A language of Russian Federation

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

25,600 in Russian Federation (2010 census). Census includes Livvi-Karelian [olo] and Ludian [lud]. Ethnic population: 60,800 (2010 census). Total users in all countries: 30,600.


Karelia republic; Leningrad province; Murmansk province; Tver province: mainly Tolmachi area, Maksatikha and Ves’yegonsk.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


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

Language Use

Some young people, all adults. 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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