Crimean Tatar language
|Qırımtatarca, Qırımtatar tili
Къырымтатарджа, Къырымтатар тили
|Native to||Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey|
|Native speakers||480,000 (2006)|
|Recognised minority language in||Ukraine (Autonomous Republic of Crimea), Romania (Dobroudja)|
|Linguasphere||part of 44-AAB-a|
Crimean Tatar-speaking world
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Crimean Tatar (Qırımtatarca, Qırımtatar tili, Къырымтатарджа, Къырымтатар тили) is the indigenous language of the Crimean Tatar peoples. It is a Turkic language spoken in Crimea and the Crimean Tatar diasporas of Uzbekistan, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria as well as small communities in Poland, Finland, the United States, and Canada. It is not to be confused with the Kazan Tatar language spoken in Russia, to which it is remotely related and with which it is not mutually intelligible.
Number of speakers 
Today, more than 260,000 Crimean Tatars live in Crimea, and approximately 150,000 are still in exile in Central Asia (mainly in Uzbekistan). An estimated 5 million people of Crimean origin live in Turkey, descendants of those who emigrated in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Of these an estimated 2,000 still speak the language. Smaller Crimean Tatar communities are also found in Romania (22,000), Bulgaria (6,000), Poland, Finland, Canada, and the United States. It is one of the seriously endangered languages in Europe.
Respectively, almost all Crimean Tatars are bilingual or multilingual with the dominant languages of their respective home countries such as Russian, Ukrainian, Uzbek, Turkish, Finnish, etc.
Each of the three subethnic groups of the Crimean Tatars has its own dialect. The dialect of the Noğays – the former inhabitants of the Crimean steppe (should not be confused with Nogai people) – is of Kypchak origin, Yalıboylus, who lived on the southern coast of Crimea before 1944, speak an Oghuz dialect very close to Turkish, and the middle dialect of the Tat Tatars from the Crimean Mountains (should not be confused with Tat people) is a mixture of the two. This dialect is a direct descendant of the Cuman language, but it has been strongly influenced by the Oghuz Turkic. The modern Crimean Tatar written language is based on this middle dialect because the Tats comprise about 55% of the total Crimean Tatar population and their dialect is equally intelligible to the speakers of the others.
The forming of the Crimean Tatar spoken dialects began with the first Turkic invasions to Crimea and ended during the period of the Crimean Khanate. However, the official written languages of the Crimean Khanate were Chagatai and Ottoman Turkish. After the Islamization, Crimean Tatars wrote with an Arabic script.
In 1876, the different Turkish Crimean dialects were made into a uniform written language by Ismail Gasprinski. A preference was given to the Oghuz dialect of the Yalıboylus, in order to not break the link between the Crimeans and the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. In 1928, it was reoriented to the middle dialect.
In 1928, the alphabet was replaced with the Uniform Turkic Alphabet based on the Latin script. The Uniform Turkic Alphabet was itself replaced in 1938 by a Cyrillic alphabet. Since the 1990s, the script is in the process of being replaced with a Latin version again, but the Cyrillic is still widely used (mainly in published literature and newspapers). The current Latin-based Crimean Tatar alphabet is the same as the Turkish alphabet with two additional characters: Ñ ñ and Q q.
Crimean Tatar was the native language of the poet Bekir Çoban-zade.
The vowel system of Crimean Tatar is similar to those of other Turkic languages, such as Turkish. Because high vowels in Crimean Tatar are short and reduced, /i/ and /ɯ/ are realized close to [ɪ], even though they are phonologically distinct.
Current situation 
According to the constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, as published in Russian by its Verkhovna Rada (see Конституция Автономной Республики Крым), Russian and Crimean Tatar languages enjoy a "protected" (Russian – обеспечивается ... защита) status; every citizen is entitled, at his request (Russian ходатайство), to receive government documents, such as "Passport, Birth certificate and others" in Crimean Tatar. According to the constitution of Ukraine, however, Ukrainian is the only official language in all of Ukraine, so the recognition of those languages is a matter of political and legal debate.
Writing systems 
Crimean Tatar can be written in the either the Cyrillic or Latin alphabets, both modified to the specific needs of Crimean Tatar, and either used respective to where the the language is used. The Latin variant is based on that of Modern Turkish.
Crimean Tatar Latin alphabet 
Â â symbol is not considered to be a separate letter.
|[a]||[b]||[dʒ]||[tʃ]||[d]||[e]||[f]||[ɡ]||[ɣ]||[x]||[ɯ]||[i], [ɪ]||[ʒ]||[k]||[l]||[m]||[n]||[ŋ]||[o]||[ø]||[p]||[q]||[r]||[s]||[ʃ]||[t]||[u]||[y]||[v], [w]||[j]||[z]|
Crimean Tatar Cyrillic alphabet 
гъ, къ, нъ and дж are separate letters.
Crimean Tatar in comparison with other languages 
Crimean Tatar, Turkish and Azerbaijani 
The following newspaper report compares the Crimean Tatar, Turkish, and Azerbaijani languages:
|Meclis Haberleri 10.09.2003// Qırımtatar Milliy Meclisiniñ 120-cı toplaşuvı olıp keçti
2003 senesi sentâbr 7 künü Aqmescitteki İslâm Merkeziniñ binasında Qırımtatar Milliy Meclisiniñ 120-cı toplaşuvı olıp keçti. Toplaşuvda...
|Meclis Haberleri 10.09.2003// Kırım Tatar Millî Meclisi'nin 120. toplantısı gerçekleşti
7 Eylül 2003 günü Akmescit'teki İslam Merkezi'nin binasında Kırım Tatar Millî Meclisi'nin 120. toplantısı gerçekleşti. Toplantıda...
|Məclis Xəbərləri 10.09.2003// Qırım Tatar Milli Məclisinin 120-ci toplantısı keçirildi
2003-cü il sentyabrın 7-si günü Ağməsciddəki İslam Mərkəzinin binasına Qırım Tatar Milli Məclisinin 120-ci toplantısı keçirildi. Toplantıda...
|Assembly News 10.09.2003// 120th meeting of Crimean Tatar National Assembly was held
On 7 September 2003, 120th meeting of Crimean Tatar National Assembly was held at the Islamic Centre building in Simferopol. At the meeting...
Crimean Tatar and Kazan Tatar 
Because of its common name, Crimean Tatar is sometimes mistaken to be a dialect of Kazan Tatar. Although these languages are related (as both are Turkic), the Kypchak languages closest to Crimean Tatar are (as mentioned above) Kumyk and Karachay-Balkar, not Kazan Tatar.
- Berta, Árpád (1998), "West Kipchak Languages", in Johanson, Lars; Csató, Éva Ágnes, The Turkic Languages, Routledge, pp. 301–317, ISBN 978-0-415-08200-6
- Kavitskaya, Darya (2010), Crimean Tatar, Munich: Lincom Europa
|Crimean Tatar language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- Wiktionary's category of Crimean Tatar words
- Linguistic corpus of Crimean Tatar language
- Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
- Kırımtatar Dili (Turkish)
- Wiktionary's category of Crimean Tatar words (Turkish)
- Crimean Tatar internet library
- Automatic Latin<>Cyrillic transliterator for Crimean Tatar texts
- Russian-Crimean Tatar Dictionary
- Online Crimean Tatar (Northern dialect) -Turkish-English Dictionary tatarcasozluk.com