The Uralic Language Family (a primary language-family) was born in the vicinity of the Ural Mountains, on the division between Europe and Asia. From here, they spread far along the northern stretches of Urasia and even down into Central Europe! Today, these languages are much more sparse and many are being lost with the older generations, with the exception of the larger, national Uralic Languages.
Can you name all the Uralic languages and dialects on the map below?
|First submitted||September 6, 2021|
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As far as my research goes, the existence of the Ugric family is contended and so I marked it with a ? mark. For once I am treating the Sami languages are being distinct languages rather than different forms of a larger Sami Language.
For the translations, I am reverting to machine translations (since those proved most accurate on previous quizzes). I fully expect some mistakes, however, so please feel free to correct my translations! I also made choices to highlight the pronoun + the verb together since these languages all tend to be pro-drop. I'm hoping that the cases are all correct, also.
I'm somewhat curious about the status of these languages though, since many of the dying ones seem to be in northern Russia/Siberia. Do any of them have legal recognition or protection? Are they still taught in schools anywhere? Is the situation similar to North America, where there were active attempts to suppress indigenous languages and force Native Americans/First Nations to speak English? Or was it a more passive process where these people willingly chose to assimilate and adopt Russian as their language?
I am not super qualified to talk about the ]status of these languages since I am not well read as some, although from what I am aware the Sami were assimilated forcibly. The process sounds kinda familiar to efforts in North America with the First Nations, with bording schools and Sami children being forbidden to speak their language although I don't know how far the similarities extend.
Russification has been a huge factor in the diminishing of Uralic Languages in Russia, and this has happened for centuries with some of the languages (such as Komi). Children went to school in Russian, and now 100 years later populations are falling in general and urbanisation causes more assimilation between Uralic-speakers into the broader Russian society. There are ethnic regions for some of these groups, such as Mari El or Udmurtia, yet they have majority Russian populations. Most of the languages on this quiz are sadly in serious danger and are concentrated among the elderly
First: As far as I know, Sami languages are alive and well. Their situation is not perfect, but they are recognised. I'm not sure about other minority languages in Scandinavia: as they're very similar to Finnish, it's difficult for their speakers to keep them apart.
Second: Minority languages in Russia are in a much more difficult situation. Some of the nationalities do have a political and cultural autonomy, but its extent varies. For the Mari, the Udmurt, and Mordvinic languages, the situation is slightly easier. The others strive to keep their culture. And yes, most of these people have to speak Russian all the time. At the Soviet times, there were extremely severe measures against them, like forcing their children go to Russian-speaking boarding schools, or even worse: sending their teachers, writers, priests to the Gulag. Even genocide.
I was especially looking for their classics. It was definitely worth the effort. If you can find anything by Kuzebay Gerd or Yuvan Shestalov in English or any other language you can read in, don't miss the chance.
Hungarian to me sounds like Telugu with all the vowels and meanings changed, but the consonants have a similar sound and pattern to Telugu. They are also all agglutinative languages, and some vocabulary is similar between Telugu and Hungarian, though they are probably just shared Turkic loan words. One funny cultural similarity between Telugu and Hungarian of all languages is that both put the surname first when writing names.
Are there many Turkic loan-words in Telugu? I was surprised at how many there are in Hungarian (although it makes sense given the extensive contact between Hungarians and Turkic-speaking people). I guess both of these languages share features like vowel-harmony and agglutination with Turkic languages as well. Just non-Indo European things, haha! Thanks for the insight, I find topics like this really neat :)
Hyderabad was ruled by a Muslim Turkic Nizam for a long time, so Turkic, Arabic, and Persian loan words entered Telugu due to this, while other Dravidian languages didn't get them. There are many examples including some everyday ones, like రోజు (Rōzu or Rōju), meaning day, coming from Persian Roz, తయ్యారి (Tay'yāri) from Arabic Tayyara, meaning ready, and జేబు (Jēbu) from Turkic Ceb and Arabic Jayb. This one is similar to Hungarian Zseb. Some of these could have also entered from North Indian languages but the Nizam's influence in Telugu is still noticeable and is one of the many things that makes Telugu unique :)
A lot of those words sound quite familiar after studiying Hindi for a while, I never expected to see Zseb again in Hungarian! I looked on Wiktionary and it was apparently from Ottoman Turkish. A lot of the loan words I can find in Hungarian on Wiktionary are related to Islamic terms which wouldn't have been relevant before more modern Turkish contact, but I imagine there are plenty more words in the same catagory as 'zseb'!
You're right: there are a lot of Turkish words in Hungarian because of the centuries spent close to each other. I didn't know about the connection with Telugu, so thanks a lot for that information!
Agglutination is pretty frequent, though. There are agglutinative languages in South America, East Asia and Africa, too. As there are only four or five language types in the world, there have to be a lot of them fitting each of these categories. :) It has nothing to do with language families. Languages can even switch from one category to another throughout their history, like English. It used to be fusional, similar to German, and now it's more and more isolating.
"-n" in the word form "Salon" is genitive case ending. I have thought that this convention originates probably from those times when surnames were actually house names. For example I have found out making research of my own surname that my forefathers from father's side had originally different name, but it changed when they moved to a new house. They inherited the house name, and when my grandfather's grandmother moved from that house, she still had that name, which I have inherited. So, with her the house name had changed to real surname in modern sense. But still people often call others in Finnish countryside by using house names, not their surnames.
Yesterday I read comments that Leonardo had not surname, but da Vinci just meant that he is from Vinci. Then I saw YouTube video, which denied this theory. I don't know, but originally da Vinci has meant the place of origin and then it may have been interpreted as surname. This is common practice in different cultures.
Thank you for this quiz, I really like it!
(Could kick myself for forgetting selkup, but otherwise I've had the results I expected.)
About your questions:
There are no mistakes in the Hungarian sentence, you can shake hands with the machine, good job. :)
I've never heard of the Ugric family being contended, so I've checked and found that it is NOT. You can remove the question mark. :) I know the Wikipedia says otherwise, but it's wrong.
I've just found an article on a website run by expert linguists. They were asked the same question: are there Ugric languages? The answer is: there are two lingusts who have had their doubts about these three languages belonging together, but none of their doubts have been verified.
Here's the article (it's in Hungarian, but I guess the machine will help you here, too):
I am happy to remove the question mark, I cannot find anything against the Ugric languages being a language family either so the question mark goes.
I will read the article, and once again
(And sorry for misspelling Selkup in my reply... Unfortunately, I can't correct it now, so there it will stay.)
As a Finnish speaker I thought it would be good to spread knowledge about all these languages.
Otherwise im pretty proud of myself for getting the other ones
Could you consider adding Pite Sami, Ume Sami, and Votic as languages?
Or maybe there is a reason why you decided not to add these? Thanks!
Unfortunately I ended up cutting the languages which have 20 speakers or less, which is why they didn't make it on the quiz.