Ossetian (ирон ӕвзаг / дигорон ӕвзаг)

Ossetian or Ossetic is a member of the Northeastern Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. About 500,000 people speak Ossetian in Ossetia, a region that straddles the border or Russia and Georgia. The majority of Ossetian speakers live in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (Цӕгат Ирыстоны Аланийы Республикӕ) in Russia. The Ossetic-speaking region of Georgia is called South Ossetia (Республикӕ Хуссар Ирыстон). There are also some Ossetian speakers in Turkey.

There are two main dialects of Ossetian, Iron (Ирон) and Digor (Дигор). Iron is the most widely-spoken dialect and the basis for written Ossetian. Another dialect, Jassic, used to be spoken in Hungary.

Ossetian is an official language in North and South Ossetia. There are a couple of Ossetian newspaper, and the language is taught in schools.

Ossetian was first written during the 18th century with a version of the Arabic script. Then in 1844, a method of writing Ossetian with the Cyrillic alphabet was developed by Sjoegren. Between 1923 and 1937 a version of the Latin alphabet was used to write the language, and since 1938 the Cyrillic alphabet has been used, though from 1938 to the 1950s, a version of the Georgian alphabet was used to write Ossetian in South Ossetia.

Latin alphabet for Ossetian (1923-1937)

Latin alphabet for Ossetian

Cyrillic alphabet for Ossetian (1938-present)

Cyrillic alphabet for Ossectian

Ossetian sample text

Адӕймӕгтӕ се 'ппӕт дӕр райгуырынц сӕрибарӕй ӕмӕ ӕмхуызонӕй сӕ барты. Уыдон ӕххӕст сты зонд ӕмӕ намысӕй, ӕмӕ кӕрӕдзийӕн хъуамӕ уой ӕфсымӕрты хуызӕн.

Transliteration

Adäjmägtä se 'ppät där rajguyrync säribaräj ämä ämxuy zonäj sä barty. Uydon äxxäst sty zond ämä namysäj, ämä kärädzijän quamä uoj äfsymärty xuyzän.

A recording of this text by Taymuraz Zaseev

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Tower of Babel in Ossetian

Links

Information about the Ossetian Language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ossetic_language
http://indoeuro.bizland.com/tree/iran/ossetic.html
http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Languages/ossetic.htm http://www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~siamakr/Kurdish/KURDICA/2003/1/Ossetic.html

Information about the Digor dialect of Ossetian and the Digor people
http://www.iranica.com/articles/v7/v7f4/v7f444.html

Details of the Ossetian alphabets (Russian)
http://ironau.ru/alfabeto.html

A Grammatical Sketch of Ossetic
http://www.angelfire.com/on/ossetic/

Iranian languages

Avestan, Baluchi, Dari, Gilaki, Juhuri, Kurdish, Mazandarani, Ossetian, Persian, Parthian, Pashto, Shabaki, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Wakhi, Yaghnobi, Zazaki

Other languages written with the Latin, and Cyrillic alphabets.