Chechen language

The Chechen language (Нохчийн Мотт / Noxčiyn Mott / نَاخچیین موٓتت / ნახჩიე მუოთთ, Nokhchiin mott, [ˈnɔx.t͡ʃiːn mu.ɔt]) is one of the Nakh languages, official language of the Chechens.

The Chechen language is spoken in the Republic of Chechnya, the Ingushi Republic, Khasavyurtovsky, Novolaksky, Kazbekovsky Districts in the Republic of Dagestan and in Akhmeta Municipality of Georgia. Total number of Chechen speakers is about 1.4 million people, and it takes the 5th place among all languages in the Russian Federation by prevalence. Chechen is the official language of Chechnya and standard language of Dagestan.


Dialects of Chechen can be classified by their geographic position within the Chechen Republic. The dialects of the northern lowlands are often referred to as “Oharoy muott” (literally “lowlander’s language”) and the dialect of the southern mountain tribes is known as “Laamaroy muott” (lit. “mountainer’s language”). There are many Chechen dialects: Akkish, Chantish, Chebarloish, Malkhish, Nokhchmakhkakhoish, Orstkhoish, Sharoish, Shuotoish, Terloish, Itum-Qalish, and Himoish. The Kisti dialect of Georgia is not easily understood by northern Chechens without a practice.


With advancement of Islam in Chechnya the Arabic writing was used. In XIX — early XX century it was reformed for needs of the Chechen phonetics. Since 1862 there was a Chechen writing based on Cyrillic alphabet created by P.K. Uslar. In 1925 Latin based writing was introduced. In 1938 it was replaced by Cyrillic alphabet. In the 1990s an attempt was made to restore the Latin based alphabet.

Chechen Cyrillic alphabet

Cyrillic Chechen alphabet

Chechen Latin alphabet

Latin Chechen alphabet

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