A language of China

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

1,200 (Li and Whaley 2009). 30% of ethnic group (Salminen 2007). Only 12 fluent speakers in 1990, all over 65 yrs (Li and Whaley 2009). 800 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 8,660 (2010 census).


Heilongjiang province: Da Hinggan Ling prefecture, Huma and Tahe counties; Heihe prefecture, Xunke county; Yichun prefecture, Jiayin county, Heihe city; Nei Mongol Autonomous Region: Hulun Buir league, Butha and Oroqen banners.

Language Maps
Language Status

8a (Moribund). Language of recognized nationality: Oroqen.


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

Language Use

Kumarchen dialect has some child speakers; Birarchen is moribund (Salminen 2007). All domains. Older adults only. 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.

Other Comments

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

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