Удмурт кыл
Udmurt kyl
Native toRussia
Native speakers
270,000 (2020 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-2udm
ISO 639-3udm
Distribution of Udmurt dialects at the beginning of 21st century[2][3]
Udmurt is classified as Definitely Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (2010)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Udmurt (/ʊdˈmʊərt/; Cyrillic: Удмурт) is a Permic language spoken by the Udmurt people who are native to Udmurtia. As a Uralic language, it is distantly related to languages such as Finnish, Estonian, Mansi, Khanty, and Hungarian. The Udmurt language is co-official with Russian within Udmurtia.

It is written using the Cyrillic alphabet with the addition of five characters not used in the Russian alphabet: Ӝ/ӝ, Ӟ/ӟ, Ӥ/ӥ, Ӧ/ӧ, and Ӵ/ӵ. Together with the Komi and Permyak languages, it constitutes the Permic grouping of the Uralic family. Among outsiders, it has traditionally been referred to by its Russian exonym, Votyak. Udmurt has borrowed vocabulary from neighboring languages, mainly from Tatar and Russian.

In 2010, per the Russian census, there were around 324,000 speakers of the language in the country, out of the ethnic population of roughly 554,000.[4] Ethnologue estimated that there were 550,000 native speakers (77%) out of an ethnic population of 750,000 in the former Russian SFSR (1989 census),[5] a decline of roughly 41% in 21 years.


Udmurt varieties can be grouped into three broad dialect groups:

A continuum of intermediate dialects between Northern and Southern Udmurt is found, and literary Udmurt includes features from both areas. Besermyan is more sharply distinguished.[citation needed]

The differences between the dialects are not major and mainly involve differences in vocabulary, largely attributable to the stronger influence of Tatar in the southern end of the Udmurt-speaking area. A few differences in morphology and phonology still exist as well; for example:


Main article: Udmurt alphabets

Udmurt is written using a modified version of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet:

Cyrillic Latin IPA Letter name Notes
А а A a [a] а
Б б B b [b] бэ
В в V v [v] вэ
Г г G g [ɡ] гэ
Д д D d
Ď ď
[dʲ~ɟ] before е, ё, и, ю, я, ь
Е е JE je
E e
[ʲe] after coronals д, т, з, с, л, н
Ё ё JO jo
O o
[ʲo] after д, т, з, с, л, н
Ж ж Ž ž [ʒ] жэ
Ӝ ӝ DŽ dž [d͡ʒ] ӝэ Д + Ж
З з Z z
Ź ź
[ʑ] before е, ё, и, ю, я, ь
Ӟ ӟ DŹ dź [d͡ʑ] ӟе Дь + Зь
И и I i [i]
[ʲi] after д, т, з, с, л, н
Ӥ ӥ I i [i] when preceded by д, т, з, с, л, н точкаен и, точкаосын и ("dotted i") Like Komi і. Non-palatalizing form of и.
Й й J j [j] вакчи и ("short i")
К к K k [k] ка
Л л Ł ł
L l
[ʎ] before е, ё, и, ю, я, ь
М м M m [m] эм
Н н N n
Ň ň
[ɲ] before е, ё, и, ю, я, ь
О о O o [o] о
Ӧ ӧ Õ õ [ɜ~ə] ӧ
П п P p [p] пэ
Р р R r [r] эр
С с S s
Ś ś
[ɕ] before е, ё, и, ю, я, ь
Т т T t
Ť ť
[tʲ~c] before е, ё, и, ю, я, ь
У у U u [u] у
Ф ф F f [f] эф In loanwords.
Х х H h [x] ха In loanwords.
Ц ц C c [t͡s] цэ In loanwords.
Ч ч Ć ć [t͡ɕ] чэ Ть + Сь
Ӵ ӵ Č č [t͡ʃ] ӵэ Т + Ш
Ш ш Š š [ʃ] ша
Щ щ ŠČ šč [ɕ(ː)] ща In loanwords.
Ъ ъ чурыт пус ("hard sign") Distinguishes palatalized consonants (/dʲ n/) from unpalatalized consonants followed by /j/ if followed by vowel; for example, /zʲo/ and /zjo/ are written зё (źo) and зъё (zjo), respectively.
Ы ы Y y [ɨ~ɯ] ы
Ь ь [ʲ] небыт пус ("soft sign")
Э э E e [e] э
Ю ю JU ju [ju]
[ʲu] after д, т, з, с, л, н
Я я JA ja [ja]
[ʲa] after д, т, з, с, л, н


Unlike other Uralic languages such as Finnish and Hungarian, Udmurt does not distinguish between long and short vowels and does not have vowel harmony.


