Nenets belongs to the Samoyedic branch of the Finno-Ugric languages. It is spoken by about 27,000 people in Siberia, particularly in the Nenets, Yamalo-Nenets, and Taymyr Autonomous Okrugs, in the Komi Republic, and in the eastern parts of Murmansk Oblast on the Kola peninsula in the Russian Federation.
There are two main dialects of Nenets: Tundra Nenets and Forest Nenets, and there is only limited mutual intelligibility between them. About 95% of Nenets speakers speak Tundra Nenets.
Nenets first appeared in written form in the 1830s in religious texts published by Venyamin Smirnov, an archimandrite or superior bishop in the Eastern Orthodox church. Before that, the Nenets used various pictographic symbols called "tamga" to mark property. In 1931, a standard, Latin-based orthography was established. That was abandoned when the Cyrillic alphabet was adopted in 1937
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Ет хибяри ненэць соямарианта хуркари правада тнява, ӈобой ненээя ниду нись токалба, ӈыбтамба илевату тара.
Et xibjari nenėc’ sojamarianta xurkari pravada tnjava, ṇoboj nenėėja nidu nic’ tokalba, ṇybtamba ilevatu tara.
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)
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Page last modified: 23.04.21
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