolsk-na-Amure; Vanino region in Datta and Uska-Orochskaya settlements; some among Nanai [gld]. Alternate names: Orochi.  Dialects: Kjakela (Kjakar, Kekar), Namunka, Orichen, Tez.  Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southeast, Udihe 
More information.

Orok

[oaa] 64 in Russian Federation. Population total all countries: 67. Ethnic population: 346. Poronajsk District, Sakhalin Island, Poronajsk town, Gastello and Vakhrushev settlements; Nogliki District, Val village, Nogliki settlement. Also in Japan. Alternate names: Oroc, Uilta, Ujlta, Ulta.  Dialects: Poronaisk (Southern Orok), Val-Nogliki (Nogliki-Val, Northern Orok). Significant dialect differences. Formerly officially considered part of Nanai [gld].  Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southeast, Nanaj 
More information.

Selkup

[sel] 1,640. Ethnic population: 4,249. Tomskaya Oblast, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Krasnoyarski Krai, and Tomskaya Oblast. Northern dialect in Krasnoselkup region, Ratta, Krasnoselkupskaya, Tolka, and Krasnoselkup villages, Kiki-Akki and Sidorovsk; Purovsk region, Tolka Purovskaya village; adjacent regions of Krasnoyarski Krai, Farkovo; Turukhan River basin and Baikha. Southern dialect in north Tomskaya Oblasta, range of villages. Alternate names: Ostyak Samoyed, Shöl Khumyt, Northern Selkups, Chumyl’ Khumyt, Central Selkups, Syusugulla, Shösh Gulla.  Dialects: Taz (Northern Sel’kup, Tazov-Baishyan), Tym (Central Selk’up, Kety), Narym (Central Sel’kup), Srednyaya Ob-Ket (Southern Sel’kup). Dialect continuum with difficult or impossible intelligibility between extremes. Southern speakers separated geographically from others. Northern Selkup literature not usable by Southern and Central.  Classification: Uralic, Samoyed 
More information.

Shor

[cjs] 6,210. 50 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 13, 975. Altai Krai, Khakass Ao and Gorno-Altai Ao, on River Tomy. Alternate names: Aba, Kondoma Tatar, Kuznets Tatar, Mras Tatar, Shortsy, Tom-Kuznets Tatar.  Dialects: Mrassa (Mrasu), Kondoma. Some sources combine Shor and Chulym [clw].  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern 
More information.

Tuva

[tyv] 235,000 in Russian Federation, increasing. Population total all countries: 264,400. Ethnic population: 242,500 in Russian Federation. Siberia, Tuvin Ao. Also in China, Mongolia. Alternate names: Diba, Kök, Mungak, Soyod, Soyon, Soyot, Tannu-Tuva, Tofa, Tokha, Tuba, Tuvan, Tuvia, Tuvin, Tuvinian, Tyva, Uriankhai, Uriankhai-Monchak, Uryankhai.  Dialects: Central Tuvin, Western Tuvin, Northeastern Tuvin (Todzhin), Southeastern Tuvin, Tuba-Kizhi. Sharp dialect differences.  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern 
More information.

Udihe

[ude] 230. Ethnic population: 1,657. Siberia far east; Lazo region, Khabarovsk Krai, Gvasiugi settlement; Nanai region, Arsenievo settlement; Pozharsk region, Primorski Krai, Krasny Yar settlement; Terneisk region, Agzu settlement. Alternate names: Udegeis, Udehe, Udekhe.  Dialects: Khungari, Khor, Anjuski, Samargin, Bikin, Iman, Sikhota Alin. Dialect differences not great.  Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southeast, Udihe  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Ulch

[ulc] 730. Ethnic population: 913. Khabarovsk Krai, Ulch region, along Amur River and tributaries, Tatar Channel coast. Bulava, Dudi, Kalinovka, Mariinskoe, Nizhnaya Gavan, Savinskoe, Mongol, Solontsy, Kolchom, Sofiyskoe, Tur, and Ukhta. Bogorodskove is capital. Alternate names: Hoche, Hol-Chih, Olch, Olcha, Olchis, Ulcha, Ulchi, Ulych.  Classification: Altaic, Tungusic, Southern, Southeast, Nanaj 
More information.

Yakut

[sah] 363,000 (1993 UBS). Ethnic population: 443,852. Sakha, near Arctic Ocean, the length of middle Lena River, Aldan and Kolyma rivers, 3220 km. Alternate names: Sakha, Yakut-Sakha.  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Northern 
More information.

Yugh

[yuu] 2 or 3 (1991 G. Verner in Kibrik). Ethnic population: 19 (2002 Census). Krasnoyarsk Krai, Turukhan region, Vorogovo settlement. Alternate names: Yug.  Classification: Yeniseian  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Yukaghir, Northern

[ykg] 90 (1995 M. Krauss). Ethnic population: 230 to 1,100 (1995 M. Krauss, 1989 census). Sakha and Kamchatka Peninsulas. Alternate names: Jukagir, Northern Yukagir, Odul, Tundra, Tundre, Yukagir.  Dialects: Distinct from Southern Yukaghir (Kolyma) [yux]. May be distantly related to Altaic or Uralic.  Classification: Yukaghir 
More information.

Yukaghir, Southern

[yux] 30 (1995 M. Krauss). Ethnic population: 130 (1995 M. Krauss, 1989 census). Sakha and Kamchatka Peninsulas. Alternate names: Jukagir, Kolym, Kolyma, Odul, Southern Yukagir, Yukagir.  Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with Northern Yukaghir [ykg].  Classification: Yukaghir  Nearly extinct.
More information.

Yupik, Central Siberian

[ess] 300 in Russian Federation (1991 A. Kibrik). Ethnic population: 1,200–1,500 in Russian Federation (1991 A. Kibrik). Chukchi National Okrug, Bering Sea coast, Wrangel Island; Providenie region, Chaplino, Novo-Chaplino and Providenie villages. Alternate names: Asiatic Yupik, Bering Strait, “Eskimo” , Siberian Yupik, Yoit, Yuit, Yuk, Yupik.  Dialects: Aiwanat, Noohalit (Peekit), Wooteelit, Chaplino.  Classification: Eskimo-Aleut, Eskimo, Yupik, Siberian 
More information.

Yupik, Naukan

[ynk] 75 (Kaplan 1990). Ethnic population: 350. Chukotka region, Laurence, Lorino, and Whalen villages, scattered. Alternate names: Naukan, Naukanski.  Dialects: 60%–70% intelligibility of the Chaplino dialect of Central Siberian Yupik [ess].  Classification: Eskimo-Aleut, Eskimo, Yupik, Siberian 
More information.

Yupik, Sirenik

[ysr] Extinct. Chukot Peninsula, Sireniki village. Alternate names: Old Sirenik, Sirenik, Sirenikski, Vuteen.  Classification: Eskimo-Aleut, Eskimo, Yupik, Siberian 
More information.