Adyghe (Адыгабзэ) for English speakers!!!

Many of you will remember the Sochi Winter Olympic games a few years back. What is less known is that Sochi (and the surrounding region) is home to the Circassian Tribes of the Caucuses. In the 1800s, the Russian imperial power sought to exterminate the Circassian people, and their languages took a serious hit over the next 100+ years.

Adyghe is without a doubt the most notable of the Circassian languages. With a mind-blowing (and record-setting) 60 consonants and 3 vowels, it is the subject of many linguists fantasies. Thankfully with Duolingo, these dreams no longer need to be fantasy!

Adyghe has just over 500,000 speakers and is most popular in Adygea, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey. It is also an official language of the Adygea Republic in Russia!

It has an SOV syntax, and uses ergative sentence construction!!

Here are some sample phrases of this fascinating and enthralling language:

English: "Welcome" Adyghe: "Къеблагъ" (sg), "Шъукъеблагъ" (pl) Translit: "kýeblaǵ" (sg), "şwkýeblaǵ" (pl)

English: "Hello" Adyghe: "Фэсапщы", "Сэлам" (inf) Translit: "fasaps̨ı", "salam" (inf)

English: "Good morning" Adyghe: "Уипчэдыжь шІу" Translit: "wipçadız̨ şꜧw"

English: "Goodnight" Adyghe: "Уичэщ шІу" Translit: "wiças̨ şꜧw"

English: "Yes" Adyghe: "Ары" Translit: "arı"

English: "No" Adyghe: "Хьау" Translit: "xýaw"

English: "How are you?" Adyghe: "Сыдэу ущыта?" (sg/frm) "Сыдэу шъущыта?" (pl/frm) "Сыд уфэд?" (inf) "Тэу ущыт?" (inf) Translit: "sıdaw ws̨ıta?" (sg/frm) "sıdaw şýws̨ıta" (pl/frm) "sıd wfad?" (inf) "taw ws̨ıt?" (inf)

Here are some links for more info:

March 14, 2019



I absolutely love the Circassian language and fully support any of its varieties on Duolingo. Упсэу, from a Bolivian learner of the Kabardian dialect.

Adyghe and Kabardian are some of the many languages I cover on TinyCards.

Edit: I'll provide IPA for your phrases.

Къеблагъ (Welcome) - [qeblaːʁ]
Шъукъеблагъ (Welcome (pl)) - [ʂʷəqeblaːʁ]
Фэсапщы (Hello) - [fasaːpɕə]
Уипчэдыжь ш1у (Good morning) - [wipt͡ʃadəʑ ʃʼʷə]
Уичэщ ш1у (Good night) - [wit͡ʃaɕ ʃʼʷə]
Ары (Yes) - [aːrə]
Хьау (No) - [ħaːw]
Сыдэу ущыта? (How are you?) - [sədaw wəɕətaː]
Сыдэу шъущыта (How are you? (plural)) - [sədaw ʂʷəɕətaː]
Сыд уфэд? (How are you (infrm.)) - [səd wəfad]
Тэу ущыт? (How are you? (infrm)) - [taw wəɕət]

nəvighsəqaat aat

March 14, 2019

Hi..While I do not know much about Adyghe language..I do know something about Israel..I lived there for few years, studied their culture and I do know the Hebrew language (advanced level) Adyghe language is not used and certainly is not "most popular" in Israel, despite what you state in your post. I never met one person in Israel or from Israel, who spoke that language.

Of course there are some immigrants anywhere that speak that language if they came from that Adyghe region..but they are quite few.

Also I doubt that Duolingo would offer a course at least in the near future for this rare regional language.. Glad that you are so passionate about this ..enjoy your learning..

March 14, 2019

I am guessing that Jonpaul meant that the places where Adyghe is spoken are mostly in the countries that he listed. I doubt he meant to claim that it was the most popular language in those places.

March 14, 2019

Yes! That is what I meant haha :)

March 14, 2019

Even so , I never met a single Adyghe speaker in Israel over more then 5 years that I spent there, studying language and working. I have been all over Israel. It is a very small country with many nationalities. The most widespread languages spoken there (other , than official Hebrew) are Arabic, English, Russian , Romanian , French, Spanish, Polish etc and then other European languages and many North African/African languages. No Adyghe..sorry, guys..

..unless just few people who immigrated. I also doubt very much that people in Jordan speak Adyghe..Jordan is an Arabic country.. I do not know where you get your info from.. best regards..

March 15, 2019

I also doubt very much that people in Jordan speak Adyghe... I do not know where you get your info from..

They're a small minority in Jordan, but an important one.

OP said that Adyghe is most popular in Adygea, Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, but they didn't necessarily say that Adyghe is the majority language of these places.

nəvighsəqaat aat

March 15, 2019
  • 1713

I think I'm going to have a heart attack if it is added, it is certainly one of the most fascinating languages and cultures out there!

For an overview of the languages of the Caucasus, see this:

Ubykh, an extinct language that is from the same language family as Adyghe and related Abkhaz, is considered to be the most complex language in terms of sounds (phonology) outside of Africa. They had around 80(!) consonants! Adyghe is not quite there, but still I would think it is one of the most difficult languages to pronounce correctly. For starters, it has the Welsh 'll' in 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyll'. Grammar is also infamously difficult. Not to mention that the Northwest Caucasian languages are definitely endangered, losing ground to Russian even in the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia, where in spite of their supposed independence, more and more people speak only Russian. If Duolingo is serious about helping out endangered languages, Adyghe/Abkhaz should be very high on the list, especially considering its unique features!

Check out this Winnie the Pooh cartoon in Abkhaz (closely related language to Adyghe/Circassian); just TRY to pronounce the sounds you hear:

Let's not forget about the culture, which includes the fantastic Circassian music and dances:

OP mentions the Sochi area (Krasnodar Krai) which was home to the Circassians. Unfortunately, most have been displaced from the seaside following the devastating wars with the Russians back in the 1800s, but there is one village, Aguy Shapsug, where a small Circassian population still lives. And they have great songs (again, pay attention to the words and the sounds they contain!):

March 14, 2019

I think I'm going to have a heart attack if it is added

Haha, this is a mood.

nəvighsəqaat aat

March 14, 2019
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