Enets language

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Not to be confused with Nenets languages.
Онаь базаан Ona' bazaan
Native to Russia
Region Krasnoyarsk Krai, along the lower Yenisei River
Ethnicity 230 Enets people (2010 census)[1]
Native speakers
40 (2010 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
enf – Forest Enets
enh – Tundra Enets
Glottolog enet1250[2]

Enets is a Samoyedic language spoken by the Enets people along the lower Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia. There are two distinct dialects, Forest (Bai) Enets and Tundra (Madu or Somatu) Enets, which may be considered separate languages. There are only about forty speakers in total, with slightly more speaking Tundra Enets. Most speakers are middle-aged or older, and all speak Russian as a second language. It is closely related to Nenets, of which it was formerly regarded as a dialect,[3] and to Nganasan.


Although an alphabet was developed for the Enets language at the end of the 1980s, it has yet to be made official. In spite of this, it has been used to produce three books, including a Russian-Enets student dictionary. Enets is written with a Cyrillic alphabet, including the letters ԑ, ӈ and ҫ which are not used in the Russian alphabet.

А а Б б В в Г г Д д Е е Ё ё Ԑ ԑ
Ж ж З з И и Й й К к Л л М м Н н
Ӈ ӈ О о П п Р р С с Ҫ ҫ Т т У у
Ф ф Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ Ъ ъ Ы ы
Ь ь Э э Ю ю Я я

Forest Enets[edit]

Forest Enets is the smaller of the two Enets dialects. In the winter of 2006/2007, approximately 35 people spoke it (6 in Dudinka, 20 in Potapova and 10 in Tukhard, the youngest of whom was born in 1962 and the oldest in 1945). Many of these speakers are trilingual, with competence in Forest Enets, Tundra Nenets and Russian, preferring to speak Tundra Nenets.


  • Mikola T.: Morphologisches Wörterbuch des Enzischen. Szeged, 1995 (= Studia Uralo-Altaica 36)
  • Болина, Д .С.: Русско-єнецкий разговорник. Санкт-Петербург : Просвещение, 2003, 111p. 5-09-00269-7
  • Сорокина, И. П.; Болина, Д .С.: Энецкий-русско и русско-єнецкий словарь. Санкт-Петербург : Просвещение, 2001, 309p. 5-09-002526-6
  • Сорокина, И. П.; Болина, Д .С.: Энецкий словарь с кратким грамматическим очерком : около 8.000 слов. Санкт-Петербург: Наука 2009, 488p. ISBN 978-5-98187-304-1
  • Сорокина, И. П.: Энецкий язык. Санкт-Петербург: Наука 2010, 411p. ISBN 978-5-02-025581-4
  • Siegl, Florian: Materials of Forest Enets : an indiginous language of northern Siberia. (Dissertationes Philologicae Uralicae Universitatis Tartuensis 9) Tartu : Univ. Pr. 2011, 455 p. 978-9949-19-672-2 (print ed.) ISBN 978-9949-19-673-9 (PDF)


  1. ^ a b Forest Enets at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Tundra Enets at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Enets". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Margus Kolga; Igor Tõnurist; Lembit Vaba; Jüri Viikberg. "The Enets". The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire. 

External links[edit]