A language of China

Alternate Names
Elunchun, Olunchun, Orochen, Orochon, Oronchon, Ulunchun

1,200 (Li Fengxiang and Whaley 2009). 800 are monolingual. 30% of ethnic group (Salminen 2007). Only 12 fluent speakers in 1990, all over 65 yrs (Li Fengxiang and Whaley 2009). Ethnic population: 8,200 (2000 census).


Heilongjiang Province, Da Hinggan Ling prefecture, Tahe and Huma counties; Heihe prefecture, Xunke county; Yichun prefecture, Jiayin county, Heihe city; Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hulun Buir league, Oroqen and Butha banners.

Language Maps
Language Status

8b (Nearly extinct).


Birarchen, Kumarchen, Orochen, Selpechen. Gankui in Inner Mongolia is the standard dialect.

Language Use

Kumarchen dialect has some child speakers; Birarchen is moribund (2007). All domains. Mostly middle-aged or elderly (2007). Positive attitudes. Also use Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Mongolian [mvf], Russian [rus], Evenki [evn], or Daur [dta].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 97% in any language (2000 census, Oroqen nationality). Radio programs.
Other Comments

Officially classified within Oroqen (Elunchun) nationality. Maintain native language and customs. Came to China from the Russian Federation. Traditional religion.