This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in Russian. (July 2018) Click [show] for important translation instructions. Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 2,561 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Russian Wikipedia article at [[:ru:Северноалтайский язык]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|ru|Северноалтайский язык)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Northern Altai
тÿндÿк алтай тили
Native toRussia
RegionAltai Republic
Altai Krai
Native speakers
  • Kumandy
  • Chelkan
  • Tubalar?
Language codes
ISO 639-3atv
ELPNorthern Altai
Map showing the locations of the Northern and Southern Altai varieties in Russia
Map showing the locations of the Northern and Southern Altai varieties in Russia

Northern Altai or Northern Altay is the several tribal Turkic dialects spoken in the Altai Republic of Russia.[1] Though traditionally considered one language, Southern Altai and the Northern varieties are not fully mutually intelligible. Written Altai is based on Southern Altai, and is rejected by Northern Altai children.[2]

Northern Altai is written in Cyrillic. In 2006, in the Altay kray, an alphabet was created for the Kumandin variety.[3]


According to data from the 2002 Russian Census, 65,534 people in Russia stated that they have command of the Altay language.[4] Only around 10% of them speak Northern Altay varieties, while the remaining speak Southern Altay varieties. Furthermore, according to some data, only 2% of Altays fluently speak the Altay language.[5]


Northern Altay consists of the following varieties:

The Tubalar language [ru; tr] (also known as Tuba language), is also often ascribed to belong to the Northern Altai group, but its relation to other languages is dubious and it may belong to Kipchak languages.[9] 408 Tubalars claim to know their national language, and 436 people in all reported knowing Tuba.

Closely related to the northern varieties of Altay are the Kondoma dialect [ru; tr] of the Shor language and the Lower Chulym dialect [ru; tr] of the Chulym language.[9]

Linguistic features

The following features refer to the outcome of commonly used Turkic isoglosses in Northern Altay.[10][11][12]


  1. ^ "Northern Altai". ELP Endangered Languages Project. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  2. ^ Raymond G. Gordon, Jr, ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  3. ^ В Алтайском крае издана азбука кумандинского языка. 2006
  4. ^ Всероссийская перепись населения 2002 года. Том 13. «Коренные малочисленные народы Российской Федерации»
  5. ^ Энциклопедия «Кругосвет»
  6. ^ Russian census figures
  7. ^ Russian census figures
  8. ^ BASKAKOV, N. A. (1958). "LA CLASSIFICATION DES DIALECTES DE LA LANGUE TURQUE D'ALTAÏ". Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 8 (1): 9–15. ISSN 0001-6446.
  9. ^ a b Tubalarskie ėti︠u︡dy. Tatevosov, S. G. (Sergeĭ Georgievich), Татевосов, С. Г. (Сергей Георгиевич), Moskovskiĭ gosudarstvennyĭ universitet im. M.V. Lomonosova. Filologicheskiĭ fakulʹtet., Московский государственный университет им. М.В. Ломоносова. Филологический факультет. Moskva: IMLI RAN. 2009. ISBN 9785920803504. OCLC 613983309.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ Baskakov, Nikolay Aleksandrovich (1966). Диалект Черневых Татар (Туба-Кижи): грамматический очерк и словарь. Moscow: Наука.
  11. ^ Baskakov, Nikolay Aleksandrovich (1972). Диалект Кумандинцев (Куманды-Кижи): грамматический очерк, тексты, переводы и словарь. Москва: Наука.
  12. ^ Baskakov, Nikolay Aleksandrovich (1985). Диалект Лебединских Татар-Чалканцев (Куу-Кижи). Москва: Наука.