L1 users: 80,500 (2010 census). Ethnic population: 183,000 (2010 census). Total users in all countries: 360,800.
Kalmykia Republic, Astrakhanskaya Oblast’, and Stavropol’skiy Kray; Volga-Don steppes northwest of the Caspian, north of the Caucasus. Mostly west Kalmykia (Dörböt dialect); mostly east, lower Volga region, Astrakhan province (Torgut dialect).
2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Republic of Kalmykia (1999, Law on the Languages of the Republic of Kalmykia, Article 3), Co-official with Russian.
Buzawa, Oirat (Oyrat), Torgut (Torghoud, Torghud, Torguud, Torguut), Dörböt (Derbet, Dörbet, Dörböd). Diverged from other Mongolian languages. Called Kalmyk in the Russian Federation; Oirat in China and Mongolia; in the United States, Kalmyk not heavily influenced by Russian [rus]. Different from other varieties in China called Oirat [xal], which are sometimes called Asiatic Oirat. In Mongolia, some scholars consider Oirat to be a dialect of Halh Mongolian [khk].
The modern literary language is mainly based on the Torgut dialect, though it incorporates a large number of concessions to Dörböt. Buddhist.