Language of the Day: Yupik, Naukan

Archangel_reindeer3If you were to go to the most northeastern point of Asia you would have to venture up into northern Russia where the Chukchi Sea lays to the north, the Bearing Sea to the south and the Bearing Straight would lay in the east. You would find yourself in the Chukchi Peninsula and it is here that we find the speakers of the Yupik, Naukan language.

Spoken by nearly 500 people this language finds itself on the verge of extinction. Currently the language is spoken by people above the age of 40 and is not spoken by the youth of the people.

The language itself is one of four languages that are part of the Yupik language grouping with the others being Central Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup’ik, Alutiiq, and Sirenik. The people who speak the language are indigenous people of Siberia who have resided in the Chukchi Peninsula for nearly 2000 years.

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