Oroqen language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Oroqen Language
Oroqen Urkun;
ɔrɔtʃeen ulguur
Native toChina
RegionChina: Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang
Native speakers
c. 3,789 (2009)[1]
  • Northern
    • Evenki
      • Oroqen
  • Gankui and Selpechen
Language codes
ISO 639-3orh

Oroqen /ˈɒrəɛn, ˈɒr-/ ORR-ə-chen, ORR-oh- ( Oroqen Urkun; ɔrɔtʃeen ulguur; also known as Orochon, Oronchon, Olunchun, Elunchun or Ulunchun) is a Northern Tungusic language spoken in the People's Republic of China. Dialects are Gankui and Heilongjiang. Gankui is the standard dialect.[1] It is spoken by the Oroqen people of Inner Mongolia (predominantly the Oroqin Autonomous Banner) and Heilongjiang in Northeast China.[2]

Since the 1980s, Oroqen-language materials were produced by teachers in Oroqen-speaking areas. They based the language's orthography either on IPA or Pinyin. A majority of Oroqen speakers use Chinese as a literary language and some also speak Daur.

Geographic distribution[edit]

Oroqen is spoken in the following counties of China:[1]

Sample text[edit]

Listed below are some Oroqen sentences.[3] They are transcribed in Oroqen Fonetic Alphabet.

Arian has three elder brothers. Arian ilan axtʃi.
The children are all come in. Kʊxɑː səl ku əmtʃə.
Arian's elder brother is coming. Arian axninin əmtʃə.
I'm a student. Pi pite turan.
You're taller than me ʃi mintu gʊkta.
The house is neat and tidy. Ər dʒuː tʃaldaː le
Arian untied the rope Arian uʃixəmʊə puditʃə
How many children do you have? ʃi ati kʊxa tʃi piʃiniʔ
Arian took off his clothes

Arian kantaxʊə purmə ədədʒə.



Labial Alveolar Post-
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
voiceless p t t͡ʃ k
voiced b d d͡ʒ ɡ
Fricative ɸ ʃ x ~ [ɣ] ~ [h]
Rhotic r
Approximant l j w
  • Allophones of /x/ are heard as [ɣ], [h].
  • A bilabial /ɸ/ can also be heard as a labio-dental [f].
  • A rhotic trill /r/ tends to sound as a tap [ɾ], when occurring word-finally.


Front Central Back
High i y u
Near-high ɪ ɪː ʊ ʊː
High-mid ə əː o
Low-mid ɛː ɔ ɔː
Low ɑ ɑː
  • /ə, əː/ are often heard as lower sounds [ɐ, ɐː].
  • Short allophones of /o, u/ are heard as [ɵ, ʉ].[4]


  1. ^ a b c Oroqen at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) closed access
  2. ^ "Did you know Oroqen is severely endangered?". Endangered Languages. Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  3. ^ "WOLD -". wold.clld.org. Retrieved 2023-08-01.
  4. ^ Hu, Zengyi (1986). Elunchun-yu jianzhi [Concise grammar of Oroqen]. Beijing: National Minorities Publ. pp. 3–19.

External links[edit]