Labial Alveolar Post-
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless (t͡s) t͡ʃ t͡ɕ
voiced (d͡z) d͡ʒ d͡ʑ
Fricative voiceless (f) s ʃ ɕ (x)
voiced v z ʒ ʑ
Approximant j
Lateral l ʎ
Trill r

The consonants /f x t͡s/ are restricted to loanwords, and are traditionally replaced by /p k t͡ɕ/ respectively. As in Hungarian, Udmurt exhibits regressive voicing and devoicing assimilations (the last element determines the assimilation), but with some exceptions (mostly to distinguish minimal pairs by voicing).[6]


Front Central Back
Unrounded Round
Close i ɨ u
Mid e ə o
Open a


Main article: Udmurt grammar

Udmurt language textbook, 1898 (in Russian) Букварь для вотскихъ дѣтей

Udmurt is an agglutinating language. It uses affixes to express possession, to specify mode, time, and so on.

No gender distinction is made in nouns or personal pronouns.


Udmurt has fifteen cases: eight grammatical cases and seven locative cases.

There is no congruency between adjectives and nouns in neutral Udmurt noun phrases; in other words, there is no adjective declension as in the inessive noun phrase бадӟым гуртын ("in a big village"; cf. Finnish inessive phrase isossa kylässä, in which iso "large" is inflected according to the head noun).

Udmurt cases
Case Suffix Example Translation
nominative гурт
genitive -лэн
of a village / village's
accusative -эз/-ез/-ты/-ыз
village (as an object)
ablative -лэсь
from a village
dative -лы
to a village
instrumental -эн/-ен/-ын
by means of a village
abessive -тэк
without a village
adverbial -я
in a village way
Locative cases*
inessive -ын
in a village
illative -э/-е/-ы
into a village (or house)
elative -ысь
from a village
egressive -ысен
starting from a village
terminative -озь
end up at a village
prolative -этӥ/-етӥ/-ытӥ/-тӥ
along a village
allative -лань
towards a village

*Of all the locative cases, personal pronouns can only inflect in the allative (also called approximative).


There are two types of nominal plurals in Udmurt. One is the plural for nouns -ос/-ëс and the other is the plural for adjectives -эсь/-есь.

Nominal plural

The noun is always in plural. In attributive plural phrases, the adjective is not required to be in the plural:

Attributive plural
Udmurt Transliteration English
чебер(есь) нылъёс ćeber(eś) nyljos (the) beautiful girls

The plural marker always comes before other endings (i.e. cases and possessive suffixes) in the morphological structure of plural nominal.

Morphological order
Udmurt Transliteration English
нылъёслы nyljosly to the girls
гуртъёсазы gurtjosazy to/in their villages

Predicative plural

As in Hungarian and Mordvinic languages, if the subject is plural, the adjective is always plural when it functions as the sentence's predicative:

Attributive plural
Udmurt Transliteration English
нылъёс чебересь nyljos ćeber the girls are beautiful
толъёс кузесь toljos kuź the winters are long

Udmurt pronouns are inflected much in the same way that their referent nouns are. However, personal pronouns are only inflected in the grammatical cases and cannot be inflected in the locative cases.


Personal pronouns

Udmurt personal pronouns are used to refer to human beings only. However, the third person singular can be referred to as it. The nominative case of personal pronouns are listed in the following table:

Personal pronouns
singular plural
1st person мон /mon/ ми /mi/
2nd person тон /ton/ тӥ /ti/
3rd person со /so/ соос /soːs/

More details:

Interrogative pronouns

Udmurt interrogative pronouns inflect in all cases. However, the inanimate interrogative pronouns 'what' in the locative cases have the base form кыт-. The nominative case of interrogative pronouns are listed in the following table:

Interrogative pronouns (nominative case)
Udmurt English
ма /mɑ/ what
кин /kin/ who
маос /mɑos/ what
кинъëс /kinjos/ who


Udmurt verbs are divided into two conjugation groups, both having the infinitive marker -ны.

There are three verbal moods in Udmurt: indicative, conditional and imperative. There is also an optative mood used in certain dialects. The indicative mood has four tenses: present, future, and two past tenses. In addition there are four past tense structures which include auxiliary verbs. Verbs are negated by use of an auxiliary negative verb that conjugates with personal endings.

The basic verbal personal markers in Udmurt are (with some exceptions):

Personal endings of verbs
Person Ending
2nd -д
3rd -з
1st -мы
2nd -ды
3rd -зы
Example conjugation: тодыны (conjugation I)
Person Udmurt Transliteration English
1st тодӥсько* todiśko* I know
2nd тодӥськод* todiśkod* you know
3rd тодэ tode he/she knows
1st тодӥськомы todiśkomy we know
2nd тодӥськоды todiśkody you know
3rd тодо todo they know

*The present tense in Udmurt in all but the third person, is marked with -(ӥ)сько-/-(и)сько-.


