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Tungusic languages facts for kids

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Siberia, Manchuria
Linguistic classification: possibly Altaic (controversial)
  • Tungusic
Ethnologue code: 17-844
ISO 639-5: tuw
Linguistic map of the Tungusic languages.png
Geographic distribution

The Tungusic languages (also known as Manchu-Tungus, Tungus) are spoken in Eastern Siberia and Manchuria. Some linguists consider them to be part of the Altaic languages but many others do not think so.

Many Tungusic languages are in danger, and the long-term future of the family is uncertain.


Linguists working on Tungusic have proposed a number of different classifications based on different criteria, including morphological, lexical, and phonological characteristics.

Northern Tungusic

These languages can be considered dialects or related languages of Evenki:

  • Oroqen
  • Negidal
  • Solon
  • Manegir

Southern Tungusic

  • Southeast Tungusic
    • Nanai (Gold, Goldi, Hezhen)
    • Akani
    • Birar
    • Kile
    • Samagir
    • Orok
    • Ulch
    • Oroch
    • Udege
  • Southwest Tungusic (or the Jurchen-Manchu group)
    • Manchu of Manchuria, the language of the Manchus, who founded the Qing Dynasty of China.
    • Sibe - spoken in Xinjiang autonomous region by descendants of a Manchurian tribe dispatched by the Qing Dynasty to Xinjiang as a military garrison.
    • Jurchen - an extinct language of the Jin Dynasty of China.

Jurchen-Manchu (Jurchen and Manchu are simply different stages of the same language).

  • Kane, Daniel. The Sino-Jurchen Vocabulary of the Bureau of Interpreters. Indiana University Uralic and Altaic Series, Volume 153. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies, 1989.
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