Altay is a member of the Kypchak branch of the Central Turkic language language family, and is spoken in the Altai republic and Altai Krai in the Russian Federation. These neighbouring regions in southern Siberia are home to about 67,900 Altay speakers, according to the 2002 census.
There are two main subdivisions of the language: Northern Altay in Altai Krai, and southern Altay in the Altai Republic, where it has official status along with Russian. Northern Altay dialects include Tuba, Kumandy, Turachak, Solton, Starobardinian and Chalkan; and Southern Altay dialects include Altay proper, Mayma, Telengit, Tölös, Chuy and Teleut.
Altay was first written in the 1840s with a version of the Cyrillic alphabet devised by missionaries. The southern Teleut dialect was used as the basis for the written language. A revised Cyrillic alphabet and literary language was introduced in 1922. Altay was written with a version of the Latin alphabet from 1928, and with a new version of the Cyrillic alphabet from 1938.
Download Altay alphabet charts (Excel)
Information about Altay pronunciation compiled by Wolfram Siegel
Agaru adıñ alkalzın!
Kaandıgıñ Seniñ kelzin;
anajıp ĵerde de
tabıñ seniñ bolzın;
Ĵyrerge kerekty kalažıstı
bygyn biske bergin;
Biske tölyly ulustañ
bistiñ de tölyleristi
Ĵetkerge bisti kijdirbegin,
ĵe ĵamannañ bisti korulagın.
Transliteration by Julijan Jovanovic
Ончо улус ак‐јарыкка јайым ла теҥ‐тай тап‐эриктӱ туулат. Олор санааукаалу ла чек кӱӱн‐тапту болуп бӱткен ле бой‐бойын карындаш кирези кӧрӧр лӧ јӱрер учурлу.
Onço ulus aq-carıqqa cayım la teñ-tay tap-eriktü tuulat. Olor sanaauqaalu la çek küün-taptu bolup bütken le boy-boyın qarındaş kirezi körör lö cürer uçurlu.
Text and transliteration provided by Tab
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)
Note: This sample text includes the letters є and ї, which do not appear in any of the Altay alphabets. The prounciation of these letters is not know.
Details of the Altay language
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