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Koryak (Нымылан / Nymylan)

Koryak is a Chukotko-Kamchatkan language spoken by about 4,000 people in northeastern Siberia, mainly in the Koryak Autonomous Region in northern part of the Kamchatka peninsula, and an the adjoining mainland from the Taigonos Peninsula to the Bering Sea. Koryak is closely related to Chukchi, and like the Chukchi, the Koryaks are traditionally reindeer herders.

The Koryaks call themselves by two different names: chavchu 'reindeer rearers' or 'rich in reindeer' for the traditionally nomadic reindeer-herding tribes, while the settled tribes call themselves nymylan 'resident, settler'. The word Koryak means 'at the reindeer' or 'with the reindeer', a name for the Koryak coined by a neighbouring people.

A method of writing Koryak using the Latin alphabet was devised in 1932 and based on the Chavchyvan dialect. In 1937 the Koryaks were forced to adopt the Cyrillic alphabet to write their language.

Cyrilic alphabet for Koryak

Cyrilic alphabet for Koryak

The blue letters are only used for Russian loanwords.

Information about Koryak pronunciation compiled by Wolfram Siegel

A sample text in Koryak is available at:

Information about Koryak | Koryak numbers


Information about the Koryak language and people

Koryak texts - a collection of Koryak stories translated into English

Koryak-Chukchi Topical Dictionary

Other languages written with the Cyrillic alphabet

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