Oroqen is a Northern Tungusic language spoken in Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang in northern China. In Inner Mongolia it is spoken in Hulun Buir league, and Oroqen and Butha banners. In Heilongjiang it is spoken in Da Hinggan Ling, Heihe and Yichun prefectures. In 2009 there were about 1,200 fluent speakers of Oroqen, including 800 monolinguals. Oroqen is also used as a second language by the Daur and Evenki people. The language is also known as Orochon, Oronchon, Olunchun, Elunchun or Ulunchun. In Chinese it is known as 鄂伦春 (èlúnchūn).
Dialects of Oroqen include Birarchen, Kumarchen, Orochen, Selpechen in Heilongjiang, and Gankui in Inner Mongolia. Gankui is considered the standard dialect. There are some younger speakers of the Kumarchen dialect, however other dialects have mainly elderly speakers.
During the 1980s Oroqen learning materials were produced by teachers in Oroqen-speaking areas. They based the written form of the language on the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) or Pinyin - before then the language was not written. Further materials were produced in Heilongjiang in 2003. Web-based resources started to appear in 2013.
The language is used sometimes in radio programmes.
Details of the Oroqen alphabet provided by Michael Peter Füstumum
Information about Oroqen
Page last modified: 22.02.22
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