A scene from Yhyakh, 2019. Yhyakh is a traditional Sakha (Yakut) festival that celebrates the arrival of summer and, by the local calendar, the New Year. Photo shared by @NewsYktRu on Twitter.

The Talking Yakut (Sakha) Phrasebook

Published: November 9, 2020

The Talking Phrasebook Series presents useful phrases and words in side-by-side translation and with audio files specifically geared to help students work on listening skills and pronunciation. Each entry below, divided by category, features an English word or phrase in the left column and its Russian translation in the right. The Russian is presented in in English transliteration on top and in the original Cyrillic below that.

In the center column for each row is a play button. The recorded file will feature first English, then the Yakut in three versions: one slow, one with each syllable broken out, and a last version that will be spoken as it might be overheard in a conversation between native speakers. (In “Counting,” the audio files have been grouped into four quicker sets.)

Interesting Facts about Yakut (Sakha)

  1. Sakha and Yakut are used interchangeably to refer to people, language, and culture. The exact linguistic origins of the terms are disputed, but it’s widely accepted that both originated as names of smaller tribal groups in the area. Prior to the Russian conquest of Siberia beginning in the early 1600s, these small groups lived separately, self-identifying by clan and kinship system rather than as a collective ethnic group. The Russian language has historically favored the term “Yakut,” imbuing it with political significance. Today, “Sakha” is now more commonly used by the people inside the region and “Yakut” more commonly used by the people outside.
  2. There are many Sakha dialects that developed primarily due to the vast geography of the region and its history. The most district dialect “borders” are delineated by the Lena, Amga, and Aldan Rivers, which divide the Republic into four parts.
  3. The following talking phrasebook uses the Central Dialect, which is commonly spoken in Yakutsk, the region’s capital city. However, Yakutsk attracts people from other regions and even countries. Thus, it is not uncommon to hear various Sakha dialects as well as Russian, Kyrgyz, Ukrainian, Armenian, and Mandarin in Yakutsk.
  4. Sakha is a Turkic language, in the same family as Tatar and Uzbek. Like other Turkic languages, Sakha is agglutinative (words are formed by a stem and the addition of affixes) and uses vowel harmony. However, Sakha is unique in that it has many borrowings from Mongolian and Tungus as well as vocabulary from another, currently debated, source (possibly Paleo-Asian).
  5. Long part of Russia, Sakha has borrowed heavily from Russian. Many common phrases have both traditional and Russian-borrowed versions. The Russian borrowings have generally changed somewhat in sound to match Sakha phonemic preferences, but can most often still be recognized.
  6. In recent years as the Sakha language is being revitalized, there’s been a growing push for (reformist) linguistic purism and the replacement of heretofore more common Russian loanwords with “pure” Sakha words. For example, эмчит (ėmchit; “doctor”, “healer”) instead of быраас (byraas; from the Russian врач); and мэндиэмэн (mėndiėmėn; “floor”, “story”) instead of этээс (ėtėės; from the Russian этаж)
  7. Sakha is an ungendered language. Nouns have no gender and there is a single pronoun (кини) for both he and she.
  8. Sakha has an exceptionally rich sense of time, featuring numerous tenses that can show, for instance, how long ago something happened, if it happened once or repeatedly, if the act was finished, and more. However, verbs have no infinitive.
  9. Sakha has seven cases: nominative, instrumental, ablative, comitative, dative, accusative, comparative, and partitive. Partitive is a case that denotes something without specific identity or which is part of something else. This can include, for instance, when “some of” a particular group is referred to.


Yakut (Sakha) Unique Characters

Sakha is written in a Cyrillic-based alphabet, but has five sounds not found in Russian. These are represented by the following unique characters:

