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Ethnic Russians are not indigenous to most of Russia. Russians are only indigenous to western Russia, with the country’s territory stretching over vast areas of land indigenous to countless other ethnolinguistic groups. This gives rise to a very multilingual country, with many people in Russia speaking a native language that is not Russian. If you go all the way over to the easternmost part of Russia, the only part of Russia lying in the Western Hemisphere, you’ll find the indigenous Chukchi people, who speak the Chukchi language.


Knowledge of the Chukchi language among the ethnic population is decreasing: only 32% of Chukchis, or around 5000 people, still speak their ancestral language today. In contrast, the vast majority of Chukchis speak Russian, with fewer than 100 reporting no knowledge of Russian in the 2002 census. A number of writers and poets have published works in Chukchi, and the language is taught in schools in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug—but despite this, Chukchi is severely endangered and requires revitalization efforts now to thrive in the future. At TranslationServices.com, we’d like to contribute by offering high-quality Chukchi translation services.


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Exploring one of Russia’s easternmost indigenous languages

The Chukchi people are located mostly in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, tucked away in the northeastern most corner of the massive country. Speakers can also be found in the neighboring regions of Kamchatka Krai and the Republic of Sakha, however. Chukchi had no written tradition until the 1930s, when it was first given a Latin-based alphabet and later a Cyrillic-based one. The Cyrillic alphabet is still used today. Chukchi is a unique language that comes from the small language family of Chukotko–Kamchatkan, found only at the easternmost tip of Russia.


Regarding its linguistic structure, Chukchi is a unique language. It’s highly inflected and uses an ergative–absolutive alignment, meaning that it treats intransitive subjects and transitive objects the same and transitive subjects differently. It’s also one of the few direct–inverse languages, where grammar may differ depending what nouns or pronouns are in the subject and object roles in a sentence. Another interesting phenomenon of Chukchi is its gender differences, featuring a taboo for women to say the names of their husband’s relatives and similar-sounding words.


Chukchi may well be one of the most unique languages on the planet—and that’s why our Chukchi translators are so proud of it.


Translation to Chukchi or from Chukchi—that is the question

We’ve built our Chukchi translation team with flexibility in mind, making it easy for clients to access both translation services into Chukchi and from Chukchi. We find that those looking for translation from Chukchi to English often have historical documents they want to understand or Chukchi literature that they want to share with others—our team is equipped to help with both. On the flip side, clients seeking translation from English to Chukchi may want to translate research surveys, pedagogical material, or books, websites, apps, games, and other entertainment content. Our team is happy to translate such documents, as it creates more content in Chukchi, helping Chukchi speakers and learners preserve this precious, unique language.


If you want Chukchi translation services, now’s the time to reach out and tell us what you’re seeking!


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