A language of Russian Federation

Alternate Names
Karelian Proper, Karel’skiy Jazyk, Karely, Severno-Karel’skij, Sobstvenno-Karel’skij-Jazyk

25,600 in Russian Federation (2010 census). Census includes Livvi-Karelian [olo] and Ludian [lud]. Population total all countries: 35,600. Ethnic population: 60,800 (2010 census).


Kareliya Republic, Murmanskaya Oblast’, and Leningradskaya Oblast’; some in Tverskaya Oblast’, mainly Tolmachi area, Maksatikha and Ves’yegonsk.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Northern Karelian, Novgorod, Southern Karelian, Tver (Kalinin). Ludian [lud] and Livvi-Karelian [olo] are separate languages.

Language Use

Many children learn the language but most if not all become more fluent in Russian [rus] and largely stop using the language later in life (Salminen 2007). Many also use Russian [rus], but those over 50 have trouble understanding it. Also use Finnish [fin].

Language Development
Primer in Tver Karelian. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 2011.

Cyrillic script [Cyrl], no longer in use. Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Two language nests started in 1999 and 2002 in northwestern county center of Kalevala (Salminen 2007).

Also spoken in:

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