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Language Information

Kabardian is spoken in the Caucasus region of the Russia, principally in the Kabardin-Balkar Republic (capital: Nalchik) and the Karachai-Cherkess Republic (capital: Cherkessk). It is spoken by two peoples—the Kabardians, who number about 325,000, and the Circassians (Russian: cherkesy), who number about 50,000. The language is thus sometimes referred to as Kabardin-Cherkess.

The Kabardians, Circassians, and a third people, the Adygeis, who speak the closely related Adygei language, are sometimes referred to collectively as Circassians. Historically, the Circassians date back to ancient times, and until the middle of the 19th century occupied almost the entire region between the Caucasus Mountains, the Kuban River, and the Black Sea. Following the annexation of the region by Russia in 1864, several hundred thousand Circassians migrated south and some are still to be found today in Turkey and Syria.

Kabardian belongs to the Western branch of the Caucasian family of languages. The alphabet is Cyrillic with only one additional letter—the I—which is common to many of the Caucasian languages.

Kabardian is spoken/used in Russia

Language Family
Family: Caucasian
Subgroup: Western

Copyright © Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World, Published by Routledge.

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


Spreading its two tremendous wings and occasionally flapping them, a great eagle soared through the sky, circling over the meadow. It glided slowly through the air, seeking some prey. Not spotting what it was looking for, it flapped its great wings about five times and, coming to a millet patch, began to circle the perimeter. Baroko was delighted that the bird glided gracefully without flapping its wings and kept his eyes riveted on it. In an instant the bird seemed to stop, then, folding its wings, swept down headfirst and dove into the millet. Not a half-minute later it flew up again, violently flapping its wings. Seeing that the eagle's sharp claws were clutching a hare and that it was flying directly toward him, Baroko grabbed the gun on his shoulder.

—KHACHIM TEUNOV, The Shadzhamokov Family

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