Dolgan is a northern Turkic language spoken in the Taymyr Peninsula in the far north of the Russian Federation by about a thousand people. It is most closely related to Yakut (Sakha) and Dolgan is regarded by some as a dialect of Yakut. Dolgan differs from Yakut in that it has been strongly influenced by the Evenk language in some areas, and by the Nenets language in others. There is also considerable influence from Russian.
The name Dolgan probably means 'people living on the middle reaches of the river'. They have also used over names, including toa / toalar / toakihi / toakihilär ('people of the wood'), toatagolar ('nomadic people'), and tagal / tägäl ('a tribe, a people').
Dolgan was first written with a version of the Latin alphabet devised in the 1920s. Since the 1940s the language has been written with a version of the Cyrillic alphabet similar to the one used for Yakut.
In the early 1960s some articles in Dolgan appeared in the newspaper Советский Таймыр (Soviet Taymyr), and a collection of poems in Dolgan was published in 1973. The first Dolgan language primer was published in 1984, and since then Dolgan has been taught in some primary schools.
The letters in red are used only in Russian loanwords and names
Download a chart of the Dolgan alphabet and pronunciation (PDF, in German)
Information about Dolgan pronunciation complied by Wolfram Siegel
Information about the Dolgan language and people
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