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Mari Language Facts and Information

Information About Mari Language

Mari language topics and discussion
Mari speakers in the Phrasebase community
Extinct: no
Family: Uralic
Branch: Finnic
Continent: Australia
Country: Papua New Guinea
Region: Madang Province, upper Ramu River. 4 villages. East Sepik Province, near Mari Lake and on Salumei River. Western Province, south coast near Tais, and inland about 10 miles. 1 village. HIGH: Mari ASSR, Gorno-Mariy, and some in Bashkortostan. Capital is Joschkar-Ola. LOW: Mari ASSR, left bank of Volga, Bashkir, Tatar, Udmurt ASSR, Perm, Sverov, Kirov Oblasts. Capital is Yoshkar-Ola, 500 km. east of Moscow. Also spoken in Kazakhstan.
Countries Where Spoken: 806 (1988 Holzknecht). 120 (1981 Wurm and Hattori). 84 (1980 census). HIGH: 66,000 (1993 UBS). LOW: 525,480 mother tongue speakers (87%) out of an ethnic population of 604,000 (1993 UBS). Population total both countries 534,000.
Countries Where Official: Papua New Guinea, Russia
Native Speakers: 525,480
Speakers Total: 534,000
Phrasebase members who speak Mari at a native level: 0
Phrasebase members who speak Mari at a conversational level: 0
Phrasebase members primary language they are trying to learn is Mari: 0
Phrasebase members secondary language they are trying to learn is Mari: 0
Three Letter Code: HOB
Summary: Different from Mari of East Sepik Province and Mari of Western Province. Speakers are highly bilingual in Tok Pisin. Different from Mari of Madang Province and Mari of Western Province. Investigation needed: bilingual proficiency in Tok Pisin. Closely related to Tais. Related to Kanum, Aramba, Bothar, Nambu, Peremka, Rouku. Different from Mari of East Sepik Province, and Mari of Madang Province. Literacy rate in first language: Less than 5%. Literacy rate in second language: Less than 5%. HIGH: Speakers have difficulty reading Low Mari because of lexical differences. There are also phonological and morphological differences. Bilingualism in Russian, Low Mari. Agriculturalists, lumbermen. Christian, traditional religion. NT 1824. LOW: Bilingualism in Russian. Books. Used in schools. Newspapers, radio programs. Christian: Russian Orthodox, traditional religion. NT 1986.

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