Udmurt is an SOV language.


Depending on the style, about 10 to 30 percent of the Udmurt lexicon consists of loanwords. Many loanwords are from the Tatar language, which has also strongly influenced Udmurt phonology and syntax.

A bilingual sign in Izhevsk proclaiming "welcome" in Russian ("добро пожаловать") and Udmurt ("гажаса ӧтиськом").

The Udmurt language, along with the Tatar language, influenced the language of the Udmurt Jews, in the dialects of which the words of Finno-Ugric and Turkic origin there were recorded.[8][9][10][11]

Media in Udmurt

Eurovision runners-up Buranovskiye Babushki, a pop group composed of Udmurt grandmothers, sing mostly in Udmurt.[12]

The romantic comedy film Berry-Strawberry, a joint Polish-Udmurt production, is in the Udmurt language.

In 2013, the film company "Inwis kinopottonni" produced a film in the Udmurt language called Puzkar ("nest").[13]

The Bible was first completely translated into Udmurt in 2013.[14]



  1. ^ "Итоги Всероссийской переписи населения 2020 года. Таблица 6. Население по родному языку" [Results of the All-Russian population census 2020. Table 6. population according to native language.]. rosstat.gov.ru. Archived from the original on 2020-01-24. Retrieved 2023-01-03.
  2. ^ Rantanen, Timo; Tolvanen, Harri; Roose, Meeli; Ylikoski, Jussi; Vesakoski, Outi (2022-06-08). "Best practices for spatial language data harmonization, sharing and map creation—A case study of Uralic". PLOS ONE. 17 (6): e0269648. Bibcode:2022PLoSO..1769648R. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0269648. PMC 9176854. PMID 35675367.
  3. ^ Rantanen, Timo, Vesakoski, Outi, Ylikoski, Jussi, & Tolvanen, Harri. (2021). Geographical database of the Uralic languages (v1.0) [Data set]. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4784188
  4. ^ "Udmurt". Endangered Languages Project. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  5. ^ Ethnologue code=UDM Archived October 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "2. Фонетика". Удмуртология. Retrieved 3 April 2022.
  7. ^ a b К проблеме категории инклюзивности местоимений в удмуртском языке
  8. ^ Altyntsev A.V., "The Concept of Love in Ashkenazim of Udmurtia and Tatarstan", Nauka Udmurtii. 2013. № 4 (66), pp. 131–132. (Алтынцев А.В., "Чувство любви в понимании евреев-ашкенази Удмуртии и Татарстана". Наука Удмуртии. 2013. №4. С. 131–132: Комментарии.) (in Russian)
  9. ^ Goldberg-Altyntsev A.V., "A short ethnographic overview of the Ashkenazic Jews' group in Alnashsky District of Udmurt Republic". Die Sammlung der wissenschaftlichen Arbeiten der jungen jüdischen Wissenschaftler. Herausgegeben von Artur Katz, Yumi Matsuda und Alexander Grinberg. München, Dachau, 2015. S. 51. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ Гольдберг-Алтынцев А.В., "Краткий этнографический обзор группы ашкеназских евреев в Алнашском районе Удмуртской Республики / пер. с англ. яз. А.Й. Каца." Archived 2020-08-07 at the Wayback Machine Jewish studies in the Udmurt Republic: Online. Part 1. Edited by A. Greenberg. February 27, 2015 published. P. 3. (in Russian)
  11. ^ Goldberg-Altyntsev A.V., "Some characteristics of the Jews in Alnashsky District of Udmurt Republic." The youth. The creativity. The science. Edited by V. Cox, A. Katz and A. Greenberg. Trenton, 2014, p. 28. (גאלדבערג-אלטינצעוו א.ו., ". איניגע באזונדערהייטן פון די יידן אין אלנאשסקער רייאן פון ודמורטישע רעפובליק" The youth. The creativity. The science. = Die Jugend. Die Kreativität. Die Wissenschaft. = נוער. יצירתיות. מדע Edited by V. Cox, A. Katz and A. Greenberg. Trenton, 2014. P. 28.) (in Yiddish)
  12. ^ Omelyanchuk, Olena (7 March 2012). "Buranovskiye Babushki to represent Russia in Baku". European Broadcasting Union. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Пузкар (удмурт кино)".
  14. ^ "First Bible in Udmurt – arrives this week!". United Bible Societies. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015.