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Language Information

Mordvin is spoken over a broad area of European Russia, lying generally in the middle Volga region and extending as far as the Ural Mountains. There are about one million speakers, about one-third of whom live in the Republic of Mordvinia with its capital at Saransk.

Mordvin belongs to the Finnic branch of the Finno-Ugric languages, which form the main subgroup of the Uralic family. There are really two Mordvin languages—Erzya and Moksha—the two being suffi-ciently different that communication sometimes becomes a problem. The basic word "no" for example is aras' in Erzya, but ash in Moksha. The passage below is in Erzya.

Within the Republic of Mordvinia Erzya is generally spoken in the east, while Moksha is spoken in the west. Speakers of the former outnumber those of the latter by about two to one The Mordvin alphabet contains exactly the same letters as the Russian.

Mordvin is spoken/used in the following countries:
Mordovia, Russia.

Language Family
Family: Uralic
Subgroup: Finno-Ugric
Branch: Finnic

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

Writing Sample

Writing Sample


Later Churkanov regained consciousness from the indescribable cold. His teeth were chattering, his body felt as if it were bing pricked with needles of cold ice. His body shivered, his hands and feeth were numb. He opened his eyes and glimpsed a sort of hazy light coming in through the high grated windows. For a long time the captian had no idea where he was.

—A. SHCHEGLOV, Happiness

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