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The Circassian Language

The Circassian language belongs to the Northwest Caucasian family. The indigenous population of the modern republics of Adygeya, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia call  themselves адыгэ [adige]. Historically they are called "Circassians". The Circassians also live in some parts of Krasnodar Krai. Totally, the population of the Circassian ethnicity in Russia is about one million people. Several million of the Circassians live outside the borders of the ex-USSR, in forty-five different countries: Turkey, Syria, Jordan, USA, Germany and others.

The Circassian language became a written language at the beginning of the XX century. The Circassian writing used Arabic letters at first, then, in 1927, they were replaced by Latin letters, and, finally, in 1938 soviet linguists made yet another replacement, this time Cyrillic letters, which were also used in Russian, took place in the Circassian alphabet.

The Circassian language has four main dialects:

  1. Abadzeh
  2. Bzhedugh
  3. Temirgoy (Chemguy)
  4. Shapsug

In its phonetic and grammatical structure the Circassian language is quite different from English. It has a lot of specific sounds (phonemes), grammatical categories which are absent in English. On the other hand, the Circassian language does not have some grammatical features of the English language.