Altai, Southern


A language of Russian Federation

Alternate Names
Altai, Oirot, Oyrot

57,400 (2010 census). Ethnic population: 74,200 (2010 census). Includes Northern Altai [atv].


Altay, Gorno-Altai Ao mountains, along Mongolia and China border.

Language Maps
Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Altai Republic (1993, Constitution, Article 68(2)).


Altai Proper (Altai-Kizhi, Altaj Kizi, Maina-Kizhi, Southern Altai), Talangit (Chuy, Talangit-Tolos, Telengit), Teleut. No intelligiblility of Northern Altai [atv].

Language Use

Home, and with other Altai. All ages. Also use Russian [rus].

Language Development
Written Altai based on Southern Altai, but is rejected by Northern Altai children. Taught in primary schools as a medium in a few schools and as a subject in a few schools. Grammar. NT: 2003.

Cyrillic script [Cyrl]. Mongolian script [Mong].

Other Comments

Different from Oirat [xal] (Kalmyk-Oirat), a Mongolian language. Traditional religion.