Nganasan (ня”)

Nganasan is a member of the Samoyedic branch of the Uralic language family. It is spoken in parts of the Taymyr Peninsula, part of the Krasnoyarsk Krai in the Siberian Federal District of Russia. According to the 2010 census there are 860 Nganasans, and 130 of them speak Nganasan.

Nganasan 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

Sample text

Бəнде” ӈанасанə” ӈəтукəнды” нендя”туо” ӈонə хонсы хелиде” ӈиле мəнəй (правай). Сытыӈ хонды” ӈиле ӈонда ӈонə сяру, дүзытəндыӈ ихүтүӈ нягəə” сүөарусə”.

Transliteration (by Sammy Silvers)

Bënde’ ñanasanë’ ñëtukëndy’ nendä’tuo’ ñonë honsy helide’ ñile mënëi. Sytyñ hondy’ ñile ñonda ñonë säru, düzytëndyñ ihütüñ nägëë’ süöarusë’.


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)

Sample video in Nganasan

Information about Nganasan | Numbers in Nganasan


Information about the Nganasan language and people

Nganasan dictionaries

Samoyedic languages

Enets, Nenets, Nganasan

Languages written with the Cyrillic alphabet

Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Aghul, Akhvakh, Aleut, Altay, Alyutor, Andi, Archi, Assyrian / Neo-Assyrian, Avar, Azeri, Bagvalal, Balkar, Bashkir, Belarusian, Bezhta, Botlikh, Budukh, Bulgarian, Buryat, Chamalal, Chechen, Chelkan, Chukchi, Chulym, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Dargwa, Dolgan, Dungan, Enets, Erzya, Even, Evenki, Gagauz, Godoberi, Hinukh, Hunzib, Ingush, Interslavic, Itelmen, Juhuri, Kabardian, Kalderash Romani, Kalmyk, Karaim, Karakalpak, Karata, Kazakh, Ket, Khakas, Khanty, Khinalug, Khwarshi, Kildin Sámi, Komi, Koryak, Krymchak, Kryts, Kubachi, Kumandy, Kumyk, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lak, Lezgi, Lingua Franca Nova, Ludic, Macedonian, Mansi, Mari, Moksha, Moldovan, Mongolian, Montenegrin, Nanai, Negidal, Nenets, Nganasan, Nivkh, Nogai, Old Church Slavonic, Oroch, Orok, Ossetian, Pontic Greek, Russian, Rusyn, Rutul, Selkup, Serbian, Shor, Shughni, Siberian Tatar, Slovio, Soyot, Tabassaran, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Tatar, Tindi, Tofa, Tsakhur, Tsez, Turkmen, Tuvan, Ubykh, Udege, Udi, Udmurt, Ukrainian, Ulch, Urum, Uyghur, Uzbek, Veps, Votic, Wakhi, West Polesian, Yaghnobi, Yakut, Yazghulami, Yukaghir (Northern / Tundra), Yukaghir (Southern / Kolyma), Yupik (Central Siberian)

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21


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