Mari, Meadow


A language of Russian Federation

Alternate Names
Cheremis, Eastern Mari, Low Mari, Lowland Mari, Lugovo Mari, Mari, Mari-Woods, Woods Mari
олык марий‎ (Olyk Marij), олык марий йылме‎ (Olyk Marij jylme)

470,000 in Russian Federation (2012 T. Salminen). Ethnic population: 548,000 (2010 census). Total users in all countries: 482,000.


Bashkortostan republic, Kirov province, Mari El republic, Sverdlovsk province, Perm krai; east of the Volga.

Language Status

4 (Educational).


Grassland Mari (Meadow Mari, Sernur-Morkin, Volga, Yoshkar-Olin). A member of macrolanguage Mari [chm].

Language Use

Many children learn the language but only those in remote rural areas continue to use it actively. In eastern diaspora areas in Bashkortostan practically all children learn the language (Salminen 2007). Also use Russian [rus]. Used as L2 by Hill Mari [mrj].

Language Development

Taught in primary schools. Newspapers. Radio. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. NT: 1986–2007.


Cyrillic script [Cyrl]. Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

In many publications the term, Eastern Mari, is reserved for the diaspora groups outside the Republic. Christian, traditional religion.

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