Languages with Few Speakers Evenki or Tungus

About the language Evenki or Tungus spoken in Siberian Russia, history and examples.

RARELY HEARD LANGUAGES

EVENKI

My mother died when I was small. Until 1933 I lived with my father. Then I began studying at the Baikit school. I studied until 1935. I finished the fourth grade in that school. Then I went to Tura. I began working at a printing plant in Tura. The printing plant put out an Evenki newspaper. The name of the newspaper was New Life. I worked there for three years. Then the Ilimpea regional committee of the Komosmol sent me to study in Igarka.

Evenki, also known as Tungus, is spoken over a vast expanse of territory extending from central Siberia to the Pacific Ocean. Its speakers number only 15,000, about 3,000 of whom live in the Evenki National District, an area of some 286,000 sq. mi. astride the Lower Tunguska and Stony Tunguska rivers. The remainder live in scattered settlements to the east, a few as far even as Sakhalin Island.

The Evenki live by hunting, fishing, and reindeer herding. Their language is of the Tungusic group, which forms a branch of the Altaic family. The alphabet, which is based on the Cyrillic, contains the additional letter H.

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