This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Nuts and Bolts: Zyrian

Zyrian is the language of the Komi Autonomous Republic.

Which is here:

It belongs to the same group of languages as Finnish and Hungarian.

Zyrian, or Zyryan, or Komi-Zyrian, is spoken by getting on for 300,000 people, and the very oldest of them are to be admired and possibly pitied. The thing is, Zyrian has been written down in a bewildering variety of alphabets. It started off written on Old Permic script, which was replaced by Cyrillic-with-extra-letters (which were needed to represent Zyrian's non-Russian sounds). Then in the 1920s the writing system changed to the Molodtsov alphabet, in the 1930s it switched to Latin, and since the 1940s it's used Cyrillic again plus the additional letters І, і and Ӧ, ӧ.

Phew. And those of us who were taught ITA at school thought we'd had it hard.

Just in case you were wondering, the Zyrian for knee is пыдзöс. (Well, you never know when these things might come in useful.)

Zyrian is also the last word in...

...well, the dictionary, actually.

What more could anyone want?

Word To Use Today: Zyrian. Hint for use: how about having a last-word-in-alphabetical-order competition?


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