Published April 23, 2020
This video was recorded by Sildis Oorzhak in Mongolia. Tuva, Tuvin, Tyvan, or sometimes Tuvinian, is primarily spoken in the Tuva Republic. Its several dialects include Central Tuvin, Northeastern Tuvin (Todzhin), Southeastern Tuvin, Tuba-Kizhi, and Western Tuvin. The Tuvan people have been nomadic cattle-herders for thousands of years and have developed rich musical and religious traditions. Today they maintain a semi-nomadic lifestyle. Due to a history of rule by the Chinese, Russian, and Mongolian empires and extensive borrowing, there is substantial lexical overlap between Tuva and the languages of Mongolian, Tibetan, and Russian. History and geography have also resulted in many Tuva speakers being bilingual in Mongolian and Russian near the border. Although at one time there was an independent Tuvan's People's Republic, the nation of the Tuvan people currently exists under the sovereignty of the Russian Reservation, but the Tuvans maintain strong local ties to their language and culture, and the will for separatism persists. The Tuvan communities of China live primarily in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region and are included there as Mongolian nationals. Tuva is spoken by around 280,000 people internationally. Tuva is a Northern Turkic language.