Evenki // (Ewenkī), formerly known as Tungus or Solon, is the largest member of the northern group of Tungusic languages, a group which also includes Even, Negidal, and the more closely related Oroqen language. The name is sometimes wrongly given as "Evenks". It is spoken by Evenks or Ewenkī(s) in Russia and China.
|Native to||China, Russia|
|Region||Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang in China; Krasnoyarsk Krai in Russia|
|Cyrillic, Latin, Mongolian (experimentally)|
In certain areas the influences of the Yakut and the Buryat languages are particularly strong. The influence of Russian in general is overwhelming (in 1979, 75.2% of the Evenkis spoke Russian, rising to 92.7% in 2002). Evenki children were forced to learn Russian at Soviet residential schools, and returned with a “poor ability to speak their mother tongue...". The Evenki language varies considerably among its dialects, which are divided into three large groups: the northern, the southern and the eastern dialects. These are further divided into minor dialects. A written language was created for Evenkis in the Soviet Union in 1931, first using a Latin alphabet, and from 1937 a Cyrillic one. In China, Evenki is written experimentally in the Mongolian script. The language is generally considered endangered.