A language of China

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

1,200 (Li Fengxiang and Whaley 2009). 30% of ethnic group (Salminen 2007). Only 12 fluent speakers in 1990, all over 65 yrs (Li Fengxiang and Whaley 2009). 800 monolinguals. 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; Nei Mongol, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Hulun Buir league, Oroqen and Butha banners.

Language Maps
Language Status

8b (Nearly extinct). Language of recognized nationality: Oroqen.


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

Language Use

Kumarchen dialect has some child speakers; Birarchen is moribund (Salminen 2007). All domains. Mostly middle-aged or elderly (Salminen 2007). Positive attitudes. Also use Daur [dta], Evenki [evn], Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Peripheral Mongolian [mvf], Russian [rus]. Used as L2 by Daur [dta], Evenki [evn].

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

Maintain native language and customs. Came to China from the Russian Federation. Traditional religion.