Sakha letter: Pronunciation: IPA:
Ҕ gh ɣ, ʁ
Ҥ ng ŋ
Ө ö ø
Һ һ h
Ү ü y


Survival Basics for Yakut (Sakha) back to top

Greetings! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaGreetings.mp3″] Tuox sonun baar?
(Туох сонун баар?)
*literally “What news is there?” This is the traditional Sakha greeting.
Hello! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHello1.mp3″] Doroobo!
*Borrowed from the Russian “здоро́во,” a more colloquial “hello”
Hello! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHello2.mp3″] Biribiet!
*Borrowed from the Russian “привет”
Yes [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sakhaes1.mp3″] Söp
Yes [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sakhaes2.mp3″] Onnuk
(Оннук)*used interchangeably to broadly mean “yes” or indicate agreement
No [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaNo.mp3″] Suokh
Good morning! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaGoodmorning.mp3″] Ütüö sarsyardanan!
(Үтүө сарсыарданан!)
Good afternoon! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaGoodafternoon.mp3″] Ütüö kününėn!
(Үтүө күнүнэн!)
Good evening! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaGoodevening.mp3″] Ütüö kiėhėnėn!
(Үтүө киэһэнэн!)
How’s life? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHowslife1.mp3″] Khaĭdakh oloroghun?
(Хайдах олороҕун?)
What’s up? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHowslife2.mp3″] D’yala xaĭdaghyĭ?
(Дьыала хайдаҕый?)
*this is a direct translation from the Russian “Kak dela?” (Как дела?)
How are you? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHowareou.mp3″] Ėn kaĭdakhkhyn?
(Эн хайдаххын?)
Good/well, thanks, and you? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWellthanksandou.mp3″] Baryta üchügėĭ/ėtėngngė, bahyyba, onton ėĭėkhė?
(Барыта үчүгэй/этэҥҥэ, баhыыба, онтон эйэхэ?)
Good bye! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaGoodbe1.mp3″] Körsüökhkhė diėri!
(Көрсүөххэ диэри!)
*lit. “See you later!” this is the traditional Sakha farewell
Good bye! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaGoodbe2.mp3″] Bakaa!
*from the Russian “Poka” (Пока)
Sorry! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaSorr1.mp3″] Alghas!
Sorry! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaSorr2.mp3″] Byrastyy gyn!
(Бырастыы гын!)
*from the Russian “prosti” (прости)
Open/closed [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaOpenclosed.mp3″] Ahaghas/sabyylaakh
*The majority of signs in Sakha are in Russian. Therefore, it’s common to see “otkryto” (открыто) and “zakryto” (закрыто) in print. The Sakha version is often used in common speech.
Pull/push [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sakhapullpush.mp3″] Aany bėĭėghėr tart/aany bėĭėghėttėn üt
(Ааны бэйэҕэр тарт/ааны бэйэҕэттэн үт)
*Signs are often in Russian and read “Na sebya” (на себя) and “ot sebya” (от себя). The Sakha version is used in common speech.
Small/big [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaSmall_big.mp3″] Kyra/ulakhan
Do you speak English? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaDoouspeakEnglish.mp3″] Ėn angliĭskaĭdyy sangaraghyn duo?(Эн английскайдыы саҥараҕын дуо?)
I don’t speak English. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIdontspeakEnglish.mp3″] Min angliĭskaĭdyy sangarbappyn.
(Мин английскайдыы саҥарбаппын)
I only speak a little Sakha. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIonlspeakalittleSakha.mp3″] Min sakhalyy kyratyk ėrė sangarabyn.
(Мин сахалыы кыратык эрэ саҥарабын)
I understand [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIunderstand.mp3″] Min öĭdüübün.
(Мин өйдүүбүн)
I don’t understand. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIdontunderstand.mp3″] Min öĭdööböppün
(Min өйдөөбөппүн.)
Thank you! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaThankou1.mp3″] Makhtanabyn!
Thank you very much! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaThankouvermuch.mp3″] Ulakhan makhtal!
(Улахан махтал!)
Thank you! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaThankou2.mp3″] Bahyyba!
*from the Russian “spasibo” (спасибо)
Very well, thanks! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaVerwellthanks.mp3″] Naha üchügėĭdik, makhtal!
(Наhа үчүгэйдик, махтал!)
Good/Well [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaGoodwell.mp3″] üchügėĭ (adj.) / Üchügėĭdik (adv.)
(үчүгэй / үчүгэйдик)
Bad/Badly [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaBadbadl.mp3″] kuhaghan (adj.) / Kuhaghannyk (adv.)
(куhаҕан / куhаҕаннык)
Please [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaPlease1.mp3″] Kördöhöbün
*lit. “I ask (for) something”
Please [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaPlease2.mp3″] Bahaalysta
*from Russian pozhaluĭsta (пожалуйста)
You’re welcome! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaYourewelcome.mp3″] Bahaalysta
Excuse me! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaExcuseme.mp3″] Buka diėn, byrastyy gyn!
(Бука диэн, бырастыы гын!)
A little [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaAlittle.mp3″] Kyratyk
Could you speak more slowly? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaCouldouspeakmoreslowl.mp3″] Ėn bytaannyk sataan sangaryang duo?
(Эн бытааннык сатаан саҥарыаҥ дуо?)
Could you repeat, please? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaCouldourepeatplease.mp3″] Bahaalysta tuhugar, khatylaan ėting.
(Баһаалыста туһугар, хатылаан этиҥ.)
Could you write that down? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaCouldouwritethatdown.mp3″] Ėn many sataan suruĭuong duo?
(Эн маны сатаан суруйуоҥ дуо?)
My bag/wallet/passport was stolen [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaMbagwalletpassportwasstolen.mp3″] Min suumkabyn/köhülüökpün/paaspartpyn uorbuttar.
(Мин суумкабын/көһүлүөкпүн/пааспартпын уорбуттар.)
I need a doctor! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIneedadoctor.mp3″] Miėkhė byraas naada!
(Миэхэ быраас наада!)
Call the police! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaCallthepolice.mp3″] Politsiyany yngyr!
(Полицияны ыҥыр!)


