The Ulchi language


Language name: Ulchi (ulcha, olcha). Linguistic endonym: nan’i kheseni /nāńị xəsəni/ (literally “the Nani’s language”). English names: Ulcha, Olcha, Ulch, Ulchi. International codes: iso-code ulc, glottocode: ulch1241 Ethnonyms: the Ulchi, the Olchi, Manguns (“people of the Amur”), endonym — nan’i (literally “people of the land”). In the first half of the 20th century, Ulchi was viewed as a Nanai dialect (the Ulchi dialect).

The Auri camp, on the right bank of the Amur River. 1927
Photo by S.V. Ivanov
General Characteristics

The language is not passed to children, has few speakers (between 50 per latest expeditions and 150 per the 2010 Census) in the older generation (born in the 1950s and earlier). All speakers are fluent in Russian and today, use Russian more actively than Ulchi in all fields. Few speakers use Ulchi, along with Russian, in family communication, primarily in the village of Bulava. In some ethnic villages, Ulchi is taught in schools. There are some Ulchi song groups. A page in a district newspaper is published in Ulchi.

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