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Nganasan (ня”)

Nganasan is a member of the Samoyedic branch of the Uralic language family spoken by about 500 people in southwestern and central parts of the Taymyr Peninsula in the far north of Russia. It was formerly called тавги (tavgi) in Nganasan, or тавгийский (tavgiysky) or тавгийско-самоедский (tavgiysko-samoyedsky) in Russian. There are two main dialects: Avam and Vadeyev, which are mutually intelligible and differ mainly in pronunciation.

The name Nganasan (нганасаны) comes from the Nganasan word for "a man", and was introduced in the 1930s. The Nganasan people prefer to call themselves Nya (няа) - "brother / fellow".

During the 1990s some articles were published in the newspaper Советский Таймыр (Soviet Taimyr) / Таймыр (Taimyr) more or less each month. A number of collections of Nganasan folklore, some textbooks for schools, and a dictionary have been published, and there are some local radio broadcasts in the language.

Since the 1990s Nganasan has been taught in a number of schools in the villages of Ust-Avam, Volochanka, Vadey.

Nganasan alphabet

This way of writing Nganasan was devised during the 1990s. The second row in the chart shows names of the letters in the IPA, the third shows their Latin transcriptions, and the fourth their pronunciations in the IPA

Cyrillic alphabet for Nganasan

Ё, Щ, Ь and Ю are used only in Russian loanwords and personal names.

Download a PDF of the Nganasan alphabet chart (364K)

Information about the Nganasan alphabet provided by Wolfram Siegel

Information about Nganasan | Numbers in Nganasan


Information about the Nganasan language and people

Nganasan dictionaries

Samoyedic languages

Enets, Nenets, Nganasan

Other languages written with the Cyrillic alphabet

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