Introductions in Yakut (Sakha) back to top

What is your name? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWhatisourname.mp3″] Ėn aatyng kimiĭ?
(Эн аатыҥ кимий?)
Pleased to meet you! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaPleasedtomeetou.mp3″] Bilsėrbit üchügėĭ!
(Билсэрбит үчүгэй!)
I am 25 years old. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIm25earsold.mp3″] Min süürbė biės saastaakhpyn.
(Мин сүүрбэ биэс саастаахпын)
How old are you? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHowoldareou.mp3″] Ėn saahyng khahyĭ?
(Эн сааhыҥ хаhый?)
Where are you from? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWhereareoufrom.mp3″] Ėn khantan syld’aghyn?
(Эн хантан сылдьаҕын?)
I am American. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaImAmerican.mp3″] Min Amerikattan syld’abyn.
(Мин Америкаттан сылдьабын.)
No, I am from Canada. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaNoImfromCanada.mp3″] Suokh, min Kanadattan syld’abyn.
(Суох, мин Канадaттан сылдьабын.)
She is Australian. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaShesAustralian.mp3″] Kini avstraliĭka.
(Кини австралийка.)
He is Irish. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHesIrish.mp3″] Kini irlandets.
(Кини ирландец.)
We are from New Zealand. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWerefromNewZealand.mp3″] Bihigi Novaĭ Zelandiyattаn syld’abyt.
(Биhиги Новай Зеландияттан сылдьабыт.)
They are from Wales. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaThearefromWales.mp3″] Kinilėr Uėl’sattan syld’allar.
(Кинилэр Уэльсаттан сылдьаллар.)
How do you like Russia? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHowdooulikeRussia.mp3″] Ėĭiėkhė Rossiya üchügėĭ duo?
(Эйиэхэ Россия үчүгэй дуо?)
I like Russia very much. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIlikeRussiavermuch.mp3″] Min Rossiyagha olus söbülüübün.
(Мин Россияҕа олус сөбүлүүбүн.)
Have you ever been to Mirny? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHaveoueverbeentoMirn.mp3″] Ėn Мirnėĭgc khahan ėmit syld’ybytyng duo?
(Эн Мирнэйгэ хаhан эмит сылдьыбытыҥ дуо?)
I have never been to Oymyakon before. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIhaveneverbeentoOmakonbefore.mp3″] Min Öĭmökööngngö khahan da syld’ybataghym.
(Мин Өймөкөөҥҥө хаhан да сылдьыбатаҕым.)
This is my second time in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaThisismsecondtimeintheSakhaRepublicYakutia.mp3″] Min Sakha Öröspüblikatygar khaĭa sakh ikkis kėlė syld’yym.
(Мин Саха Өрөспубликатыгар хайа сах иккис кэлэ сылдьыым.)
What do you do? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWhatdooudo.mp3″] Ėn tuokh idėlėėkhkhin?
(Эн туох идэлээххин?)
*lit. “What is your profession?”
I am a student/ businessman/ teacher/ doctor. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIamastudentbusinessmanteacherdoctor.mp3″] Min studenmyn/biznesmenmin/uchuutalbyn/byraaspyn.
(Мин студенмын/бизнесменмин/учууталбын/бырааспын.)
I am on vacation. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIamonvacation1.mp3″] Min uoppuskagha syld’abyn,
(Мин уоппускаҕа сылдьабын).
*for non-students
I am on vacation. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIamonvacation2.mp3″] Min kanikulga syld’abyn,
(Мин каникулга сылдьабын).
*for students
I am here on business. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIamhereonbusiness.mp3″] Min manna ülėbinėn baarbyn.
(Мин манна үлэбинэн баарбын).


