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Nanai

A language of Russian Federation (Asia)

ISO 639-3gld

Population  3,890 in Russian Federation. Population total all countries: 3,902. Ethnic population: 12,160.
Region  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.
Language map  Eastern Asian Russia, reference number 23
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
Language use  Older generation. Severely endangered. Mainly adults. Neutral to mildly supportive toward Nanai but motivated to use Russian. Those under 40 years do not consider Nanai helpful in life. Older generation pessimistic about possibility of preservation. Also use Russian.
Language development  Dictionary. Bible portions: 1884.
Writing system  Cyrillic script.
Comments  Shamanist.

Also spoken in:

China

Language name   Nanai
Population  12 in China (1999 D.Chaoke). Ethnic population: 4,640 in China (2000 census).
Region  Northeast corner of Heilongjiang Province, near merge of Heilong, Songhua, and Wusuli rivers, Tongjiang County, Bacha, Jiejinkou villages; Raohe County, Sipai village. Most in the Russian Federation (Asia).
Language map  China
Alternate names  Gold, Goldi, Hezhen, Juchen, Nanay, Sushen
Dialects  Hezhen (Hezhe, Heche), Qileng (Qile’en, Kili, Kilen, Kirin).
Language use  47 understand Nanai. Religion, traditional literature. Older adults. People have lost hope that it will survive. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn]. Written Chinese in common use.
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 97%.
Comments  Classified as Hezhe nationality. Formerly called Sushen. Agriculturalists; fishermen; hunters; forestry. Shamanist, Buddhist.
 
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