Until recently, Orok was the most common name of the language. The alternative designation, although more often used over the last two decades, does not yet have a definitive variant in Russian: in addition to the officially approved Uilta, there are also such versions as язык уильта, язык ульта, уильтинский язык, уйльтинский язык [language of Uilta, language of Ulta, Uilta language, Ulta language].


As for the use of Orok as self-designation, T. Petrova gave the following explanation in 1967: “Oroks call themselves Oroks only when communicating with the ethnic groups that already use this name”. It should be noted that the name of Orok was used not only by Russians, but also by other ethnic groups that live or used to live next to Uilta. For instance, the Uilta people were known as orokko (orohko) among Ainu. Ch. Taksami wrote that Nivkhs used the word орӈрку (that has the same origin) to “define a wide circle of Tungus people – Ulchi, Oroks, Orochs, etc.” In Uilta, this word sounds like orokko.

Performance of the National Ensemble Mangume Ilga
General characteristics

The 2020 Census provided completely improbable data regarding the Uilta language: it indicated that there were 73 people that mastered Uilta. With the total Uilta population amounting to 268 people (based on the same Census), it looked like 27% of representatives of this ethnic group spoke the language, which would have been an exceptionally favorable result for such a small people. However, both researchers and teachers currently working on the creation of relevant teaching materials know perfectly well that there are currently no more than 3-5 people speaking Uilta.

Interactive atlas of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East