Asking Directions back to top

Where are the toilets? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWherearethetoilets.mp3″] Tualet khanna baаr?
(Туалет ханна баар?)
Men [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaMen.mp3″] Ėr d’onnor
(Эр дьоннор)
Women [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWomen.mp3″] D’akhtallar
Where is the nearest bank? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWhereisthenearestbank.mp3″] Manna chugas bank khanna baar?
(Манна чугас банк ханна баар?)
Where is the nearest post office? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWhereisthenearestpostoffice.mp3″] Manna chugas pochta d’iėtė khanna baar?
(Манна чугас почта дьиэтэ ханна баар?)
Where is the nearest train station? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWhereisthenearesttrainstation.mp3″] Manna chugas vokzal khanna baar?
(Манна чугас вокзал ханна баар?
Where can I find Wi-Fi? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaWherecanIfindWiFi.mp3″] Ėn manna internet (vaĭ-faĭ) sibėėhė khanna baaryn bilėghin duo?
(Эн манна интернет (вай-фай) сибээhэ ханна баарын билэҕин дуо?)
Do you know the Wi-Fi password? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaDoouknowtheWiFipassword.mp3″] Ėn internet kistėlėng tylyn bilėghin duo?
(Эн интернет кистэлэҥ тылын билэҕин дуо?)
How can I order a taxi? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHowcanIorderataxi.mp3″] Min taksiny khaĭdakh sakaastuakhpyn?
(Мин таксины хайдах сакаастыаxпын?)
Straight ahead! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaStraightahead.mp3″] Inning diėkki könö bar.
(Инниҥ диэкки көнө бар).
Take a right/ left. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaTakearightleft1.mp3″] Unga/khangas diėkki bar
(Уҥа/хаҥас диэкки бар.)
Take a right/ left. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaTakearightleft2.mp3″] Unga/khangas salaĭ.
(Уҥа/хаҥас салай.)
*specifically for transportation in a vehicle
After the stoplight [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaAfterthestoplight.mp3″] Svetofor kėnnittėn.
Светофор кэнниттэн.
Next/First/Last [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaNextFirstLast.mp3″] Anygy/bastaky/kėnniki


Shopping back to top

How much does that cost? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaHowmuchdoesthatcost.mp3″] Bu syanata töhönüĭ?
(Бу сыаната төhөнүй?)
*if the person you’re talking to already knows exactly what you’re interested in, or if you’re pointing to it, you may omit “bu syanata”.
The menu, please! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaThemenuplease.mp3″] Bahaalysta, menyuta kördör duu.
(Баһаалыста, менюта көрдөр дуу).
*lit. “Please show me the menu”
I’d like a beer, please [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIdlikeabeerplease.mp3″] Min piibė sakaastyakhpyn baghardym,
(Мин пиибэ сакаастыахпын баҕарaбын).
I’d like the bill, please. [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaIdlikethebillplease.mp3″] Töhönü tölüür buolbut schëtpun kördüüdün duo?
(Төһөнү төлүүр буолбут счётпун көрдүүбүн дуо?)
*lit. “May I ask for my bill, please?”
Do you accept credit cards? [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/SakhaDoouacceptcreditcards.mp3″] Kreditnėĭ kaartannan tölööhünü ėhigi ylaghyt duo?
(Кредитнэй каартаннан төлөөһүнү эһиги ылаҕыт дуо?)


