Chukchi (also spelled Chukchee, Chukot, Chuchi, or Chuchee) is a
Chukotko-Kamchatkan language spoken by about 10,400 people in northeastern
Siberia, mainly on the Chukchi peninsula or Chukotka between the Chukchi
and Bering Seas, and also in bordering areas of the Sakha Republic, Magadan
Oblast', and the Koryak Autonomous Region
There are two groups of Chukchi: the Tundra or Interior Chukchi (Chavchu
- reindeer men) and the Costal Chukchi (Ankalyn - costal men).
These groups are collectively known as Lygoravetlyan or Luorawetlan.
The majority of Chavchu speak Chukchi and resit Russian language and
culture, while most of the Ankalyn under 50 speak Russian in addition to
Chukchi. Many Chukchi also speak Yakut, Lamut, and/or Yukaghir.
Chukchi was originally written with the Latin alphabet, then in the 1930s a
switch was made to the Cyrillic alphabet. The first grammar of Chukchi was
written by Vladimir Bogoraz (1922), a Russian revolutionary exiled to Chukotka,
who also wrote an ethnographic study of the Chukchi. Since then quite a few
books and newspapers in Chukchi have been published. Chukchi is can also be
heard on radio and television for about an hour a day.
The name Chukchi is a Russian adaptation of the Chukchi word chauchu,
meaning "rich in reindeer".
Cyrilic alphabet for Chukchi
The blue letters are only used for Russian loanwords.
Information about Chukchi pronunciation compiled by Wolfram Siegel