Even belongs to the Northern branch of the Manchu-Tungus language family. It is spoken in parts of the Russian Far East, the eastern-most part of the Russian Federation, mainly in the Sakha, Northern Magadan, Chukot and Koryak regions.
In 2010 there were about 5,660 speakers of Even, the majority of whom were adults. The language is also known Lamut, Ewen, Eben, Orich, Ilqan. Dialects include Arman, Indigirka, Kamchatka, Kolyma-Omolon, Okhotsk, Ola, Tompon, Upper Kolyma, Sakkyryr and Lamunkhin.
Even was first documented in 1692 by Nicolaas Witsen (1641-1717), a Dutch statesman, writer and cartographer. Other works on the language, including a dictionary and translations of religious texts, were published in the 18th century. An orthography for Even using the Church Slavonic alphabet was used in these early works, the first of which was published in 1858.
In 1926 a dictionary of Even was published that used the Cyrillic alphabet. This spelling system became the standard way to write Even. In 1931 a version of the Latin alphabet was adopted. This was revised in 1933, and officially abolished 1936, although it continued to be used until 1939.
In 1936 a new way of writing Even with the Cyrillic alphabet was introduced. This has been modified a number of times since then, and is used in schools. There are also several other ways to write Even in different regions.
Today Even is used in some pre-schools and primary schools in areas where the language is spoken. Even speakers also speak Russian, Koryak and Yakut, and Even is used as a second language by speakers of Chukchi and Yukaghir.
The letters ё, щ, ъ and ь are only used in Russian names and loanwords
Бэйил бөкэтчур өмэн хилкич нян урумкэр балдаритно, темн ноӈардук эгдьэн ӈи-да ачча. Бэйил бөкэтчур мэн долан акагчимур биннэтын.
Bėjil bökėtčur ömėn ĥilkič njan urumkėr baldaritno, temn noṅarduk ėgd'ėn ṅi-da ačča. Bėjil bökėtčur mėn dolan akagčimur binnėtyn.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the Even language
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Page last modified: 27.11.23
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