Counting back to top

0 nol’
1 biir
2 ikki
3 üs
4 tüört
5 biės
6 alta
7 sėttė
8 aghys
9 toghus
10 (0-10)
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sakha010.mp3″]
11 uon biir
(уон биир)
12 uon ikki
(уон икки)
13 uon üs
(уон үс)
14 uon tüört
(уон түөрт)
15 uon biės
(уон биэс)
16 uon alta
(уон алта
17 uon sėttė
(уон сэттэ)
18 uon aghys
(уон аҕыс)
19 (11-19)
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sakha1119.mp3″]
uon toghus
(уон тоҕус)
20 süürbė
21 süürbė biir
(сүүрбэ биир)
22 süürbė ikki
(сүүрбэ икки)
30 otut
40 tüört uon
(түөрт уон)
50 biės uon
(биэс уон)
60 alta uon
(алта уон)
70 sėttė uon
(сэттэ уон)
80 aghys uon
(аҕыс уон)
90 (20-90)
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sakha2090.mp3″]
toghus uon
(тоҕус уон)
100 süüs
111 süüs uon biir
(сүүс уон биир)
125 süüs süürbė biės
(сүүс сүүрбэ биэс)
200 ikki süüs
(икки сүүс)
300 üs süüs
(үс сүүс)
400 tüört süüs
(түөрт сүүс)
500 biės süüs
(биэс сүүс)
600 alta süüs
(алта сүүс)
700 sėttė süüs
(сэттэ сүүс)
800 aghys süüs
(аҕыс сүүс)
900 toghus süüs
(тоҕус сүүс)
1000 (100-1000)
[sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://folkways.today/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Sakha1001000.mp3″]


More on Sakha Dialects

Different Sakha dialects developed primarily due to geographical landscape and regions’ historical pasts. Often, dialect “borders” are delineated by rivers, e.g. the Lena, Amga, and Aldan Rivers, which divide the Republic into four parts. Modern dialectologists separate the uluses of the Sakha Republic into four major groups: Central, North-Eastern, Vilyui, and North-Western. Each group has a corresponding dialect with words and intonation features unique to it. (ulus = district/administrative units that function similarly to states in the U.S.).

  • The Central dialect most closely adheres to the norms of literary Sakha in its speech and writing as the Central region is the historical wellspring of Sakha literature and high culture. The Central region includes the Amginsky, Gorny, Khangalassky, Megino-Kangalassky, Namsky, Tattinsky, Tomponsky, Ust-Aldan, and Ust-Maysky districts.
  • The North-Eastern dialect is heavily influenced by neighboring peoples of the north, the Even, Yukaghir, and Chukchi, and by the Russian language. The North-Eastern dialect is spoken in the Abyysky, Allaikhovsky, Kolyma, Oymyakonsky, Verkhoyansk, and Ust-Yansky districts.
  • The Vilyui dialect is distinguished in two main ways. Firstly, the speech of Vilyui inhabitants is characteristically melodic, often inserting -yi/-ui to the ends of words for a more canorous effect. Secondly, the Vilyui dialect uses unique vernacular describing agriculture and cattle and horse breeding long-established in the area. The Vilyui dialect is spoken in Lensky, Nyurbinsky, Olekminsky, Suntarsky, Verkhnevilyuysku, and Vilyuysky disctricts.
  • The North-Western dialect is also greatly influenced by languages of Northern peoples, the most noticeable of which are the Tungus. In contrast to the Vilyui dialect, consonant assimilation is less developed, and there are a greater number of archaisms in the North-Western vocabulary. The North-Western dialect is spoken in the Anabar, Bulun, Olenek, and Zhigansky districts; and the Yessey region in the Krasnoyarsk Krai, a federal subject west of the Sakha Republic.

Sakha dialects are also divided, based on phonetic and lexical differences, into the Western (Vilyui and North-Western) and Eastern (Central, North-Eastern) systems of vocalism. This is most apparent in distinction of vowel labializing and non-labializing. Take for instance the word for “quiet”. In the Western system, “quiet” is written and read оргууй (orguuĭ), the o and уу (uu) are both back labialized vowels. In the Eastern system, “quiet” is written and read аргыый (argyyĭ), the a and ыы (yy) are both back non-labialized vowels. Quiet” oргууй (orguuĭ) – аргыый (argyyĭ); “spider” ооҕуй (ooghuĭ) and ааҕый (aaghyĭ); “reed” хомус (khomus) and хамыс (khamys); “dusk” борук-сорук (boruk-soruk) and барык-сарык (baryk-saryk).

About the author

Kathryn Yegorov-Crate

Kathryn Yegorov-Crate

Kathryn Yegorov-Crate is a Sakha heritage speaker and a Master’s candidate in the Department of Slavic & Eurasian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Kathryn holds a B.A. in International Studies and a B.A. in Slavic Languages & Literatures from Indiana University Bloomington. Her current research examines pan-Turkism and Turanism in contemporary Sakha identity formation, Central Asian migrant positionalities, and anti-immigrant populism in the Russian Federation.

Program attended: Online Internships

View all posts by: Kathryn Yegorov-Crate