Chechen is part of the small family of Nakh-Daghestanian or Northeast
Caucasian languages spoken by about 950,000 people in Chechnya. There
are also some Chechen speakers in Georgia, Germany, Jordan, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Syria, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The Chechens call themselves
Noxchi and their language Noxchiin Mott. The name Chechen
comes from the town of Cheechan where the Russians first encoutered Chechen
Chechen was originally written with a version of the Arabic alphabet. Between
1925 and 1938 it was written with the Latin alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet
was adopted in 1938, and was replaced by a new version of the Latin alphabet in 1992,
but after the defeat of the secessionist government, the Cyrillic alphabet was restored.
From the depths of the mountains gush the ice-cold springs,
But he doesn't fill his lean stomach there.
Rather he descends to the depths of the ravine and drinks from a warm puddle.
The wooded slope is bordered by rising fresh blue grass,
But he doesn't fill his noble belly there.
Coming out below the wooded hills, he listens carefully,
Anxious to avoid the dreaded hunter's gun.
Licking his long body with his slender tongue,
Sharpening his branched antlers on the flinty shore,
Striking his spotted hind leg on the plane tree's root,
Pointing his ears forward, tossing his antlers onto his back,
Climbing high on the hill, bellowing to the does,
How many stags walk without their mates?
And are there not many lads besides us of whom the same is true? -The Stag (Chechen folk song)