https://www.duolingo.com/Vikqueen

Circassian for English speakers

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I looked for a post specifically requesting the Circassian language, but I surprisingly didn't find one. So I made this! I was recently listening to some songs in Circassian, and I thought that I would love to learn it. It is a fascinating language with around 1.5 million native speakers. It is spoken in southwest Russia, near the border with Georgia. Like many other languages in the area, it's pretty different from its neighbors. The language seems pretty challenging, but that's what makes it fun! Is anyone else interested?

December 11, 2017

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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Thank you so much for this post! I love the Circassian language and culture, and I would absolutely love a Duolingo course on Circassian! Have some lingots.

I will edit this post with some Circassian resources later.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Vikqueen
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I'm glad there are others who love Circassian culture!

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jaye16
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This is a link specifically for new language ideas. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/15014194

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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Jaye16, Circassian isn't on the list there.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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It's a reminder to Lrtward to add the thread to the list.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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Oh, sorry.

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/nblaisdell
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Does he get a notification when you link to his post?

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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No, but if they see it here they will add it, since it's a quick and easy link to their thread and they can simply copy the URL of this thread, go to the link provided, and add it there. Several languages have been added to the list through this method.

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lemniscatarum
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Lrtward is female.

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Mod
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Oh, wait. I knew that already. ;-)

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward
Mod
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And I did indeed eventually stumble upon this discussion :)
I will be quite glad when we have some sort of inter-personal communication tool available to us again.

I looked up Circassian and it's not a specific language. Apparently it's a group of languages, with Kabardian and Adyghe being the main (only?) member languages.

When jrikhal and I started the [GUIDE] we got all kinds of requests for languages (including languages that people were "about to start inventing") so we decided that we would only list languages with an ISO639-3 code. Kabardian and Adyghe have ISO 639-3 codes, but Circassian does not.

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Vikqueen
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Correct. Adyghe and Kabardian are the only two, and are very closely related. The Kabardian variety of Circassian has a lot more speakers than Adyghe, so I suppose that would be the one to choose.

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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Ahh, the struggle of naming the Circassian languages...

I think most of this struggle comes from the native name of the language. In Kabardian, адыгэбзэ (adygebze) and in Adyghe, адыгабзэ (adygabze). You see, адыгэ means Circassian or Adyghe (Adyghe can refer to all Circassians, even Kabardins) and бзэ means language. Therefore адыгэбзэ means "language of the Circassians" or "language of the Adyghe." The same applies with the Adyghe translation. Because of this, all Circassians refer to their language by the same name, adygebze. This causes confusion when it comes to naming the dialects, because most (if not all) Circassians will refer to their language as Circassian because of this ambiguity. A lot of linguistic documents and learning material on both varieties have referred to them both as Circassian, so that doesn't help.

There's a way out of this, but it really only works for Kabardian and is not really used, and that's to call the Kabardian variety "language of the Kabardins," which is 'къэбэрдейбзэ" (qeberdeybze) but this is seldom used from what I've seen. Most Kabardian speakers will just use адыгэбзэ.

From a speaking point of view, it doesn't really matter. If you can tell a Circassian speaker you speak Adygebze, they will be absolutely delighted, since very few foreigners have taken the time to learn this beautiful language, whichever variety they have learned.

Because of the point you made about ISO 639-3 codes, I will make two posts later requesting both varieties. I hope the people that upvoted this will upvote those as well.

December 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Husna831663

i'm in!!

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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Excuse me if I'm wrong, isn't Circassian more of a language family than a language itself?

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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It is sort of, but there are only two dialects: Kabardian and Adyghe. Most Circassians refer to their language as Circassian, however, so there's some overlap. I hope in the future Duolingo can add both dialects.

December 11, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
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I see, thanks! ^.^

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OmegaGmaster
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Both are also mutually intelligible to some degree.

December 11, 2017
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